John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus reported that Jason Kubel is the top player that the Pirates are looking to acquire at the trade deadline. There are other players that the Pirates are looking at before Sunday but Kubel sits as the number one player on their board.
Now with Hunter Pence and Carlos Beltran having been moved, the amount of available outfielders has become smaller. This could leave some teams in a desperate situation over the weekend as they look for the one player that can help them to a division title.
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com also mentioned that the Pirates have been looking to add Kubel to their outfield in the next couple days. Stark also notes that the Twins are reluctant to trade any players unless it is making the club better for the current season. The AL Central is still in reach for the team and trading Kubel could set back the mood in the clubhouse.
Stark also talked to Twins GM Bill Smith and he told him that the Twins are:
"trying to make our club better, we still think we're very much in contention, and we're excited to see where we go in the next two months."This seems like the right thing for the GM to say while his team is still negotiating trades on multiple fronts. It is a very vague statement that does not really give any insight into what the team is thinking or doing at this point in the trade deadline process.
When Span returns, the Twins will have an outfielder to spare on the MLB roster. It will be interesting to see if all of the outfielders survive the trade deadline weekend and wake up as Minnesota Twins on Monday.
UPDATE: MLB.com is also reporting that the Pirates are seriously interested in Kubel. It still remains to be seen if he is available at the trade deadline.