The Pittsburgh Pirates will have plenty of work to do this offseason. One of those will be to fix the current state of their minor league system.
No matter who the Pittsburgh Pirates team president, general manager, manager, or other front office personnel are, one thing will always remain the same, they are a small market team. In baseball, the small market teams need to find ways to compete with the big market teams.
For instance, this offseason there are two elite starting pitchers available by the names of Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg. A team like the Bucs cannot, and will not, be able to sign either of those pitchers. All jokes aside about Gerrit Cole, this is the way of the current MLB; big market teams can continue to sign the “elite” free agents while smaller market teams continue to look for new ways to gain an edge.
One thing that will always remain certain for small market teams is that they have to build through their own minor league system. Having a strong farm system is an important key in building a successful team. During the Bucs playoff run from 2013-2015 they had one of the top five farm systems in baseball. However, they have seen their farm grow thinner and thinner between promotions, trades, and just players not panning out. While the team looks to build a contender for the coming season, they also need to spend some time to improve the minors.