Decision time nears for Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington and the rest of the front office staff. First and second round picks, right handers Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie must be signed by tonight’s midnight deadline.
The facts are that if the Pirates didn’t come to terms with Alvarez, there would have been some uproar, but in the end, the situation would have been viewed as “Same Old Pirates,” and been forgotten. In the end, the decision becomes easy for the Pirates. Just pay the kids.
This case is different. The Pirates absolutely have to sign both of these kids. What would happen if they don’t?
First of all, the Pirates would alienate the fan base they do have. They would lose trust and would have little chance of gaining new Pirates fans in the future, something they desperately need.
Owner Bob Nutting would be the one and only target of the backlash. We’ve heard time and time again the past year about how the Pirates are no longer in a position where money matters. He’s stated time and time again that the club will pay for talent. Now is the time to quit telling the fans and start showing them that you are serious.
If they don’t sign both, what exactly is the point of the rebuild? It makes little sense to start to rebuild the organization with young talent to just quit and give up on it half way through. If they fail to lock up both, the terms “rebuilding,” and “future of the Pirates,” can never be used again. Fans just won’t be able to take the front office seriously.
The final and most important reason that the Pirates need to sign these guys is the on-field performance of the pitching staff. The Pirates need quality arms in the system. One thing they are lacking is arms that have staff ace potential. These two kids fit the bill. You can teach kids whatever you want about pitching, but one thing you can’t teach them is how to throw 100mph.
After the deadline passes on Taillon and Allie, Huntington must turn his attention to signing highly touted 16-year old pitching prospect Luis Heredia out of Mexico. Heredia recently said he wanted to play for the Pirates. When is the last time you heard anyone say that?
Huntington has a busy couple weeks ahead of him. He can get off to a good start tonight by simply getting a couple signatures on a couple of contracts. The decision is an easy one. Give them whatever they want. Show them the money. Fans have watched this franchise count nickles and dimes for far too long. The decision is simple. Do what it takes to get the kids signed.