The Pirates have been an easy target for my derision lately, and that of MLB in general since ’92 — their last winning season. They haven’t even won 80 games in that 17 year span and they seem to be content with their bottom-dwelling status as the farm team for everyone else. Their GM Neal Huntington is treating his roster almost as if it’s a joke, taking the phrase “trigger-happy” to a whole new level.
In just over a year, the Pirates have traded away Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, Nate McClouth, Freddy Sanchez, and Jack Wilson. That’s a semi-decent team right there. Look, I understand the financial constraints in the game as well as anyone and how hard it is for teams to compete on an annual basis unless you have the pockets to sign All-Stars each off-season. Thing is, that doesn’t mean the team’s GM has to go overboard in trading away every single halfway decent player with talent like they have swine flu.
I understand if you acknowledge that you won’t be competing in the near future and that you’re trying to get value in the meantime. I understand if you feel you want to start from scratch and get rid of all bad contracts. Here’s my problem: I’m still waiting to see what they got back for All-Star Jason Bay so you better make it worthwhile if you’re going to trade a player. Secondly, you have to keep at least one good player with experience otherwise you’re running a Triple-A team out there and that’s when this happens.
So while Huntington’s treating his team like a farm club, might as well jump in and get in on all the action. I hear they have good bullpen catchers to warm up your pitchers.