Monday, January 10, 2011

The Pirates just treaded water this offseason

Three and a half months ago, I wrote about how I felt this offseason was an Inflection Point for the Pirates and their front office. The crux of the post was that the Pirates had a talent deficiency at the major league level and could infuse additional talent by trading for it my teams in financial straits this offseason.

Aside from adding a reliever or two, I would say that this offseason's shopping trip is done. Neal Huntington added Matt Diaz, Lyle Overbay, Kevin Correia, and Scott Olsen on major league deals, plus selected Josh Rodriguez in the Rule 5 draft as a possible utility middle infielder.

Considering that Diaz, Overbay, and Correia may be replacing Milledge, Clement, and Duke, respectively, that is an improvement. But it is simply an improvement from "stop my eyes are bleeding" to "my stomach doesn't feel too good". There are some folks that think it's the same old, same old method of doing business for the Pirates by offering these veteran stopgaps decent money while potentially blocking younger guys from seeing what they can do. Well, last year we saw what some of these players can do and it was painful to watch. There are no players blocking any of these three guys (I'm not admitting to myself that Olsen will be on this team, yet) -- Steve Pearce can't stay healthy, John Bowker is a Quad A player, and Correia should at least stabilize the rotation and not force McCutchen/Karstens/Morton to fail so spectacularly. Besides, none of those guys are "young" per se, anymore.

It would have been nice to get Jorge de la Rosa, even though I'm not a huge, huge fan. I would have loved to have traded for Matt Garza, as that was exactly the type of trade I proposed for his team mate James Shields (and others) a few months ago.

But instead, I can only hope that the Pirates will be mediocre in 2011 (an improvement from god-awful) and some of our pitching prospects come up at mid-year. There's always next offseason....

1 comment:

  1. I'd say it's more likely that the Pirates will, once again, suck balls.

    I think 2012 is the "mediocrity" year, with 2013 potentially allowing them to challenge for a shot at the division, since the Central is so weak.

    In a 'best case scenario' 2011 is probably the "1986" of the early 90's teams run of division titles.

    In 1985 the Pirates had "bottomed out" as a pretty lousy 100+ loss team, in '86 they flirted with 100 losses again, but had a few young players come on board that would ultimately be large contributors getting their feet wet and taking their lumps.

    1987 was the "mediocre" year of near .500 baseball that started to make it look like MAYBE they were on to something. '88 they challenged for the division, as several of their players began to truly blossom into the stars they'd become.

    Of course, '89 was a step back before the 3 year run on the division. So, the hope would be that with another good, solid draft in '11, and another potential high pick in '12 since the 2011 squad looks pretty lousy at present, that by 2013 there's a strong nucleus at the ML level that can then be supplemented with a REAL free agent or two(or a trade for a REAL player or two, not prospects) and there should still be some prospects in the pipeline to boot. That could, perhaps, give them a 3-5 year window....which is probably the best a small market team can ever hope for in today's baseball economy.

    Guess we'll see. No idea why I even still care that much, to tell you the truth. Pretty sure Nutting's never going to spend on REAL free agents, so that would probably kill any chance of anything. Not saying I expect them to go sign someone to a ridiculous Werth-ian deal, but at some point they are going to need to fill a couple holes with real, live contributors and not "Lyly Overbay and Kevin Correia."