The burners of the hot stove have only been lit for 48 hours now, but they’re already cooking up some juicy food for thought.
While the Pirates probably won’t be big players for high-end free agents, even coming out and saying they won’t even think about taking a look at Cliff Lee, it feels like Christmas to Bucco fans when they hear that the Pirates are going after more than your obligatory utility-man or underrated reliever/emergency starter in free agency.
Early this week Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweeted that the Pirates are being surprisingly aggressive in the free agent market, he later tweeted that they’re allegedly showing interest in Adrian Beltre.
Beltre is one of the most sought after players this offseason and will most certainly demand some big time cash, but management has stated they have the ability to spend this year.
Beltre put up a ridiculous .321/.365/.553 in 2010. He’s known to be a consistent player with a fantastic glove. He’d truly be an upgrade to both the offense and the defense.
Beltre can be a bit sporadic with his offensive numbers however and he’s had a few seasons with under 20 HR’s but also had plenty where he made a push 30.
Also with such news you must look at it with sound reason. Can the Pirates really afford Beltre? If they can indeed, would he even be interested in signing here.
Neal and his team would have a lot of selling to do. Beltre has been very candid in stating that his decision to hit free agency and decline another guaranteed stint with Boston weighed heavily on the opportunity to win, and family concerns. For those of you unaware, Beltre’s family resides on the west coast.
Often times though, rumors are just rumors. I know it’s fun to entertain the idea of a lineup featuring McCutchen, Tabata, Alvarez, and Walker (if he returns to his 2010 form) but is it realistic? My vote is no, it is not, unfortunately.
Some speculate that the management team of the Pirates is being pressured by league commissioner, Bud Selig, to spend but I feel that’s just another rumor. Selig has shown much approval in the Pirates organization’s “draft hard” mentality and has been open in saying he is pleased with the organization investing more in the draft than any other team.
The call to Beltre could be no more than just a call, a price check of sorts, but it is an encouraging sign to Pirates fans. Neal Huntington isn’t just standing by this time around; he knows what is needed to improve the club and is doing everything within his means to do so. Let’s hope he keeps the mentality going, especially in terms of pitching.
Here’s to diminishing the generation’s worth of losing for the Pirates.
Will Beltre be a key puzzle piece in the Pirates organization or is NH just playing phone-tag? Only time will tell.