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Adam Crowley: Lost prospects nothing to cry over for Pirates fans

Trades made by GM Neal Huntington should be appreciated even if Pirates have fallen from postseason contention

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Chris Archer looks on from the dugout during the Pirates game on Sun., Aug. 5. - CP PHOTO BY JARED WICKERHAM
  • CP photo by Jared Wickerham
  • Chris Archer looks on from the dugout during the Pirates game on Sun., Aug. 5.

I’m sick of the Pirates being damned if they do/damned if they don’t. For years, these have been refrains from fans: 

Spend Nutting, win Nutting!

Do something meaningful at the deadline!

The Pirates actually did do something this season. They acquired pitchers Chris Archer and Keone Kela — moves made to bolster the ballclub’s postseason prospects.

Unfortunately, since those trade-deadline acquisitions, the Pirates have fallen farther behind in races for Central Division supremacy or wild-card qualification in the National League. That unforeseen development — and confirmation that 2017 first-round pick Shane Baz is the “Player To Be Named Later” in the Archer move — has caused some fans to have buyer’s remorse.

Look, there are worse feelings for a baseball fan in August than buyer’s remorse, and don’t we here in Pittsburgh know it. 

To be fair, the Pirates have made a habit of selling their prospects as the baseball equivalent of gold. Fans are so used to general manager Neal Huntington hoarding young players, they are conditioned to pour out beer any time one is moved. 

Spoiler alert: you can’t have it both ways, and neither can the Pirates. You should expect Huntington to go after big fish with bad bait no more than you would somebody with a “COEXIST” bumper sticker to flip you off from the other traffic lane. 

It’s peace and love, not or.  

Fans hung up on the Pirates moving a projected contributor (Baz) to land an actual starter (Archer) are akin to dieting friends who mull Diet Coke versus Coca-Cola as the beverage to wash down a couple of dozen chicken wings that come with extra ranch dressing. If you want to shed some poundage, eat clean and exercise a lot. If you want the Pirates to go “all in,” don’t call them out for trading prospects. 

Tyler Glasnow might realize his potential as regular in a Major League rotation; Archer is one. Austin Meadows could become a good everyday player; Corey Dickerson is one. Do you see where this is going? 

Yeah, the Pirates have slipped out of serious contention in the postseason chase, but Huntington gave the team a better chance to chase the postseason by making the moves he did. (He also better positioned the Pirates for future chases, because Archer and Kela are under club control for the foreseeable future.)

The Pirates took a swing. They went for it. They did something meaningful at the deadline — just like everybody had been asking them to do.

There’s no crying in baseball. And that includes over prospects traded by the Pirates.

Follow featured contributor Adam Crowley on Twitter @_adamcrowley.

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