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Stripped-down Pirates nearing historic futility
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That produced the occasional 75-win season, most recently in 2003, but no real signs of progress. Coonelly and Huntington decided the only way to make a great leap forward was to raze the franchise. Thus, the trades, designed to bring in a flood of young talent. In the last two seasons, the Pirates have traded 14 players, including seven potential free agents, and received 26 players. The club had control of the 14 traded players for about 22 combined seasons. The Pirates have control of the 26 obtained players for about 151 seasons. That gives the Pirates more time to do what they must to survive: develop their own talent. They can use free agency only to add a few needed pieces if the club is ready to contend. The core must come from within the organization. "These aren't easy moves to make," Huntington said. "However, the goal here is to build a winning organization. You have to put emotion aside, as difficult as that may be, when you have the chance to better the talent in the organization. We feel like we're building something here." It will take a few years to determine whether Huntington is correct. The unknown in all of this is whether the Pirates made good decisions on the newly acquired players.
|"It's not like we're breaking up the '27 Yankees."|
| Pirates GM Neal Huntington|