PITTSBURGH -- With a week to go until the July 31 Trade Deadline, asking prices are still high, general manager Neal Huntington said.
"We're absolutely motivated to help this club," Huntington said. "We're just not motivated to do something stupid or foolish. This club deserves something to help them, but at this point the acquisition costs are just so high that it's been a challenge. Will that change in the next week? Probably."
Among other things, Huntington said that the Pirates' unique position gives other teams extra bargaining power, as the Bucs look to stay successful through the rest of the season.
"I think the fact that we're in a pennant race, that we're on pace to break an 18-year streak, that the fans are coming out in droves; if I were in [other clubs'] shoes, I'd be looking to leverage that as much as I could," he said.
In trying to acquire players, especially on offense, barriers so far have included no-trade clauses, teams' unwillingness to trade players and the inability to come to agreements on the value of a trade.
The Pirates have outscored their opponents 378-375 this season, but have rarely scored by way of home run. In contrast, St. Louis won both Friday and Saturday's games with home runs.
"This series is a punch in the gut with a lack of power," Huntington said. "It shows you the value of power. If you don't have it, you don't have it. And that's where you construct a lineup that allows you to create some runs, whether it's scoring from first on balls we're not supposed to score on, putting pressure on the defense, advancing bases. We've got to be creative on how we score runs and we can't just magically create power.
"Would you love power in the middle of your lineup? Absolutely. We might have the best power bat available to us in Pedro [Alvarez], as soon as we can get him right and get him up here. Outside of that, the acquisition cost for power, because there aren't many good bats on the market, is prohibitive at this time."