Five Pirates That Should be on Trading Block

26 days and counting until the 2017 MLB Trade Deadline and GM Neal Huntington appears to have plenty of assets to shop around to contending teams.

As we talked about last night, despite being one of the hottest players in the majors, Andrew McCutchen is a player that I believe the team should build around and not look to deal. Despite how things have gone this season, the Pirates have enough talent to contend for a playoff spot next season and trading the teams best player would just hurt that effort.

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First Half Report Card for the 2017 Pirates

The first half of the Pirates’ season is in the books, so now is the perfect time to assess each player’s performance so far.

Keep in mind these grades are based on a curve of their expectations for the year. Chris Stewart wasn’t going to be an All-Star, so it won’t be fair to judge him the same as Andrew McCutchen.

A

Josh Harrison: His glove is as good as ever and his versatility has been a lifesaver. He’s also contributing a lot more offensively now that he’s healthy. His ,369 OBP has been aided by a league high 18 HBPs, but he is chasing out of the zone less and has 21 walks- one away from his career high in 2014.

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Harrison Named to NL All-Star Team

The Pirates only got only player named to the 2017 All-Star Game which want a surprise. However, the Pirates lone representative was somewhat surprising.

For the second time in his career, Josh Harrison was named to the NL All-Star team.  Back in 2014, Harrison was picked as a utility player.

This season in 79 games, Harrison is hitting .288 with 16 doubles, 9 home runs, 27 RBI and has been hit a major-league leading 18 times.

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Random Thoughts on the Pirates

Here are some news and notes plus some random thoughts on things currently going on with the Pirates.

**This morning while speaking to the media, Clint Hurdle announced that when he returns from his suspension, Starling Marte would be playing left field and Andrew McCutchen would remain in center field. I disagree with this decision and here’s why. At the start of the season, Pirates management determined that it would best for the team if Marte was the center fielder and McCutchen in right field. What’s changed? Seems to me that this decision is a reaction and a punishment to Marte for the 80-game suspension. By doing this, the organization is punishing the entire team not just Marte. Bad move.

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Starling Marte Returns to the Field Tomorrow

Starling Marte

Although it won’t be with the Pirates, Starling Marte will make his return to the baseball field tomorrow.

This evening, the team announced that Marte will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Bradenton.

Marte received an 80-game suspension from Major League Baseball in April after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Marte will have a 15 game rehab assignment before being eligible to return to the Pirates on July 18th.

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Pirates Quietly Hanging Around and Getting Better

Despite having a ton of things go against them, we’re a day away from the start of July and the Pirates are still in contention for the NL Central Division.

Yes, Clint Hurdle’s team is still five games under .500 (37-42) but because of how mediocre the NL Central is this year, the Pirates are just four games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. Despite their current position in the standings, the Cubs are the team to beat in the division and the Pirates are only 3 games behind them.

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