BRADENTON, Fla. – The Pittsburgh Pirates had a rough year in 2016. Neal Huntington, Pirates general manager, described last season as a “bridge” year due to changes in the core rotation.
While the team attempts to bolster hope for this season, fans are wondering whether 2017 will be another building year or a season to make Pirates fans proud again.
Last summer, fans were outraged that the Pirates traded starting pitcher Francisco Liriano to the Toronto Blue Jays. Fans saw this trade as a money grab, since the team collected the remainder of Liriano’s $17 million contract.
However, those funds were reinvested to recruit right-handed relief pitcher Daniel Hudson and infielder David Freese.
The Pirates also re-signed starting pitcher Ivan Nova for a three-year, $26 million contract.
The Pirates’ core rotation is definitely an improvement from last season, but fans still wonder whether this will be enough to push the Pirates ahead to the playoffs.
Catchers and pitchers report to McKechnie Field for spring training on Feb. 14.