So it was no surprise when veteran outfielder Ben Gamel feigned ignorance late Thursday night, following a three-game streak sweep by the Milwaukee Brewers that Friday’s trade deadline at 4 p.m. was near.
“Is tomorrow the deadline?” Gamel said with a smile. “I try to stay out of it all. I hope whoever is at this clubhouse (Friday night) we’ll be rolling with, so that’s all I can say about it.
The Pirates were expected to be so busy making deals this week that General Manager Ben Cherington once again settled down for baseball operations staff in the Left Field Lounge, which served as headquarters in the weeks leading up to the MLB Draft.
Cherington previously traded Adam Frazier to the San Diego Padres on Sunday and Clay Holmes to the New York Yankees on Monday. Lefty Tyler Anderson was struck out ahead of Tuesday’s start when it emerged the Pirates had made a deal to send him to the Philadelphia Phillies. When that deal fell through, Anderson initiated a paddock session and remained in the dugout during the match. Around midnight it was shipped to Seattle.
It’s no wonder, then, that when AT&T SportsNet showed Cherington on the phone in the fourth inning of their 12-0 loss to the Brewers on the eve of the deadline, speculation swirled that another deal was on the verge of death. to be concluded.
“Just one of those things that you have no control over,” said Pirates starter Chad Kuhl. “My job was to pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers tonight. That’s all I was focusing on.
The Pirates are set to keep rookie third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes and All-Star center fielder Bryan Reynolds, but Cherington has indicated that anyone is available if the return is good. While successful deals were made in the majors on Thursday, Kuhl and relievers David Bednar, Richard Rodriguez and Chris Stratton were reportedly commercial candidates.
” I did not hear anything. It’s really not for me to know, ”said Kuhl. “If that happens, Ben or Shelty will let me know, and we’ll go from there.” “
This has left Pirates players and their families wondering who will be the next to go. The tension reached Stratton’s wife, Martha Kate Stratton, who tweeted he was ‘about to give me a heart attack’ when he called out ’48 hours before the trade deadline’ – to remind him to keep their children hydrated amid the warnings. with a high heat index.
48 hours before the trade deadline and my husband calls me from the field to remind me to drink water and keep the kids hydrated as he saw the heat index was high. Forget the heat stroke, he’s about to give me a heart attack.
– Martha Kate Stratton (@mk_stratton) July 28, 2021
That Cherington was off the phone after Stratton replaced Kuhl and allowed four runs on four hits and a 1 1/3 inning walk, Twitter wondered if the exit had killed its market value.
The rumor continued when Rodriguez warmed up to pitch the ninth inning, but Pirates manager Derek Shelton placed a positional player, first baseman John Nogowski, on the mound instead.
Shelton subsequently said he was concerned rust was a factor, given the difficulties Stratton and Austin Davis faced after four-day layoffs. Also, the Pirates were down by nine points, so it wasn’t a save situation.
Shelton admitted he was anxiously awaiting the “finality” of the commercial season, even calling it a “big word to me”.
“You get some finality to that, and I think once we’re done, some kind of regrouping is important,” Shelton said. “Because the trade deadline is tough for any team, and I think throughout baseball there’s a lot going on. But I think it will be good to have a certain purpose and to know who will be in our club for the next 60 games.
It was Kuhl’s goal in the post-game, that there will be an opportunity for the young system players in the final two months of the season. The Pirates faced a hot team, as the Brewers won seven of their last 10 games to build up a seven-game cushion against the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central Division race.
“I don’t really think it correlates, but it gives the opportunity for a lot of young guys to come forward and have an opportunity at the big league level,” said Kuhl. “Like a lot of things in baseball, it’s out of your control. You can joke about it or like we all handle it. But enjoy the time with the people in this room while you have these guys in the room.
p style = »font-style: italic; »> Kevin Gorman is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Kevin by email at [email protected] ou via Twitter .