In 2018, the Pirates traded pitcher Gerrit Cole to Houston for four players. The best of those turned out to be pitcher Joe Musgrove.
Yesterday, the Pirates traded Musgrove to San Diego for five players.
That’s the circle. That’s what the Pirates do.Someday, if the prospects acquired from San Diego develop into legit big-leagues, they get traded for more prospects.
To be fair, the Pirates were going to stink in 2021 with or without Musgrove. One of those acquired is named Head, which opens up all kinds of possibilities for headline writers. To quote Al Snow, “What does everybody want? What does everybody need?”
Pirates media stooges say that new GM Ben Cherington should be given a fair chance.
But Cherington doesn’t have a fair chance. He’s saddled with the same budgetary restrictions and same financial aims his predecessor dealt with. Nothing changes until the owner wants it to change, and Bob Nutting’s intent has long been crystal clear.
The Pirates dangle the carrot of a future that never arrives. If that future does arrive, it will ultimately be broken up in the name of thrift.
The 2015 team that won 98 games didn’t disintegrate organically. It was dismantled to keep costs down and profits up.
The future is abstract.
Here’s the Pirates’ reality:
*They haven’t won a playoff series since 1979.
*They haven’t won the division since 1992.
*They had MLB’s worst record in 2020.
*They will lose a hundred games in 2021.
That’s what’s real. That’s what tangible. Trusting in anything better makes you a fool. All you have to show for four decades is Cueto dropping the ball.
Images via Getty Images