Pirates Can't Catch A Break
May 7, 2012 in Major League Baseball
The Pittsburgh Pirates have done exactly what you are supposed to do to rebuild a struggling franchise these last few years, but still have little to show for it. The Pirates have made shrewd trades each year, not overpaid or have given up draft picks in free agency, and have invested heavily in both the draft and international markets, but still seem to be years away from being a contender.
The Pirates biggest issue is that they have been unlucky. While they've followed the general blueprint for success, they haven't gotten the impact guys they need. On a number of deals that they have made, they only received a poor-to-moderate return. And a number of draft picks that they've opened up their check book for have either moved slower or haven't been as productive as they hoped. Combine those factors with the barren talent system and that’s how the Pirates have gotten into the mess they are in.
The good news for the Pirates is that the future could be getting brighter. They have a legitimate star in center fielder Andrew McCutchen and former top draft pick Pedro Alvarez finally seems to be paying off. In addition Pittsburgh has a pretty good pitcher in James McDonald, and a cheap young quality arm in Charlie Morton. The Pirates also potentially have two valuable trade chips in SP Erik Bedard and RP Joel Hanrahan. Bedard in particular could bring back a nice haul despite his 2-4 W/L record. He's averaging nearly 10K's per 9 innings pitched and has kept the ball in the ball park (just 1 HR allowed in 6 starts).
The Pirates do have a decent crop of prospects coming up in the next couple of years with SP's Gerrit Cole and Jameson Tallion and OF's Starling Marte and Josh Bell. Although that is a decent start, Pittsburgh will need to hit on some of these potential trades and have a few other guys pan out, if they hope to see their luck change.