The Pittsburgh Pirates went to the playoffs in 2013, but unfortunately they didn’t advance past the NLDS. Even though they weren’t able to win the World Series this year, there is no reason to think they won’t be contenders for many years to come. The great thing about the Pirates as an organization is that they are extremely deep.
Thanks to great work by Pirates general manager Neal Huntington and their scouting and development system, the Bucs have a very deep farm system with a lot of top talent. The Pirates have a great roster in the MLB right now, but they also have someone waiting to take over in the Minor Leagues at just about every position. The only positions that the Pirates don’t have high-impact prospects in the Minor Leagues are first, second and third base. The Bucs have several very good outfield prospects, a few great catching prospects and more than enough pitching.
The 2013 Pirates were the first Pirates team to make the playoffs since 1992. From that team, A.J. Burnett, Marlon Byrd, Justin Morneau and Clint Barmes are free agents. Huntington has said that he has interest in bringing everyone back, but it seems unlikely. Garrett Jones is eligible for arbitration, but the Pirates will probably non-tender him because he isn’t worth bringing back.
The Pirates will have a good chuck of change to spend in free agency in the offseason; they will hopefully be able to find an impact first baseman or shortstop to spend some of that money on. Couple that with the fact that they have several prospects close to reaching the Majors, including Gregory Polanco and Jameson Taillon, the Pirates should be able to sustain their success for several seasons to come.