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Could The Pirates' Kevin Correia And Paul Maholm Be The Subjects Of Trade Talks?

Fangraphs' list of starting pitchers who might be dealt before the MLB July 31 trading deadline includes guys like Edwin Jackson and Jeremy Guthrie - but what about Pirates starting pitchers Kevin Correia and Paul Maholm?

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While I think the Pirates will be less eager to make trades this year than in years past, they'll surely at least listen to offers on veterans like Correia and Maholm. But can they strike a deal? The Pirates' farm system is jammed with the kinds of prospects they've typically received for those kinds of players in the past - second-tier players who provide depth, rather than star power. What they lack, beyond Jameson Taillon, Luis Heredia, Stetson Allie and whoever they pick in the upcoming MLB Draft, is guys who have a decent chance of becoming stars.

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So it may be tough for teams to put together the type of trade return the Pirates would like to receive - the Bucs would probably have to get an opposing GM to go completely crazy and give them way more than they should (the way Ned Colletti of the Dodgers did when he shipped James McDonald and Andrew Lambo to the Pirates last year for Octavio Dotel), or they'll have to get a player who would fit perfectly for their organizational needs, like a good young shortstop.

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On top of that, don't expect other teams to be fooled by Correia's eight wins so far. He's been a pleasant surprise this year, but other GMs are still likely to see him as merely a back-of-the-rotation starter.

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The Pirates can also keep both Correia and Maholm through 2012 if they want to, so there's no urgency to trade them.

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Correia and Maholm's names are worth keeping in mind as trading season approaches. But don't expect the Pirates to go out of their way to deal them.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.