Monday, December 20, 2010

Brewers, Pirates in different positions

By Jeff

With the Milwaukee Brewers' recent acquisition of ace Zack Greinke, expect a lot of hate from fans coming the Pittsburgh Pirates's direction.

The Brewers play in a similar sized market and when they succeed, Pirates fans wonder "Why can't we be doing that." Shipping off some of their top prospects for a superstar is something the Pirates have not done in recent memory and fans don't think they will ever do.
AL Cy Young winners are
flocking to the NL.

While the move is great for the Brewers, they were in position to make this kind of splash. The Pirates are not close to that position.

With slugger Prince Fielder's contract set to expire at the end of the 2011 season, the Brewers are feeling the pressure to win now. Fielder has Scott Boras for an agent, and has already turned down a contract extension. They need to make a run this year if they have any chance of bringing him back.

Along those same lines, the Brewers are capable of winning now, the Pirates are not. Fielder, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Casey McGahee and Cory Hart make for a lineup with a lot of pop. The starting rotation, which used to only boast stud Yovanni Gallardo, now has Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke as well. Only two teams in the NL, the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants, have rotations with more talent. If the Pirates were to risk their future to sign one star, they would improve by a few wins, but they don't have the pieces in place to make any kind of run yet.

Honestly, how much help would Greinke be to the Pirates this year, or even next? The Kansas City Royals still finished with 97 and 95 losses the past two years when Greinke broke out. It's better than the Pirates' 105-loss season of 2010, but it's still last in the division and nowhere near the playoffs.

The Brewers are what the Pirates could be in a few years. They grew their talent from within, and once that core group of players showed they were legit, the team made moves (The CC Sabathia trade a few years ago and now Greinke) to try and get the team to the next level. Right now, the Pirates are still building that core. Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, Stetson Allie, Tony Sanchez and Jameson Taillon give this team hope for the future, but they're not all ready now. Making a move to satisfy fans crying for the losing to end immediately would go against the organization's plan and only set them back more years.

Dave Matthews Band - #41 (For Mike)


  1. Brewers have holes but so do the Reds and Cards in the division. That top 3 should help overcome a leaky bullpen. Offense isn't bad, but all those guys seem to be able to do is slug.

  2. Every team has holes, this moves helps the Brewers fill their biggest. What other team in the NL Central can say they've done the same?