By Lynn Saternow
Herald Sports Editor
WHAT TO DO? What to do? That’s the question facing both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians as the trading deadline nears.
Both teams could use some help if they want to make a playoff run. However, most teams aren’t going to give up top talent without a lot in return. So do you trade a pitcher to get a good hitter? Or do you trade one of your top young stars to get a pitcher?
To determine the right answers is one of the reasons that team general managers receive high pay. It’s also the reason they are often fired. When you make the wrong moves, it pretty much kills your career.
The starting pitching for both the Indians and Pirates has been pretty solid. But you know what they say. Get all the good pitching you can and then when you think you have enough pitching, get more pitching!
The Bucs suffered a blow when closer Jason Grilli suffered an arm injury and may be out for the season, although the team hopes he can return at some point. Still, to lose a strong closer for any length of time is a serious problem for a team.
Meanwhile, the Indians bullpen has been pathetic. They have let several games slip away that the team should have won. So to pick up more pitching would be a top priority, I would think.
Seven-time All-Star Alfonso Soriano would have been a good fit for either team, but only the Yankees have the kind of money it takes to sign players like him, so naturally he’s back with the Bronx Bombers.
And the problem facing both the Pirates and Indians is: Do you sacrifice the future and trade away some youngsters with great potential for a one-year fix and a playoff run?
Whether Pittsburgh and Cleveland will make some moves quickly is yet to be seen. But it’s always fun to speculate. If they don’t make moves and don’t make the playoffs, then once again we fans will be a bit disgusted.
ä It’s actually fun to still be talking about baseball as the Steelers and Browns open training camp. Usually by now the Pirates and Indians are so far out of it, all our attention turns to the NFL.
But the banter between rival fans is already under way. The Browns looked to be much improved so it should be a very interesting season ahead.
The team assembled a great coaching staff, so if owner Jimmy Haslam can escape his legal messes, there will be a lot of focus on the team.
Watch Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden to provide a dominating offense this year with better coaching guidance.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh failed to make the playoffs last year which is pretty much a real downer for Steelers fans. But I don’t think they did enough in the offseason to boost their chances of beating out either the Bengals and Ravens. In fact, the Browns could very well be better.
Only time will tell!