Sports Illustrated has started to dish out their Major League Baseball offseason grades, and they were not kind to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Entering the offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates had three major needs. The team needed a middle of the rotation starting pitcher, a back of the rotation starting pitcher, and an arm for the back end of the bullpen. Thus far this offseason, the Pirates have addressed two of these three needs.
The Pirates re-signed Ivan Nova to a three-year contract in December. This gave the team the middle of the rotation starting pitcher they needed. Also in December, they came to a two-year agreement with right-handed relief practice Daniel Hudson. Hudson addressed the team’s need for an arm for the back of the bullpen.
While the Pirates could still use another starting pitcher, at least one to bridge the gap until prospects Nick Kingham and Tyler Glasnow are ready, they have still addressed most of their needs this offseason. However, this is not good enough for Sports Illustrated. And due to this the magazine has rated the Pittsburgh Pirates’ offseason as a C-.
The biggest issue with Sports Illustrated’s rating is not that the Pirates have addressed most of their needs this offseason. Instead, it is that the offseason is not even over yet. Handing out ‘offseason grades’ is pretty silly to do before the offseason ends.
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Not only has the offseason not ended yet, hell, Spring Training has not even started yet! There are still two weeks until pitchers and catchers report to Bradenton. To be honest, Sports Illustrated sounds like an angry yinzer with their grade.
Sports Illustrated called the Pittsburgh Pirates’ offseason ‘directionless.’ Personally, I could not disagree more with this.
After the Winter Meetings ended and the Pirates did not trade Andrew McCutchen the direction in which Neal Huntington was trying to go became perfectly clear. It was after this that the Pirates added Nova and Hudson in moves designed to help them win now, as well as in the future.
Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated notes that after the Pirates re-signed Ivan Nova their offseason ‘essentially ended.’ Well, Stephanie, at this point the Pirates had addressed their two biggest needs. Also, in case you did not know, the offseason does not end until April 2nd.
As I said above, the offseason is not even over yet. Last year at this time David Freese was not yet a Pirate. So to say there is no chance the Pirates make another move or two is absolutely asinine. Hell, just yesterday it was reported that the Pirates are still trying to trade Antonio Bastardo. The Pirates also remain engaged in trade talks involving Tony Watson as well.
Many people in Pittsburgh will never pass up an opportunity to slam the Pirates. Even when things are going well and the team is winning, people still find things to slam them over. This offseason will undoubtedly fit this bill as well.
However, before you even attempt to judge the offseason, wait until it ends, eh? The Pirates to not travel to Boston for their season opener with the Red Sox for another two months. How about waiting to see what the roster looks like on April 3rd, not February 3rd, before condemning the team to hell.