If there is one problem with a second wild card in the MLB playoffs it is that now more teams think they are still in playoff contention at this point in the season. This of course leads to less sellers at the trade deadline and less action.
And this year has seen very little action. The biggest names that have moved in the past week have been Jake Peavy going to Boston, Alfonso Soriano being shipped to the New York Yankees and Matt Garza being acquired by the Texas Rangers. None of these moves were blockbusters and I don't see them making a big difference for any of the teams.
Last year was the first time since 2007 that Peavy pitched more than 200 innings. This year he has a WAR of 1. He is on the decline and has only pitched 80 innings this year.
Soriano has been on the decline practically every year since 2006. His WAR is .3 this season.
Garza is the best of the bunch. The only he has had a season ERA greater than 4 was in his rookie year with the Minnesota Twins. But the fact the Rangers had to give some of their top prospects to get him is a bit ridiculous. He's never finished in the top 10 in Cy Young voting and has a career ERA of 3.77. He is a No. 2 or 3 starter at best, not an ace.
There have been some small moves. Ian Kennedy is headed to San Diego for reliever Joe Thatcher and a prospect, but really all the news has been that teams are not trading.
So what will the Pirates do? There were reports yesterday that they and the Chicago White Sox were close to a deal that would send Alex Rios to the Pirates. Later in the day it was reported that those talks had fallen through, which is probably for the best. With so few commodities on the market, it probably would have cost the Buccos way more than Rios is worth.
Other reports have linked the Pirates to Houston Astros starting pitcher Bud Norris. Again, that would be a silly move for the Pirates. Norris would not be much of an improvement to the rotation and it would probably cost a few good prospects to get him.
It's boring, but with the players available, it's definitely best for the Pirates to stand pat. Now if the team could get a bat like Kendrys Morales for a cheap price, I say they jump quick and make the move. It doesn't seem like that kind of move is in the works, though.