Buster Olney tweeted the following today about the Pittsburgh Pirates and their plan going in to the trade deadline:
The Pirates have asked around about veteran outfielders; looking for somebody who can be a stable presence in their offense.
We know that the Pirates need offense, although I think the consensus opinion is that first base is the bigger need. That’s especially the case with the way Alex Presley has been playing in his limited time in the majors since being called up. Presley is off to a hot start, with a .365/.424/.577 line in his first 52 at-bats of the 2011 season. The Pirates aren’t finding a replacement for Andrew McCutchen. The only other alternative is replacing Jose Tabata, who is making his way back from a quad strain. Tabata should be back by the end of the month, and possibly sooner. However, he’s not having the best season at the plate, with a .265/.351/.354 line in 257 at-bats, including a .671 OPS in the month of June.
The current outfield isn’t providing guaranteed production, as Presley has a small sample of at-bats, and Tabata is having an inconsistent year at the plate. So it wouldn’t be out of the question for the Pirates to add an outfielder, although I think most would agree that it isn’t their biggest need.