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Pirates ‘Trending Toward Buyers’ Ahead Of MLB Trade Deadline

Pittsburgh has a young core ready to shine

Can the Pittsburgh Pirates be a potential playoff team this season?

With one series to go before the Major League Baseball All-Star break, the Pirates currently sit at 44-48 and 9 1/2 games back in the National League Central division. However, they’re only three games out of the third NL Wild Card spot and could make a splash if they want to.

The duo of Paul Skenes and the injured Jared Jones sets up the Pirates for success once Jones makes his return, giving Pittsburgh one of the best starting duos in the majors. Their pitching staff as a whole is quickly becoming one of the best in baseball, heading into the break with the ninth-best team ERA (3.91) since June 1 and the 11th-best fWAR (9.1).

Add in an offense being led by 2024 All-Star selection Bryan Reynolds and there’s potential to make some noise following the break. Being buyers at the deadline may be the trick to them earning their first playoff appearance since the 2015 season.

It’s why CBS Sports’ Matt Snyder believes that the Pirates are “trending toward” being buyers at the deadline.

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“Jared Jones is hurt, but it isn’t a long-term injury,” Snyder wrote in his trade deadline column. “Paul Skenes is already an ace. Mitch Keller is the veteran of this threesome that would make for 75% of a great playoff rotation. Bryan Reynolds is their All-Star position player while Oneil Cruz is the type of player who could carry an offense in the playoffs. This is to say that the Pirates feel like a team on the rise and they are close enough to contention that they should absolutely not sell off. It isn’t clear how much money and/or prospects they’d be willing to spend in adding, but surely they’ll try to improve in some fashion and attempt to make a playoff run.”

It remains to be seen what the Pirates are going to do at the trade deadline, but their young core creates plenty of excitement as they head into the second half of the season.

Pittsburgh will look to close out the first half strong as they play the Milwaukee Brewers in tonight’s contest before a three-game series with the struggling Chicago White Sox over the weekend.

More MLB: Pirates Called “Potential Suitor” For Surprising All-Star On Trade Block

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Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports