The Pittsburgh Pirates have been a team of the past couple years who always look promising but can never pull it off in the playoffs. A couple of teams that come to mind in other sports could be the Washington Capitals, or the Toronto Raptors. The Pirates have been pushing for that next level but can not seem to get over the hump. After months of talk, they finally pulled the cord and began the rebuilding process. The teams ace, Gerrit Cole, who is 59-42 on his career with 734 strikeouts, was shipped to the Houston Astros. The Pirates got back in exchange two up-and-coming studs. Third baseman Colin Moran who has potential to start at third but was stuck behind Alex Bregman. Also, Joe Musgrave who got some World Series action and was aiming to make the Astros rotation this coming season. Those two prospects are pointing the Pirates in the right direction of the rebuild. As for the Astros, they now have pitchers among the likes of Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Cole, Lance McCullers Jr., Justin Verlander, Charlie Morton and Brad Peacock. These pitchers go along with the strong core of fielders that include Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer. This is a trade that will be beneficial for both teams in the long run. Cole, who is 27 years old, is coming off of a 12-12 season with a 4.26 ERA with a not very good Pirates team. He is only signed through one year for $6.7 million.
Andrew McCutchen has been Pittsburgh’s hero for the past decade. He has given them great memories, whether they be good or bad he has meant the world to that city. After months of talk, he is finally on his way out. McCutchen was traded Monday morning for relieving pitcher Kyle Crick of the San Francisco Giants. McCutchen is coming off of a year where he batted .279, 28 home runs and 88 RBI’s. He is now headed to a Giants team who just traded for all-star third baseman Evan Longoria as well. The Giants roster now consists of Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto, Buster Posey, Brandon Crawford, Longoria, Hunter Pence and now McCutchen. Look for them to be back in the playoff hunt yet again.
As for the Pirates, they will likely head down in the standings but it will be worth it for Pittsburgh fans. There is plenty to build around and even though it might be sad and hurtful right now, good things are coming. The Pirates look to build around players like Chad Kuhl, Musgrove, Jameson Taillon, Josh Bell, Josh Harrison, Moran, Adam Frazier, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco. So there is still hope and this may not be a busted plan right away after all. Keep an eye out for the young Pirate’s as the season goes on.