For the second consecutive season, both the Pirates and Indians are in contention for a division title and playoff spot to start the second half of the season. Shocking, I know.
They both could also use another power bat in their lineups, which is why each is interested in San Diego Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin. Quentin will be one of the most sought-after players in a thin crop of slugging outfielders at the trade deadline.
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton also has been mentioned as a possible trade candidate the Pirates or Indians could pursue.
The return of a healthy, productive Grady Sizemore certainly could boost the Tribe’s chances in the second half. But Sizemore has yet to be cleared to even make a minor league rehab assignment. It’s unknown when he could be back, or at what level.
The Bucs and Tribe also could handle dealing for another pitcher, with the Chicago Cubs’ Ryan Dempster or Matt Garza and the Milwaukee Brewers’ Zach Greinke among the most likely big names available.
The Pirates would have to be willing to part with one of their top pitching prospects to land a solid contributor for the stretch run. It’s something they’ve been unwilling to do in the past. A player such as Jameson Taillon, a 2010 first-round draft pick who is in Class A Bradenton, could be the asking price for a player such as Quentin.