Last week I wrote about how to be hopeful and get ready for the deadline. Whether it was buying, selling or standing pat, there were definitive options. Since then, the Pirates have been absolute bums. Outside of Starling Marte, who for some reason is getting criticized by every Pittsburgh media member despite his incredible play, they’ve been a complete disappointment from the top of ownership plus management to the coaching and players. A perfect example is Clint Hurdle. This man had a questionable sac bunt call in the Phillies rubber match on Sunday during extra innings. The very next night in the series opener vs the Cards, he made the EXACT same questionable call to bunt in extras. Both plays failed miserably and resulted in losses. Doing the same thing and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. That’s been the identity of this franchise for far too long now.
Which brings me to my point: it’s time to tear it down and start the fire sale. This team has lost 10 out of their last 12 coming out of the break and clearly are done. Jameson Taillon is on the verge of another Tommy John surgery pending a doctor visit next week. Gregory Polanco was shut down from throwing for an additional 7-10 days due to his shoulder injury (good job rushing him back there Bucco brass), and based off of what Clint said regarding handling tough losses there really is no reason to continue with this 2019 team and era for that matter. They aren’t ready to compete in 2020 so selling is the move.
The market is very weird right now because there aren’t that many definitive sellers. If you’re the Pirates you should take advantage and do it quickly. I’d sell anyone not named Kevin Newman, Josh Bell and Bryan Reynolds. This includes Felipe Vasquez and Starling Marte where their values are through the roof. Both of these guys have team control for multiple years at affordable prices so the price tag would be very high. Vasquez has been tied to the Dodgers and the Braves. Both teams have very deep farm systems so replenishing the well would be easy. If Marte was made available, I’m almost certain he’d net a huge return as well. He’s still a very good defender and is swinging a very hot bat. The OF trade market is very thin so it’d be wise if Neal took fielded some calls. Unloading expiring contracts like Dickerson, Melky, and Liriano are a must as well. Who knows what Jordan Lyles will bring back but honestly who cares.
This team has been stuck in no mans land since 2016. They started to strip it down with trades like Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole. While Cutch did land Reynolds, the Cole trade has been somewhat disappointing in comparison. The Archer trade at the 2018 MLB deadline was a disaster albeit I’m glad they had the balls to finally pull the trigger and go all in on a big name. The Rays took advantage of the Pirates last year and netted a great return, it is now time for the Pirates to do the same and commit to a rebuild