No Hope, Full-Blown Rebuild in the Works

With a full blown rebuild in the works and several years away of having any hopes of competing again, the Pirates’ way of economics always had Josh Bell heading out the door sooner than later, and on Christmas Eve, the Pittsburgh Pirates traded Bell to the Washington Nationals.

In the deal, the Pirates received pitchers Wil Crowe and Eddy Yean. Crowe, 26, made his MLB debut in 2020, posting a 11.88 ERA in three appearances. Yean, 19, posted a 3.50 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 10 starts at rookie ball in 2019. As with any pitcher as young as Yean, it will be a while before the Pirates know what they have if anything in Yean.

“We’re going to need to continue to focus on the accumulation of talent and then the development of that talent, and that comes from all different avenues,” GM Ben Cherington said…..”I believe what Pirates fans want is a winning team more than they want to root for a single player, even one who is a really good guy and a good player. If we think about that, that’s how we see it.”

As what almost always seems to be the case with this franchise, they missed an opportunity to sale high on Bell, but this was more of a bad luck situation from a player performance standpoint, than the Pirates themselves waiting too long to trade a player.

In the first half of the 2019 season, Bell looked like a bona-fide star in the making hitting 27 home runs and 84 RBIs by the All-Star break. Baseball pundits were even throwing around superstar in the making talk.

After hitting .302 in the first half of 2019, Bell has never hit above .265 in a month since June 2019. And there’s just been some brutal months at the plate for long stretch now where that player from the early part of the 2019 season has been long gone.

For the Nationals, it was a no-brainer acquisition. Bell’s just 28 years old and they’ll probably find a way to tap back into Bell’s hitting ability. As for the Pirates, it was another miss opportunity of getting a less than sub-par return for a player who flashed star ability at certain points during is Pirates’ tenure.

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