Pirates reportedly interested in acquiring Butler

Baseball’s trade deadline is less than two weeks away, and there appears to be no shortage of buyers at this point.

That includes the Pittsburgh Pirates, who are in the thick of the race in the National League Central. Pittsburgh, which hasn’t finished with a winning record since 1992, apparently has asked about Royals designated hitter Billy Butler.

John Perrotto of InsidePittsburghSports.com reported that Pirates general manager Neal Huntington offered Class AAA left-hander Justin Wilson for Butler.Wilson is in his second season at Class AAA Indianapolis where he is 7-4 with a 4.25 ERA.

That seems like a weak offer for Butler, who is batting .297 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs. The Pirates' current first baseman is Casey McGehee, who is batting .248 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs.

Perrotto reported that other general managers have been put off by the Pirates’ low-ball offers (they also inquired about Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino).

How serious are the Pirates about landing Butler? We’ll find out in the next two weeks.

| Pete Grathoff, pgrathoff@kcstar.com