Many Pirates fans are waiting for the time when the front office spends the extra money to put the Pirates over the top. Guess what, folks? It won't happen. The Pirates cannot afford it. You don't believe me? Maybe you should believe Neal Huntington. A Joe Lemire column on SI.com has a revealing quote or two.
"We have to develop our own core players," general manager Neal Huntington said.
"We can't spend the amount of money it takes to bring in a top-of-the-rotation starter or a middle-of-the-lineup bat. Or, really, a middle-of-the-rotation starter or just an everyday player. We have to develop those from within."
The other option is that the Pirates' front office is shooting itself in the foot by opening its mouth. We knew that the Pirates weren't going to compete for an Albert Pujols or a CC Sabathia, but to hear that the front office cannot even afford to go after a No. 3 starter or an "everyday player" tells me it's time to turn up the heat. The Pirates will NEVER draw three million fans in a season with a 38,000-capacity ballpark. They would have to sell out EVERY game.
So it's either revamp the MLB economic system, or be resigned to the fact that it will take something just short of a miracle for the Pirates to contend consistently.
UPDATE by Charlie: This mostly just strikes me as a really inflammatory quote by Huntington, but not necessarily one that tells us anything new. As WTM suggests in the comments, if Huntington doesn't believe the Pirates can sign a mid-rotation starter or an "everyday player," that suggests they think very little of Kevin Correia (a middle- to back-of-the-rotation starter) and Lyle Overbay (an everyday player). And the Pirates apparently made a competitive offer to Jorge De La Rosa this offseason. So who knows what Huntington was thinking here. But look forward to hearing a lot about this quote in the next few days.