Baseball America has named the Pirates its Organization of the Year. Included in the link is an essay about the team by Travis Sawchik.
Obviously, winning an organization of the year award isn't the ultimate goal, and Pirates fans are still understandably disappointed that the Pirates didn't advance further in the playoffs. But it's a terrific honor that reflects the amount of respect the Bucs organization now commands within the game.
It's well deserved. As Sawchik points out, the Pirates have done an amazing job in recent years of having their front office, coaches, scouts, staff and, often, even their players on the same page. That's helped them to seamlessly replace important players as they've departed, and to get the most out of many of their acquisitions, even low-profile ones. Three years after breaking their two-decade streak of winning seasons, the Pirates haven't won a World Series, and of course, they're still operating on a relatively small budget, much to many fans' chagrin. But there can be little doubt that they're operating at a very high level.