Most of his article from last night was dealing with starting pitching, here’s the parts mentioning the Pirates:
• The Phillies have downplayed their interest in trading Hunter Pence. But an executive of one team that asked about him reports: “He’s attracting as much interest as anybody they have — maybe even more than Hamels.” The Phillies won’t determine whether they’re ready to unload until after their six-game homestand that begins Friday. But if they opt to sell, Pence might represent their most difficult call.
He can’t be a free agent until after next season, so this is the optimal time to move him. But he and Carlos Ruiz are their only productive right-handed bats. And if they deal Pence and Shane Victorino, it would mean having to reconstruct their entire outfield by next Opening Day. So if the Phillies have a rough week, they’ll almost certainly listen on Pence in the days before the deadline. But they’d need a major haul in return to pull the trigger. One club that could make a run at Pence: the Pirates.
• If there’s a hitter who might have even a remote shot of getting traded, the Pirates have asked about him. One surprising name they took a run at: Kansas City’s favorite All-Star folk hero, Billy Butler. But the Pirates are still in a buy-low frame of mind. And the Royals have told a few clubs that inquired that they’d have to be blown away to deal their All-Star.