Rob Biertempfel quotes former GM John Hart, who says that, while it's widely assumed the Pirates will want a hitter at the trading deadline, acquiring a starting pitcher is also a real possibility.
"Even if the their offense is not world championship-type offense, you can combat that with quality pitching. I like Pirates' pitching this year. Burnett trade has really panned out and I like job McDonald has done, bullpen is very solid. But I don't think they should overlook adding a big pitcher. They might be served better by doing that."
That's possible, especially since this year's trading market will probably be heavy on pitchers. The Pirates have a good 1-2 punch with James McDonald and A.J. Burnett. After that, it's not so clear. Jeff Karstens has spent most of the season so far on the shelf, but his strong last two starts give hope that he can be a good mid-rotation option for the rest of the season. Erik Bedard has collapsed badly of late, and fifth starter Kevin Correia is basically just a junkballer. The Pirates have good depth in Indianapolis in Jeff Locke, Rudy Owens and Justin Wilson, but none of them appear to be good enough right now to be dramatic upgrades. Acquiring another starting pitcher would certainly make sense.
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