Ben Cherington has been the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates for about two years and one week.
In that time, we’ve yet to fully get a sense of what to expect from the Pirates’ rebuilding efforts. One year ago at this time, it was hard to see that the Pirates were even making an effort at a rebuild.
Then, Christmas Eve came around, Josh Bell was traded, and the Pirates followed up with trades of Joe Musgrove and Jameson Taillon within the next month.
It makes you wonder what we’re going to see this time around.
Will the rebuild get a huge boost from a Bryan Reynolds trade this offseason? Will they make some sort of move to build around Reynolds?
Likewise, a year ago we probably wouldn’t have expected the aggressive promotions that saw Rodolfo Castro, Max Kranick, Oneil Cruz, and Roansy Contreras in the majors by the end of 2021.
One year later, and I’m left wondering how many of those guys will be MLB regulars by the end of 2022, and how many young prospects will get the call in the upcoming year.
This past Friday was the third Rule 5 draft that Cherington had to protect prospects from, though it feels like the first serious group of players that the team needed to make a decision on during this rebuild.
Last year in the Rule 5 draft, we saw the Pirates end up with two young pitchers, one which they retained, and the other was returned after a second Tommy John surgery. Will the Pirates take a similar approach in adding this year?
This year provided the first extended MLB draft for Cherington and the Pirates, and the results were very encouraging, with a lot of key pieces for the long-term rebuilding efforts. How will they follow that up with another top-five pick in 2022?
You could have tried to successfully predict a few of the above things before they happened. But how many of these came as a surprise at the time they happened?
It’s worth remembering that we’re still in the early stages of Ben Cherington as a General Manager for the Pirates, and we don’t really know what to expect at this point, in any aspect of the game.
What kind of surprises do you think are in store this offseason from the Pirates?
**Winter Leagues: Flame-Throwing Prospect Debuts in Puerto Rico
**PBN Around the Horn: In the Words of Zeppelin, Been Dazed and Confused
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**This Date in Pittsburgh Pirates History: November 20th, The Dick Stuart Trade and Jeff Locke
**Card of the Day: 2015 Topps Jeff Locke