Pittsburgh Pirates Show Commitment To Winning By Winning The Trade Deadline
The Pittsburgh Pirates were the winners of Major Leauge Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline on Tuesday
When the 2018 season began many fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates were upset with the team’s front office. This was due to the Bucs trading away franchise cornerstones Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole in the offseason.
Despite these unpopular moves, the team entered the non-waiver trade deadline day with a 55-52 record and just 3.5 games out of the second National League Wild Card spot. With the team in contention Pirate general manager Neal Huntington tackled the trade deadline in a way that many fans never thought he would. Huntington did not just add to the roster at the deadline, but he won the trade deadline.
No team made a bigger splash at the trade deadline than the Pirates did. To the credit of the front office, they rewarded the team for having entered the deadline winners in 15 of their previous 19 games by aggressively adding to the roster.
In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, the Pirates traded left-handed pitching prospect Taylor Hearn and a player to be named later to the Texas Rangers for reliever Keone Kela. Kela is under team control through 2020 and will help to give the Pirates arguably the best bullpen in the National League the next few seasons.
The big fish came on Tuesday afternoon. Less than an hour before the 4 p.m. deadline, the Pirates finalized a deal with the Tampa Bay Rays to add starting pitcher Chris Archer. Archer gives the Pirates a legitimate front of the rotation starting pitcher that the team needed to pair with Jameson Taillon.
Archer is controlled through the 2021 season and will help to anchor the Pirate rotation for the next three seasons.
With the hefty price the Pirates paid to nab Archer, there is no denying the team’s commitment to winning. The front office has undeniably shown their commitment to winning and now it is time for the fans to show commitment to this team.
Both moves were also well received in the Pirate clubhouse. Right now, team morale is at an all time high and this can not be overlooked. A team with high clubhouse morale is one that will go to war for their teammates each and every night. Teams like this can be extremely difficult to beat.
I have been as critical as anyone of the front office in recent years, but after Tuesday my doubts have been silenced. Not only did the Bucs win the trade deadline, they did it without moving top prospects such as Mitch Keller, Shane Baz, or Ke’Bryan Hayes, making what Neal Huntington did even more impressive.
The Pirates are a young, fun, exciting, and good team. This team’s front office just showed a great commitment to the 2018 team, as well as the 2019 and 2020 teams by being aggressive at the trade deadline. After years of fans begging this front office to be aggressive and show commitment to the now, they did just that on Tuesday.
Now it is time for Pirate fans that are still upset over the offseason to come out and support this team. The Bucs are in the playoff hunt and these players deserve to play in front of a packed PNC Park. Show the same commitment that the front office just did, Pirate fans.