With right fielder Gregory Polanco sidelined by a strained left hamstring and the non-waiver Trade Deadline a week away, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said he will monitor the market to determine if there is "something appropriate" to bolster their outfield.Polanco was placed on the disabled list Saturday with his
With right fielder Gregory Polanco sidelined by a strained left hamstring and the non-waiver Trade Deadline a week away, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said he will monitor the market to determine if there is "something appropriate" to bolster their outfield.
Polanco was placed on the disabled list Saturday with his second left hamstring injury of the season, once again leaving the Pirates without one of their three starting outfielders. During his weekly KDKA-FM radio show with Pirates broadcaster Greg Brown, Huntington classified Polanco's status as "week to week," not day to day, but didn't set a timeline for his return.
Left fielder Starling Marte returned last week from an 80-game suspension, the first strain on Pittsburgh's outfield depth. Uncomfortable with the available trade options and asking prices, the Pirates stuck with their internal options amid Marte's suspension and Polanco's previous injury-related absences.
In the days and hours before the July 31 Trade Deadline, however, non-contenders may be more aggressive in their attempts to move players. That may work to the Pirates' advantage as they look to replace Polanco while still trying to gain ground in the National League Central race.
"As it's that time of year, we will certainly look to see what additions might be available and appropriate. If there's something out there that makes sense, we will do that," Huntington said Sunday on KDKA-FM. "Our lack of a move in May or June wasn't because we completely felt we were strong. We just felt like the asks for the available players were well above what the value was going to be, what the impact was going to be, and/or the available players weren't better than the players we felt we were putting on the field."
Manager Clint Hurdle told reporters at AT&T Park the Pirates planned to begin testing Polanco's injured leg Monday afternoon.
"We're going to see what we can do. He had two days down," Hurdle said. "They were going to test him on a bike and some other things to see if we can get him moving. ... Depending on where we are, we'll see if we can get him back in the cage and get some forward movement, hopefully [Monday]."
For now, the Pirates will move forward with what they have: Adam Frazier, John Jaso and Jose Osuna. Frazier started Monday's series opener against the Giants at AT&T Park, the Bucs' third right fielder in as many days.
The Pirates began the season without a true fourth outfielder. Prospects Austin Meadows and Barrett Barnes are on the seven-day disabled list, leaving them with no clear upgrade in Triple-A Indianapolis.
The Bucs also could use another outfield option if they storm back into the postseason, as Marte's suspension makes him ineligible, but Huntington said the club won't overpay to make a trade during what they hope to be a "relatively short" absence for Polanco.
"We'll see if there is something appropriate out there that's available," Huntington said on KDKA-FM.
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.