Much has been made about Neal Huntington’s trade deadline acquisitions of Chris Archer and Keone Kela in the fact that it not only gives the Pittsburgh Pirates a chance to compete the rest of this season, but the next couple as well.
That’s the biggest key as the Pirates window for success is now wide open for the next three years and likely longer.
It wasn’t just the deadline deals for Huntington, but the ones he made in the offseason as well.
The entire core of the team is now locked up for an extended period and that’s long been a goal of Huntington.
Mitch Keller is likely to join that group next season, which will give the Bucs a solid four starters in place.
Ivan Nova has another year left on his deal, but there are plenty of bodies to fill the fifth spot in the rotation after that, including Trevor Williams, Chad Kuhl and Nick Kingham, who are all locked up for years.
The future of the Pirates rotation looks very bright.
As does the bullpen, which now has Felipe Vazquez (2023), Kela (2020), Kyle Crick (2023) and Edgar Santana (2023) in check for a few years. They should look to bring Richard Rodriguez back and the bullpen will be a major strength of this team going forward.
|Player||Team Control through|
It would be nice to see Corey Dickerson get an extension as his deal will expire at the end of next season, but if not, it won’t be that big of deal as several talented outfielders will be ready by them, including Jason Martin and Bryan Reynolds, who were acquired in the Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen trades.
Huntington can also deal from a strength if he wants to acquire a veteran outfielder for a couple of years.
Behind the dish, Francisco Cervelli will expire after next season and as much as he is a fan favorite, it may be a good time for Huntington to look to move him in the offseason as Elias Diaz is this team’s catcher going forward. Diaz is under team control through 2022.
It’s almost not fair to ask a pair of rookies to jump in and be productive right off the bat, but that may have to be the case, although I can see Huntington addressing the middle infield in the offseason.
What Huntington did with his offseason trades and his deadline deals was create a very nice 3-4 year window where this Pirates team can be very competitive.
We will see if it happens, but the blueprint is surely in place.