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Surging Pirates come up empty at trade deadline

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 31, 2014 at 5:42 pm •  Published: July 31, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Pirates will receive some welcome additions to their roster in the coming days.

The faces, however, will be familiar.

The Pirates failed to add a big name at Thursday's trading deadline, though general manager Neal Huntington remains bullish with his team in the thick of the race in the NL Central.

"We wanted to add to this club," Huntington said. "We looked at various points to add to this club ... but in the final decision process we felt that our best move was to stay as we were at this point."

Huntington pointed to the impending returns of outfielder Starling Marte from a concussion and budding ace Gerrit Cole from a back injury as reasons to be optimistic as the Pirates try to emerge from a crowded three-team division race with Milwaukee and St. Louis.

While the Cardinals upgraded their depleted starting rotation by acquiring Justin Masterson from Cleveland and John Lackey from Boston and the Brewers brought in outfielder Gerardo Parra from Arizona, Pittsburgh's attempts to make a splash fell flat.

"We felt like we were close a couple of times but obviously at the end of the day weren't able to push it across the line," Huntington said.

The Pirates have one of baseball's top-ranked farm systems but little to offer in terms of major league-ready talent. That made it tough going on a day the Cardinals sent outfielder Allen Craig and right-handed starter Joe Kelly to the Red Sox while the Oakland A's gave up slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to Boston in exchange for Jon Lester.

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