I feel like defending the Pittsburg Pirates for a moment. The Pirates were once a completely inept run franchise, run afoul with poor management and absolutely terrible luck. 2002 MLB draft; The Pirates select the man Baseball America says has the best breaking ball in the draft. They needed to make sure they could sign the #1 overall pick. BJ Upton, Prince Fielder and Zack Greinke all have signing issues, so they went a different direction. It took this man till August of this year to get his first major league win for the Kansas City Royals. Coming off a 100 lose season is didn't get any better for the Pirates. Draft picks like Paul Maholm, Neil Walker, Brad Walker and Daniel Maskos weren't panning out like #1 picks should. Eventually they traded Brian Giles for Jason Bay , then Jason Bay for a pile of crap (Craig Hansen anyone?).
Look at the 2009 Wikipedia entry to see just how bad this team is: "The team shed payroll and traded away players for prospects. On June 3, the team's only 2008 All-Star Nate McLouth was traded to the Atlanta Braves for prospects Jeff Locke, Charlie Morton and Gorkys Hernández. On June 30, the team dealt Nyjer Morgan and Sean Burnett to the Washington Nationals, as well as sending utility player Eric Hinske to the New York Yankees. This upset some Pirates players, including Adam LaRoche and Jack Wilson, who questioned the direction of the team. LaRoche was later traded to the Red Sox in exchange for minor leaguers Hunter Strickland and Argenis Díaz. On July 29, Wilson was traded to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for shortstop Ronny Cedeño and Minor League players Jeff Clement, Aaron Pribanic, Brett Lorin, and Nathan Adcock. The same day, the Pirates traded Sanchez to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Tim Alderson. On July 30, the Pirates traded pitchers John Grabow and Tom Gorzelanny to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for Kevin Hart, and minor leaguers José Ascanio and Josh Harrison. On September 7, 2009, the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the Chicago Cubs 4-2. The loss was the Pirates' 82nd of the year, and it clinched for them the longest streak of consecutive losing seasons in any North American professional sport." All they did was move players and lose.
The Pirates, to me, are the inverse of the Milwaukee Brewers. Looking back at past drafts, the Brewers got impact players while the pirates got role players. And you can't field a decent team with role players. While they were getting Bullington, the Brewers were getting Prince Fielder, or Ryan Braun instead of Andrew McCutchens. The Brewers spent when they had a chance to win, the Pirates haven't had that chance yet. The Pirates just don't have the players to field a winning team. GM Neil Huntington is throwing crap at a wall and seeing if anything sticks. He unloaded Jason Bay a season too soon, but soon Jason was on the DL like every other Mets player. He got rid of Nate McLouth, who now resides in AAA for the Braves. They spent in the top 10 in signing bonuses for rookies in this past draft, signed two Indian pitchers from a TV show in India, and built a Dominican clinic to help attract ballplayers. But this team, currently, is loaded with decent players that would be hard pressed to get to .500 with Jason Bay and Nate McLouth and anyone else they traded away. I don't think they're losing to make money, I think they're just losing because they're terrible.