Baseball America ranks the Pirates’ farm system as the best in baseball. And as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, the team should at least consider putting that system to use.
Specifically, the Pirates should acquire Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester, a move that would give them an edge in the heated zero-sum game of the NL Central.
Yes, the Pirates might earn a wild card regardless of whether they make a trade. But they’re only two games behind the Brewers and a half-game behind the Cardinals â and both those clubs are trying to add top starters.
The addition of Lester would represent an economic and philosophical departure for the Pirates; Lester is owed about $4.33 million for the rest of the season â a high price for a team that declined to make A.J. Burnett a $14.1 million qualifying offer last offseason.
And if the Pirates gave up a prospect such as outfielder Josh Bell â a player under discussion, according to Yahoo! â they could not get a draft pick back if Lester departed as a free agent.
No matter. If Bell is too steep a price, offer some other prospect.