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Pirates' Behavior At Trade Deadline Shouldn't Be A Moral Issue

For some reason this bothers me a bit.

One last note: #Pirates front office MUST step up, as team and city have, to make bold move. They can't be laggards. Unforgivable. #HeapItOn

What good does it do to say stuff like this? Why make this a moral issue? Does anyone seriously think that Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington are laying about in their offices all day having assistants fan them and feed them grapes?

I'd like to see the Pirates make some moves also. It's been great to see the Bucs contend, and I want the front office to do what it can to make sure that continues for the rest of this year. And frankly, it would be very surprising to me if the deadline came and went without the Bucs making at least one trade to improve the big-league roster.

But I want those moves to be smart ones. A "bold move" could turn out to be just what the Pirates need to make the playoffs in 2011 ... or it might fail to get them there and help doom the Pirates to several more losing seasons after this one. The casual tone of many fans when they're discussing giving up Jose Tabata or Stetson Allie, say, in a trade is a little disturbing. I'm not categorically saying the Pirates shouldn't trade those players, only that I'd want the Pirates to be really careful if they decided to do so.

Again, the 2003 Royals are a good cautionary tale. A winning season is a great thing, but it doesn't necessarily create any momentum going forward.

The sort of indiscriminate demand made in the tweet above is exactly what the Pirates don't need right now. The trade deadline could have a profoundly negative effect on the franchise if the Bucs get it wrong. Already, it's far from a guarantee that the Pirates will be a winning team in 2012, 2013 and beyond. They have a future to think about.

Also, I'm not sure what being a "laggard" has to do with anything. Again, does anyone seriously believe the lack of a big trade so far is due to the front office being lazy? Lots of major deals don't happen until right before the deadline.

UPDATE: Dejan wrote to me and asked me to mention that he is not saying the Pirates should trade top prospects. I'm not entirely sure how you make a "bold move" without doing that, since you're not going to get someone better than Carlos Pena or Josh Willingham without giving up someone good, but this is what he says. Unfortunately, I have to step out for a few hours, but I imagine this discussion will continue on Twitter.