The trade market is often a sellers' one early simply because teams don't feel the need to deal players at a minimal or average return. As the 4 p.m. ET July 31 Deadline gets closer, though, teams often come down on those demands when it becomes obvious that they are not going to be met.
The Pirates hoped that the market would take such a turn recently and though it still might, Huntington has found no loosening in asking prices.
"Oh, they're getting worse," Huntington said. "I don't know if it was the three-game losing streak, or Alex Presley's injury or what, but they are trying to exploit our situation. If I were in other teams' shoes, I would try to leverage the situation as much as possible, too."
The Pirates continue to eye a right-handed hitter that could slot into a corner infield or outfield spot, as well as some help for the bullpen. But the club does not intend to buy at any cost, and that is what could ultimately limit the Pirates' activity through Sunday. If nothing else, it could at least keep the Pirates from acquiring one of the top tier of players known to be available.
While giving up prospects is not out of the question, Huntington will not dip too deep into the farm system to acquire a player for two months, since doing so could handcuff the Pirates in their long-term plan. On the other hand, Huntington knows that this 2011 club could be a few pieces away from making a serious run at the postseason, and he wants to aid that pursuit if it's at a reasonable price.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.