Conventional baseball wisdom says the Pirates should ditch closer Joel Hanrahan. Closers are disposable. A team on a 20-year losing streak should spend that money on everyday players. You’ve heard all the arguments. For legit MLB franchises, they apply.
The Pirates aren’t a legit MLB franchise. So, throw logic out the window.
Hanrahan made $4.1 m this year. Retaining him would likely cost between $6-8m. If the Pirates dump Hanrahan, where does that $6-8m go?
Not to a quality free agent. Quality free agents don’t want to come to Pittsburgh. If that money is spent on a player, it will be on a bum like Clint Barmes or Rod Barajas.
Or maybe that money won’t be spent at all. Maybe it goes in Bob Nutting’s pocket.
Hanrahan is good at his job. He converted 36/40 save situations. The Pirates were 70-1 when leading after eight innings. He’s a competitor on a team that has precious few.
On the rare occasions the Pirates get a good player, the goal should be to HOLD ONTO HIM AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.
Instead, Hanrahan will likely be cast aside. And the brainless rubes posing as Pirates fans will support that decision because YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON.
Kevin Correia and Jeff Karstens will be gone, too. The former a 12-game winner, the latter a bulldog. Replaced by cheaper and younger. Penny-pinching labeled as further rebuilding.
Rebuilding, rebuilding, rebuilding. WHEN IS THE PAYOFF?
IT’S A CON. YOU PARTICIPATE, YOU PERPETUATE.
Within a few years, Andrew McCutchen’s frustration will lead to HIS exit. He gets painted as the bad guy on his way out the door, and YOU BLAME HIM.
Bob Nutting plays this city like a piano. In his own way, he’s every bit as magnificent as the Rooneys, or Mario.
I may not be a baseball expert. But I know the Pirates. Want proof? I DON'T GO.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.