If the Pittsburgh Pirates want to compete for League and World championships and if it wants to compete for these championships in the next five or so years, the organization must find impact hitters to add to the lineup, a point Tim Williams recently made. Pedro Alvarez, assuming he indeed has elevated his game, should be one impact hitter. Andrew McCutchen would be another. But, if we assume both will be very productive players (>5.0 WAR) during their prime years, the Pirates will still lack the quantity of power hitters a championship team must have. Consider the Philadelphia Phillies of 2012. They are last in their division, but second in the National League in Pitching WAR. It is clear the Phillies miss Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.
The problem the Pirates face is a simple one: Find at least one additional impact hitter to complement Alvarez and McCutchen. Solving that problem is difficult, though. The solution will not come from the Pirates minor league system Recently, that system has produced only Alvarez and McCutchen as players who have home run power. If the minor league system does not have the kind of hitters the Pirates need, it follows that the team can find such players only if it trades for them or finds them in the free agent auction market. Since Pirates fans know the team cannot afford to pay the going wage for an Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Matt Kemp, Josh Hamilton, etc. just as we also know that the Pirates will not make the effort to sign as free agents these kinds of players, that leaves the trade market as the one feasible path for the Pirates to acquire at least one additional impact hitter.
I attached a poll question to this Fan Post. I know my answer to the poll question. But others may have different answers to the question. The question has simple either/or answers. The reasons one might give in support of one's vote is the important part of the answer.