The Pirates finished with the worst record in 2020.
Their best hopes of contending in 2021 appear to be sneaking into an expanded playoff system, 2020 Houston Astros style, and hoping for a strong run in the month of October.
I wrote yesterday about how the Pirates haven’t made their direction clear, with the same type of non-answers that Neal Huntington gave, and no clear commitment to when they plan on trying to contend.
What is clear is that the Pirates shouldn’t spend the 2020 offseason focusing on trying to win in 2021. The odds of them going from worst to the playoffs in one year are slim, and any focus on that type of goal would be a return to No Man’s Land — assuming they’ve actually left the area.
The thing that worked the best in 2020 was giving opportunities to guys that could help in the future.
Seeing what Ke’Bryan Hayes could do showed what type of player the Pirates might be able to build around.
Giving opportunities to young-ish guys like Phillip Evans, Anthony Alford, and picking up other similar guys like Carson Fulmer might lead to this decade’s Garrett Jones.
Finding out if Erik Gonzalez, JT Brubaker, and other lowered tiered prospects/former prospects can play a role in the future of this team is more preferred to veterans or older players on shorter deals.
If the Pirates are going to be active this winter, they should focus on these types of players. Claim everyone off waivers. Give a chance to busted prospects who haven’t really had a large sample size, and might not actually be a bust yet. Go for non-tendered guys coming off a down year, which might be a better strategy coming off the year 2020 than it would be in most other years.
Today’s discussion question: How would you like to see the Pirates approach the 2020-21 offseason?
The 2020 Prospect Guide returns to print for our tenth we are releasing three variant covers, featuring Mitch Keller and Ke’Bryan Hayes. Visit our shop page to order these extremely limited items!