The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that the Pirates were scouting the Astros Hunter Pence, but it seems that the Phillies and Braves might not be lagging too far behind, with some commentators raising the likelihood of Ruben Amaro Jr. going hard for the 28-year-old.
Charlie Manuel meanwhile does not mind what he gets as long as it is good:
"I want somebody good," Manuel said. "If we are going to get somebody - I'll tell you guys like I would tell them - I want somebody good. Somebody that is going to help us. I don't want what we've already got."
Names mentioned in a trade with the Phillies are Jarred Cosart, John Mayberry Jr, Brody Colvin, Jesse Biddle, Domingo Santana and Michael Stutes. There is a lot of talent in that list, but what Bobby Heck and Astros scouts decide they need to top up the farm system is another matter entirely.
MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports that:
The Braves and Phillies could both benefit from the acquisition of Hunter Pence. But the Astros' outfielder will seemingly come at a steep price.
With the general belief being that Astros general manager Ed Wade is fighting for his job, one Major League source said earlier this week, "he's got to make sure he clearly wins the deal if he trades Pence."
Ed Wade is likely gone when Jim Crane takes full control whatever he does at the non-waiver trade deadline, so this could be his last chance to meaningfully influence the future of the franchise.
Meanwhile, with the Yankees frustrated by Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd asking the world for Ubaldo Jimenez they might be forced to turn to Wandy Rodriguez in pursuit of a starter. The Yankees sent scouts to watch Rodriguez on Sunday according to multiple sources including the Star-Ledger.