Many would think that 17 years of losing would be too much for a team and they would find a way to correct things. Well this is the Pirates of Pittsburgh, and for some reason since 1992 this is just what they do.
Oddly enough I am actually going to defend this Fire Sale. The past 2 seasons the Pirates have dealt 3 all star outfielders, a former Batting Champ Second Baseman, a stellar short stop, their top 2 pitching prospects from 3 years ago, their top closer-set up man, and a productive first baseman that has 30 home run potential. Its an amazing demolish job and when you think of the names Bay, Nady, McClouth, Wilson Sanchez, LaRoche, Snell, Gorzelanny, Grabow, Marte, Hinske, and Nyjer Morgan, you would assume that those names could have somehow pulled out a winning season if they played together, but unfortunately the young pitching forgot how to pitch. Ian Snell and Tom Gorzelanny in 2006 and 2007 looked on the cusp of greatness, and with Malhom and Zack Duke on the way up that would be 4 quality starters, but that never materialized. The young outfield of Bay, Nady, and Morgan didn’t happen; instead McClouth became better than Morgan, and then Nady and Bay were dealt.
The ship has had no direction, but now it seems they have an idea; they have a plan. Pedro Alvarez, started that plan and now they have to make room for the young kids the next Bonillas, Van Slykes, Drabeks, Smileys, and dare we say Bonds. The cupboard is now full: 18 prospects so far this trade season including Lastings Milledge, Jeff Clement, Gorkys Hernandez, Kevin Hart, and Tim Alderson. Those are top prospects from others system, and last season they added Andy LaRoche, Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, and Craig Hansen.
I am not a Pirates fan, and I know they have done this before; from Jay Bell and Jeff King, to Denny Nagle and Jason Kendall, to Jason Schmidt and Aramis Ramirez; for 17 seasons since I was in elementary school the Pirates have groomed talent and traded talent. So why is this different? I promise you it feels different and it looks different. Not since the Marlins of 1997 have I witnessed a team trade so many starters during the season in an effort to rebuild so quickly. Pirates Fans be patient you won’t go 20 years without a winning season.