Pittsburgh Pirates: 2017 Outlook on Competing So Far

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

One More Significant Move

If the Bucs acquire Quintana, then their rotation immediately looks to be one the best in the majors.  Of course this is based on Cole, Taillon, Quintana, and Nova performing to expectations.  Does making a significant move to improve their roster suggest they are not serious about competing in 2017?  Even them attempting to acquire him suggests that they are.

Quintana suggests they will add another arm!

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Chances are if they are unable to acquire Quintana, they will look to acquire another arm else where.  A team looking to compete would not be aggressively trying to solidify their rotation if they were not trying to win.  In doing so, they will likely add another starter one way or another.  The Bucs have several young, average projected arms they could go with instead like Steven Brault and Trevor Williams.  However, this does not seem to be the case as they are searching for a more proven arm with higher upside in Quintana.  If they are unable to strike a deal for him, they could fall back to the Rays for a pitcher like Alex Cobb or Jake Odorizzi.

For all the questions surround if the Pittsburgh Pirates were looking to rebuild, it does not seem to be the case.  The Bucs started the off-season off slowly, as they may not have been sure how to approach 2017.  With strong inquiries on Andrew McCutchen they may have been thinking to themselves that they would need to take another bridge year.  However, after missing out with the Nats it became clear to the organization that they most likely would be retaining him for 2017.  With that, the organization seems to be understanding that it might be worth taking one more shot at the playoffs in the Andrew McCutchen era.

Next: Pirates resign Nova, Now What?

In Conclusion

From the get go, it seemed simple.  If you trade McCutchen, you look to gather pieces for the 2018 season.  The team would be trading arguably their best hitter and it would seem logical to punt on 2017.  However, if there were going retain him then they need to make some significant moves.  It appears that the Bucs are trying to put a better product on the field in 2017.  They have made a few moves that sets them up to be more competitive this year than last. Hopefully they make that one more significant move to put them back in as legitimate contenders.