8/1/2013 1:18 A.M. ET
Pirates stand pat through non-waiver Trade Deadline
By Tom Singer and Steven Petrella / MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- For the first time in 14 years, including the six-year tenure of general manager Neal Huntington, the Pirates were inactive through the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The inertia has less to do with the Bucs' lofty current standing than with other teams' refusal to entertain Huntington's willingness to "do something stupid."
"No question, we forced the issue," Huntington said soon after the Deadline had passed. "I made offers that made me incredibly uncomfortable. But I did so with the idea of wanting to help this club.
"I was willing to do something stupid -- but not insane."
Huntington acknowledged focusing his energies on acquiring offense, but in a market he termed "very shallow."
It was a generally weak market for the Pirates' biggest need -- a right-handed-hitting outfielder. Precisely because of that, the cost of players who were available spiraled out of a sensible range, with such veterans as David DeJesus, Marlon Byrd and Mike Morse priced prohibitively. The Pirates were not willing to give up anything for Alex Rios, offering the White Sox only the opportunity of salary relief for an outfielder who has $17.5 million remaining on his contract.
"We looked exhaustively for ways to try to help this club," Huntington said. "At the same time, we believe in this club. We've had a great next-man-up approach."
Huntington was referring to overcoming injuries by recalling players from the club's deep Minor League system.
Deals between Major League clubs can continue to be consummated, but now only after the player(s) in question pass through waivers. Huntington confirmed that as a possible venue for acquisitions -- players with hefty contracts, such as Rios, are certain to pass through waivers. But waiver calls are made in reverse order of clubs' won-loss records, and right now the Bucs' turn would come last.
"After more games are played, more teams may feel like they're out of it," said Huntington, citing the scenario in which players are likely to be put on waivers, "so we'll certainly continue to be active, But our challenge is, we want to be sitting in the back of the pack."
McKenry out for season after left knee surgery
PITTSBURGH -- Catcher Michael McKenry will miss the rest of the season after tearing the lateral meniscus in his left knee. He underwent surgery in Los Angeles on Tuesday and hopes to be ready for Spring Training in 2014.
McKenry, 28, injured the knee sliding into second base on Saturday against the Marlins, though he stayed in the game because Russell Martin had tweaked his knee the previous night.
"The team needed me, and I needed to stay in there," McKenry, who went 4-for-5 in the win, said on Monday. "It hurt, it really hurt. I'm not going to lie to you. It could have caused some extra problems, but it doesn't matter. Russ' knee was barking, and I had to take one for the team. Like I told my wife when she asked the same thing, 'I wouldn't take it back for a heartbeat.'"
Tony Sanchez, who caught his first Major League game on Tuesday, will likely back up Martin for the rest of the year. The fourth overall pick in the 2009 Draft, Sanchez has two hits in 11 at-bats this season.
Prior to that four-hit game on Saturday, McKenry was just 6-for-47 since June 1. But in his last four games, he went 7-for-14 with four RBIs. He had a .217/.262/.348 line in 41 games this season.
General manager Neil Huntington said that the club has enough time to explore the market for available catchers and will continue to look for Minor League options to provide depth behind the plate.
"We're very comfortable with Tony Sanchez up here. We did look to see if there was a guy that would provide us with some emergency insurance," Huntington said. "We'll continue to explore that market; there's some guys in Triple-A that have some Major League ability, so we'll continue to look for some small trade. You can make deals for players who are not on Major League rosters. So we'll continue to look for external options to upgrade our depth, for sure."
Pirates acquire Andino in Minors deal
PITTSBURGH -- In a Minor League deal, the Pirates have acquired utility man Robert Andino from the Mariners for a player to be named or cash considerations. He will be assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Andino, 29, started the season with Seattle and hit .184/.253/.237 in 29 games (76 at-bats), and was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma in late May.
Andino made his Major League debut in 2005 with the Marlins and spent 79 games with the club over four seasons. He then spent four years in Baltimore, seeing everyday time in 2011 and 2012.
He batted .229/.281/.333 in 44 games with Tacoma.
First number, last word
14: After their 6-0 blanking of the Cardinals on Tuesday night, the Pirates have 14 shutouts for the year, tied with the Indians for the most in baseball. The last time they had more than 14 was in 1992, when they made their last playoff appearance.
"All I've ever asked for on my birthday the last couple years is another birthday. So far so good. I can't remember the last time I spent a complete day at the ballpark and my team won two games. So, yeah. Fun." -- manager Clint Hurdle on his 56th birthday, which was Tuesday
• Travis Snider, who was placed on a disabled list on Sunday with discomfort in his left big toe, is now wearing a boot on his left foot. He has been dealing with a turf toe-like injury since 2012.
• Right-hander Brandon Cumpton headed back to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday afternoon. Cumpton made a spot start on Tuesday as the 26th man on the roster in Game 2 of the doubleheader against the Cardinals. He threw seven shutout innings and allowed just three hits.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.