Carrasco hopeful of chance to play for contender

Aware that the Pirates could dangle his name to teams looking for relief help before Saturday’s 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline, D.J. Carrasco said that he would welcome the chance to join a team making a push for the playoffs.

“Yeah, I’d like to have an opportunity to go and play in the postseason and play with a contender,” Carrasco said on Wednesday. “I’m not getting any younger. That window gets a little smaller as you get older. At the same time, hopefully it could help the Pirates build if they can get what they need from me.”

The market for quality relievers isn’t particularly strong right now, which could bode well for the Pirates considering that they would be selling from an area of strength. Though Octavio Dotel is speculated to be the most likely to go before the deadline, Carrasco’s versatility could certainly be an asset to a team looking to fill a bullpen hole.

In 54 2/3 innings this season, Carrasco has posted a 3.95 ERA, struck out 44 and walked 22. Fourteen of his 44 appearances have been over an inning in length, as he has been used as the Pirates’ primary long reliever. Carrasco has maintained, too, that he’d welcome the chance to start again, though it’s unlikely that a team would acquire him solely for that purpose.

Carrasco comes at an affordable price – a $950,000 salary for 2010 plus up to another $300,000 in incentives – though it’s unknown what type of return the Pirates are seeking from clubs inquiring about the right-hander.

Jenifer Langosch

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