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The Pirates are scouting Hunter Pence

Hunter Pence

Houston Astros’ Hunter Pence heads to the dugout after scoring the go-ahead run on a single by Astros’ Carlos Lee off Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jose Veras in the eighth inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, May 6, 2011. The Astros won 3-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


The bizarro theme of “Pittsburgh Pirates: trade deadline buyers” continues. Building on their alleged contacts with the Oakland A’s regarding Josh Willingham, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports today that they’re aiming higher than that: they’re scouring the Astros’ Hunter Pence.

It strikes me as unlikely that anything could come of that. Not too long ago Ken Rosenthal reported that the Astros were unlikely to trade Pence unless Jim Crane took over the team before the deadline -- which is unlikely -- and ordered such a deal. Add onto that the rumors that Ed Wade seems to be asking for way too much for Wandy Rodriguez, and you have to figure that he’d probably be asking too much for Pence too. Assuming that his current position -- sort of a lame duck GM, waiting for a new boss -- even inspires him to make a deal.

So this is fun from a “hmm, what could help Pittsburgh continue to contend” perspective, but I’d be rather shocked to see anything real come of this.