The Pittsburgh Pirates are deep in the middle of the kind of taaaaaaaaanking rebuilding we haven’t seen outside of Baltimore in quite a few years. Not only have they not made any meaningful improvements the last couple years – hey, I get it, there’s little point in adding short-term wins – but, with the Josh Bell trade this week as the latest example, they’ve also been stripping the roster to the bones.
Speaking of bones, one of the Pirates few remaining “name” players has apparently broken one of his:
— Nathalie Alonso (@NathalieMLB) December 26, 2020
The severity of a broken wrist can range widely, and the impact thereafter can be mild or severe. It’s one of those really scary injuries for a position player in that way. Polanco could maybe be fine in time for Spring Training, or he could maybe be out longer and impacted all season long.
I suppose the flip side to this news, as far as the Pirates are concerned, is that Polanco, 29, has never really broken out in the way he was expected to when he was a top 10 prospect in baseball. It looked like maybe it was finally happening in 2018, but he followed that with two awful years:
2021 is the final guaranteed year of Polanco’s extension, signed many years ago as a youngster. We’ll see what he’s able to contribute to a very, very bad Pirates team.
Speaking of which, I’m going to assume that there will be additional selling if at all possible, and the Pirates will aim to be the worst team in baseball in 2021. The only thing that might save them from a historically bad record is the fact that much of their division also looks to be taking a pretty laissez-faire approach to “being good” in 2021.
That said, if we’re looking at expanded playoffs again in 2021 with extra Wild Card teams, it won’t hurt the Cubs (and Cardinals and Brewers) to have a brutally terrible club in the division.