The breakout performance by the Pittsburgh Pirates this year has drawn a lot of comparisons to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008. Because of those comparisons, there have been some suggestions that the Pirates should take a similar approach at the trade deadline, making a big splash with a big trade. The Brewers dealt their top prospect, Matt LaPorta, for two months of C.C. Sabathia.
There was another surprise team in 2008, and that was the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays took a different approach at the deadline. Rather than making a big splash, they kept their team together. They didn't make any major additions, even though they had the loaded farm system to do so. In the end the Rays and Brewers both made the playoffs, despite different approaches, and neither won it all.
There's one thing I've never understood about the trade deadline. Why do contenders NEED to make a deal? If a team can contend as it is currently built, then why is it absolutely necessary for them to upgrade? I understand ...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.