If you are a Pittsburgh Pirates fan who thought that the Russell Martin signing could lead to a series of moves that would improve the on-field product for the 2013 season, you can forget about it.
General manager Neal Huntington’s comments at the Winter Meetings came off as a bit disturbing when he told reporters: “In our minds, we’ve already made our big move with Russ.”
The Pirates needed a catcher in the worst way and did great job addressing the need when they signed Martin to a two-year, $17-million deal, but if that is the major move Huntington has planned, then it is simply not enough.
Sure the Bucs will add an arm also, but it will be on the cheap as the names John Lannan and Manny Parra have been tossed around, but it’s not enough. The likes of Garrett Jones and Joel Hanrahan could be dealt and I’m fine with that as I think they should, but will Huntington bring back a significant return? To help the current team?
That’s highly doubtful.
I understand the thought process and have always been behind the rebuilding process 100 percent, but eventually the time has to come to improve the major league product.
What happened to payroll flexibility?
What happens with all of the revenue sharing money?
The organization has already saved close to $6 million additional dollars by non-tendering Jeff Karstens and dealing Chris Resop. Where is that money going? Simply to pay for Martin’s deal?
That’s not acceptable and to hear that Martin is going to be the organizations’ big offseason move is honestly a bit deflating, especially to a fan base that has been through 20 consecutive losing seasons.
There are question marks at first base with Gaby Sanchez and right field with Travis Snider. There are also huge holes to fill at shortstop, the bench, in the starting rotation and in the bullpen.
I like the Martin signing, but it makes very little sense if you don’t address the other needs.
After the biggest collapse in history and after coming so close to competing the past two seasons, are we really looking at band-aid fixes?
If so, that’s a shame.
No one is expecting this organization to go out there and spend $150 million dollars or throw out Albert Pujols-type contracts. But we are expecting the front office to take competing seriously, because even though they throw the corporate line around about wanting to win, quite frankly, their actions speak otherwise.
Hopefully, Huntington has something in the works, because if the Martin signing becomes the biggest move of the offseason, then fans have the right to be very disappointed in management.