No last-minute deals for #Pirates. They stand pat.
— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) July 31, 2013
As I wrote this morning, I thought that the Pirates had needs to address at the deadline today, but it's not actually an understatement to say that almost nothing happened all day. The Diamondbacks and Padres swapped Ian Kennedy and Joe Thatcher, the Orioles traded for Bud Norris, the Royals traded for Justin Maxwell, and that was pretty much it.
On the one hand, it's disappointing that the Pirates couldn't find a bullpen arm or one more bat; I don't have a whole ton of faith in [breath] Jose Tabata, Alex Presley, Andrew Lambo, Bryan Morris, Vin Mazzaro, Tony Watson, Victor Black [exhale]. On the other hand, it's really difficult to get bent out of shape over trades that didn't happen. I don't mean deals the Pirates didn't make, I mean deals no one made. Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus are still Cubs. Justin Morneau is still a Twin. Alex Rios is still on the White Sox. The Marlins and Angels were obviously uninterested in trading Giancarlo Stanton or Mike Trumbo. Heck, even Luke Gregerson appears to still be on the Padres. The Cardinals stood pat. The Reds stood pat. The Braves picked up a LOOGY and that was it. The Dodgers picked up a crappy backup catcher. The Diamondbacks made a puzzling trade that probably won't help them a ton. That's it. There aren't any other contenders in the National League.
I don't really have much else to say; I would've liked to see the Pirates fill in some gaps today, but the lack of activity makes it really hard for me to get upset that they didn't. It's one thing to say that the Pirates could've pushed harder to do something, but there's no empirical evidence that that's true because it didn't happen anywhere else. Making a trade just to make a trade is dumb, and I'd rather do nothing than to do that.
There is, of course, a chance that the Pirates will make a move in August before the deadline to set post-season rosters on August 31 (or is it September 1?). The problem, of course, is that in order for the Pirates to make a deal, any player that they're interested in them has to pass through waivers far enough for them to put in a claim. Since they have the best record in the National League at the moment, they get the absolute last claim on all American League players and the teams chasing them in the standings will get claims at NL players before them. That doesn't make a deal impossible, but it does mean that, say, the Reds or Cardinals or Diamondbacks could claim a player with no intention of making a deal, just so that that player doesn't fall to the Pirates.
The good news is this: the Pirates have the best record in baseball though today. They didn't add anyone today, but then most other teams didn't, either. That's not so bad.