The Cubs and Yankees finalized a deal this morning/early afternoon in which Alfonso Soriano will be headed back to the Bronx for minor league pitcher Corey Black. This may seem like it's unrelated to the Pirates save that it's part of the Cub Fire Sale that could give the Pirates some wins down the stretch this year, but I think it's worth noting for a couple of reasons.
One is that Alfonso Soriano is a useful role player who's making a ton of money this year and next year, and Alex Rios is a useful role player who's making a ton of money this year and next year. Another reason is that Alfonso Soriano is a Cub, and Nate Schierholtz is also a Cub. These situations aren't perfect 1:1 analogies to Soriano since Soriano had a no-trade clause and seemingly wanted to go back to the Yankees, but it is worth at least paying attention to. Black is, according to Joel Sherman, a future "power reliever," who's put up some big strikeout numbers in the low minors, but not much else yet. Sherman also says that the Yankees will be paying less than a third of Soriano's remaining salary.
Not much else going on today. You can note that the Pirates were not one of the teams with scouts in attendance watching Jake Peavy pitch last night, which probably means that any scouting the White Sox have been doing in Altoona is limited to discussion of a Rios trade. Part of me wonders if the Pirates will treat Sunday like their own personal trade deadline, since the Cardinal series starting on Monday is so huge for them, but given the paucity of available options and the plethora of teams that fancy themselves contenders, that may not be up to the Pirates.