After the Pittsburgh Pirates took their past two series against the New York Mets and San Diego Padres, it likely gives Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington the excuse he needs to once again play both sides of the fence as the trade deadline nears.
Huntington is like that driver on a busy freeway, who even though there have been signs posted for miles, he’s in the far left lane when he needs to exit to the right.
He then proceeds to try and cut everyone else off only to fall short and realize he wasn’t paying attention to the signs and ultimately missed his exit.
That’s the way Huntington has approached the past couple of trade deadlines, trying to both buy and sell and look at what it has gotten him. The Pirates are stuck treading water and that’s about the worst place they can be.
He continues to miss the signs that have been posted for a while now.
This isn’t a playoff team and the right thing to do is sell and rebuild for the next couple of seasons.
What Huntington needs to do is pick a lane and stay in it until the end of July or August.
Instead, he will continue to think the Pirates are in contention, use dumb phrases such as re-tool, and insist on adding small pieces that won’t likely help this team.
What can he possibly add in July that would both be a game changer for the Pirates and be financially affordable for them?
Newsflash, that guy isn’t out there.
Huntington can’t add a top of the rotation starter, add legitimate power to the lineup and fix a leaky bullpen all in a couple of moves.
What he can do is continue to let his young guys grow as players, deal the veterans he has for more assets and get some young guys in Triple-A some valuable experience.
What does Huntington gain by holding onto Nova, Harrison or anyone else?
The Pirates can finish in fourth or fifth place without them.
Nova’s value will never be higher and while Huntington probably dropped the ball by not dealing Harrison when he issued his trade demand in the offseason, he should still be able to get something decent in return.
The signs have been there for months for Huntington.
Is he paying attention? That’s the question.
If he is, and it’s doubtful, then he admits that this Pirates team isn’t a contender and blows it up for the next couple of seasons.
The reality is they don’t need much.
Huntington has to go and get what the Pirates need though and who knows if that will happen.
Fort now though, the signs have been posted and Huntington has been driving along.
You can’t drive in the middle of the road.
Just pick a lane and stay in it.