There are a lot of opinions on what the Pirates should do this trade deadline and I think everything from trading Maholm, to standing pat to making a minor to making a major move makes sense. I don’t think I am really going to be upset about any path they choose but after some consideration I have come up with what I would like to see them do.
On Maholm, keep him and pick up his option. They should then entertain offers for him in the offseason and if they can’t find a suitable deal try to negotiate a 3 year deal with him. There is an exception here though. If a prospect like Jurickson Profar is offered for Maholm the Pirates have to consider it.
On relief help if a viable inexpensive option can be found of course an acquisition should take place. I mean whats wrong with a stronger bullpen.
Now on to the interesting part. I have identified two players who I would like to see the Pirates go after. They are Ty Wigginton and Jeff Keppinger. Those 2 right handed hitters would go along way to balancing this team. Wigginton would be a 20 HR right handed bat who would be under control through potentially 2013. He comes at a reasonable price of 4 million per season. Keppinger is only under control through the end of the season but would be an upgrade on the bench. Wigginton could play 3B until Alvarez returns and then has enough experience where he could easily slide over to 1st. Keppinger could play some 3rd or take a bench spot which would allow d’Arnaud to go back to AAA. I like d’Arnaud but he I think he needs a little more seasoning in the minors.
I’m not 100% sold on Keppinger because I don’t know how he could do at SS right now. But Wigginton to me would be a near perfect addition. He would not the sexy acquistion but he would be a solid bat and could really help at either corner. The fact he is under contract for 2012 for 4 million means a 1B would not have to be pursued in free agency and the fact he has a 4 million option in 2013 means he can be left go if Curry (or someone else) turns into a legit option or he can be retained if no option is available.