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Mark Madden

NEVER: THAT’S A LONG TIME

 

I often hear Pirates fans say, “You can’t trade prospects.”

Can’t trade Taillon. Can’t trade Glasnow. Can’t trade Meadows. Can’t trade Kingham. Can’t trade Bell. Can’t trade Hanson. Can’t trade any of them.

Does that mean now, or NEVER?

If it means NEVER, the Pirates are NEVER going to win a World Series.

If the Pirates NEVER trade a prospect, their peak will be where they’re at now: On the fringe of legit contention. A wild-card team.

That’s OK. For owner Bob Nutting. He can make a lot of money that way.

But if the Pirates NEVER go for it – if they NEVER swap some future for the sake of a better present – the Pirates will NEVER win a World Series. MLB has too many layers of playoffs to get lucky.

The re-acquisition of P A.J. Burnett seems a real possibility. Hopefully, Burnett can be had for very little and Philadelphia picks up part of his salary.

Looking at the situation purely from a baseball standpoint, the Pirates need Burnett. The pitching staff gave up 21 runs in 25 innings at Colorado.

Burnett was a clubhouse catalyst. He could be again. The players definitely want him back.

It would be weird to trade for a player you could have signed the previous off-season. But need dictates.

Burnett, 37, isn’t having a great year: 3.86 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 6-9 record. His $12.75m player option for next season is off-putting. But Burnett pitched well during his two seasons with Pittsburgh, and might again.

It might be worth the risk.

And perhaps it’s time the Pirates take a risk.


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