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The Pirates are scouting Hunter Pence

Jul 18, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

Hunter Pence AP

The bizarro theme of “Pittsburgh Pirates: trade deadline buyers” continues.  Building on their alleged contacts with the Oakland A’s regarding Josh Willingham, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports today that they’re aiming higher than that:  they’re scouring the Astros’ Hunter Pence.

It strikes me as unlikely that anything could come of that.  Not too long ago Ken Rosenthal reported that the Astros were unlikely to trade Pence unless Jim Crane took over the team before the deadline — which is unlikely — and ordered such a deal.  Add onto that the rumors that Ed Wade seems to be asking for way too much for Wandy Rodriguez, and you have to figure that he’d probably be asking too much for Pence too.  Assuming that his current position — sort of a lame duck GM, waiting for a new boss — even inspires him to make a deal.

So this is fun from a “hmm, what could help Pittsburgh continue to contend” perspective, but I’d be rather shocked to see anything real come of this.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Ed Wade is the single worst GM in the history of baseball. Period. No further questions.

    • halladaysbiceps - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      Ruben Amaro Jr.: “Ed, I’ll trade you Kyle Kendrick and Brian Bocock for Hunter Pence.”

      Ed Wade: “Ok, Ruben, you have a deal. I’ll also throw in 16 million. Is that ok?”

      • Utley's Hair - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        NinJr.: Wait…who’s that guy in center? Didn’t he used to play here?
        Eddie: You’re collecting on the loan already? Okay. Bourn, Pence, $16million, dinner for the family at Ruth’s Chris and a bag of balls for Kyle, Danys Baez, Herndon and a cheesesteak—that way I can say I gave you a bag of balls for that haul. But that’s my final offer.
        NinJr.: Okay. Deal. But Eddie, what did I tell you before about negotiating on an empty stomach?

    • madhatternalice - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      Your honor, at this time I’d like to enter into the record Exhibit B: Peter Angelos.

      He may not be the worst, but I think, comparatively, I’d rather have Wade.

      • seattlej - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:43 AM

        Well… Angelos is an owner and not a GM. And if you want to get into the worst owner discussion, there’s really no need to go any deeper than Frank McCourt.

    • bigxrob - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:42 AM

      I would like to introduce Omar Minaya into the contest for “worst GM in baseball history”

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:13 AM

      I’ll have you know Fast Eddie has been one of the best Phightins GMs ever—since he went to Houston.

    • hittfamily - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      Dan Duquette on Roger Clemens in 1996.

      “We had hoped he’d remain a Red Sox in the twilight of his career”

      • 18thstreet - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:37 PM

        Well, if not for Roger mysteriously finding a fountain of youth, Duquette would have been right.

        How Roger became such a great player well into his 30s, we’ll never know.

      • 18thstreet - Jul 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM

        Dan Duquette trade for Pedro Martinez. Twice. Beat that.

  2. stairwayto7 - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:21 AM

    Pence for Garrett Jones and Gorkys Hernandez!

  3. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:25 AM

    The Pirates are buyers! The Pirates are buyers! The Pirates are buyers!

    • mikeypa - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:52 AM

      Amazing, huh? Even a Phillies fan like me can smile about this. Great to see what is happening over there this year.

  4. Ari Collins - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    Good move for PIT if they can get him. Help them in their improbable run while getting a player who’s not just a rental player.

  5. joshfrancis50 - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    I’m happy that the Pirates are meaningful right now; it’s good for the game. And as much as Huntington has to tell his team and the fans that, “I believe”, they can’t really think that trading any prospects for a guy like Willingham or even Pence is a good idea, right?

    Realistically it just doesn’t seem to be plausible. I know they are tied for first in mid-July, but let’s hope that after a run in with 4 above average teams in the next two weeks (although I hesitate to call the Reds that at this point) they get a better sense of themselves and cooler heads prevail.

    It’s hard to move from laughingstock to playoff team in one year without the financial wherewithal of the big guys and I can see where they might be anxious to try and make a big move. Let’s hope that for now they can be patient and continue to build for the next five years rather than make an irrational push now that sets them back yet again.

  6. sdelmonte - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    I am just looking forward to the very real likelihood of seeing the Pirates in first this week. Amazing.

  7. jimbo1949 - Jul 18, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    “they’re scouring the Astros’ Hunter Pence.”
    .
    .
    and he doesn’t even play on a real dirt field.

  8. spudchukar - Jul 18, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    It is good to see the Pirates competitive again, and this comes from a division rival fan. As mentioned above, the next couple of weeks will be a good gauge of Pittsburgh’s strength. Pence would be help, he is a very solid, but won’t be cheap. However, if the Pirates seriously believe they can compete this year, I would be looking for starter help. Yes, they get Ohlendorf back, but expecting Maholm, Karstens, Morton, McDonald, and Correia to carry you to a division championship is more hopeful than realistic.

  9. jeffa43 - Jul 18, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    Wade is only an asset if you are on the opposing team.

    McCourt helped to destroy his own team…. Wade was more positive, he helped opposing teams get stronger.

    In Lace Berkmans own words, “I wanted to come back, I was told to take a hike”

    We will not spend 8 million on Berkman, but we will spend 5million on Bill Hall…. who 1/3 of the way through the season was playing half the time, and leading the league in K’s.

    Kind of the exact same thing Wade did with Pedro Feliz the year before, give them 5 million, and then cut them half way through the year.

    Kaz Matsui.. he got 15 million for being the worst 2b in the game.

    Brandon Lyon makes more than the entire Rays pen.

    I hope to God Keppinger has been told he was sorry. When we plugged him in the 3 hole last year as a desperate measure, we went on the 3rd best run in baseball in the second half. He only gets 2 million, but go sign Hall !!!! Keppinger has been solid, and our 3rd best player. So, make sure you let him know you are looking for a pathetic 2b to replace him.

  10. jeffa43 - Jul 18, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Ed Wade is to the Astros, as

    Pakistan is to America….

    • kiwicricket - Jul 18, 2011 at 9:55 PM

      tool

  11. foreverchipper10 - Jul 18, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    I really don’t see the ‘Stros getting rid of Pence. Flipping him now for a couple prospects makes sense because there is no way this team becomes a contender until Pence is too old to contribute to it. This is their only chip. They need to use it wisely. With Ed Wade running the show I cannot see how that could happen.

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