Okay, you read the headline, you probably said to yourself this guy is crazy and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But, just for a second think of what singing Bryce Harper would do for the Pirates.
It could mean a NL Central title, a National League title, hell, it could even mean bringing home a World Series title to the City of Pittsburgh for the first time since 1979.
Just imagine what type of yinzer shenanigans would take place if the Pirates shocked the world and won a World Series in the next two or three years.
Bryce Harper could make that a serious possibility.
But for the Pirates to even consider that, it would require the front office to change a mindset that has left this team in mediocre standing for so long.
With the talent they have on the roster, the Pittsburgh Pirates need a spend-big, win-now mentality.
Ever since the Pirates snapped their playoff drought back in 2013, the fan base has been revitalized and the city has been buzzing in hopes of bringing the Commissioner’s Trophy back to the City of Steel.
In order to accomplish that storied feat though, a team needs to be filled with talent from top to bottom and as many of you already know, the Pirates organization have never been willing to go out and spend the big bucks in order to make it happen.
From 2013 to 2015, the Buccos made the playoffs three years in a row but could only get as far as the National League Division Series.
Whether it was the pitching staff not performing at a high-level or the line-up not producing in clutch situations, the Pirates came up short. They just never had that extra bat in the line-up that could produce in the big moments.
Yea, they had Andrew McCutcheon, who was spectacular in Pittsburgh until his final season. But since reinserting themselves into the playoff conversation, the Pirates haven’t had a talent like Bryce Harper in their line-up.
And if they really wanted to have him, I think they could go out and get him.
Let me hit you with a little bit of reality, I’m not delusional, I know the Pirates probably won’t go out and spend close to $300 million dollars on a guy that would instantly turn them into World Series contenders.
I mean the last time they signed a player to a contract worth more than $30 million dollars, they reworked Francisco Liriano’s 2 year/$7 million contract from 2013, to one worth $39 million over a year later. They also signed Russell Martin to a 2 year, $17 million contract in 2012 and according to spotrac.com, those have been their two biggest signings of the past decade.
So, the possibility of the Pirates attempting to go out and sign Bryce Harper to a contract that’s worth around $30 million a year over at least 6 to 7 years is highly unlikely. But a talent like Harper doesn’t come around often and adding him to the current roster is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
I know at this point you’re probably thinking how would they even make this work, so here you go. According to Spotrac, Pittsburgh had the 4th lowest payroll in 2018 at just over $91 million and they currently have the second-lowest payroll in MLB at around $59 million.
They still have a number of pre-arbitration players to sign for the upcoming season and have yet to make any big splashes this offseason because just like everyone else, they are probably waiting to see where Harper lands.
But this takes me back to my original point, the Pirates need to open their checkbook and change their mindset from spend little and win later to spend-big and win-now. They have a line-up sprinkled with young talent like Gregory Polanco, Josh Bell, Kevin Kramer and Kevin Newman. They have a pitching staff that had the 4th best era in all of baseball after the All-Star break last year and also have one of the best bullpens in the game.
They just need the big bat in the middle of the line-up that can produce runs when it matters most and all they have to do is open their check book and give the City of Pittsburgh what they deserve.
Bryce Harper and a World Series Championship.