Rob Biertempfel reports that the Pirates have had their eyes on Astros outfielder Hunter Pence:
That notion was endorsed yesterday by Houston Astros right fielder Hunter Pence, whom the Pirates have scouted with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline in mind.
There’s no doubt that Pence would be a good addition to the Pirates’ current team, but at what cost? The Astros have little reason to give him up cheaply, and the Pirates have said they’re not interested in trading top prospects. I’m assuming they wouldn’t trade Jameson Taillon, so I’m guessing that to get Pence, the Pirates would probably have to start with Jose Tabata, who could replace Pence right away.
Tabata is only 22, though, and is likely to develop further, whereas the Pirates might be buying high on Pence, who has a .321 batting average this season that he’s unlikely to sustain. I’m not opposed to them trading for Pence, but I do think it’s something they should be very careful about.
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