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Pirates won't pursue Nelson Cruz, as they shouldn't

Tom Pennington

No surprise here, but the Pirates evidently won't go after Nelson Cruz.

General manager Neal Huntington said the club does not have the financial resources to pursue free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz.

No doubt finances are a factor, but Huntington also won't pursue Cruz because he isn't Ed Wade. Signing Cruz for the three-plus years it will likely take would be a horrible, horrible decision. It would cost the Pirates' first-round draft pick, and it would block Gregory Polanco for the foreseeable future, all for a player who's bad defensively and has a very frightening offensive profile. Whatever the reasoning for not signing Cruz, it's the right decision. This is not a player I want to get older in Pittsburgh.

Incidentally, if you're not excited yet about Gregory Polanco, check out the article I front-paged today. Summary: high strikeout rates are very bad for hitting prospects, low strikeout rates are good, and Polanco's profile, at least where strikeout and walk rates are concerned, is very conducive to success.