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Bucs' Building Blocks
March 6, 2012 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
Things continue to look up for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Coming off what many deem as a positive 2011 campaign, the Buccos are laying the groundwork for long-term stability and subsequent success. The days of old when the Pirates would groom young talent and watch it exit for greener pastures may be coming to an end. The latest case in point was the signing of young All-Star Andrew McCutchen this week. The deal will keep the 25-year-old dandy in a Pirate uniform through at least the year 2018. I must give the Bucco brass kudos for locking up their best player at a hefty $51 million price tag. The move takes on added significance as it comes on the heels of another pricey but prudent move by the Pirates' front office. Jose Tabata, also a young and multi-skilled outfielder, was previously given a six-year extension. The Pirates have options to keep him until 2019 at a price of $37 million. Having two nuggets in place for that long and at a cost of $90 million is a signal that times are a changin' PNC. Instead of a constant player exodus, the McCutchen and Tabata signings may attract prime-time stars to consider setting up shop in the Steel City. I believe the Pirates have the right manager in place as Clint Hurdle's upbeat and positive approach had the Buccos riding high until fading late in the season. He should weave his magic again this summer. With the talent on hand and more on the way, I expect the Pirates to lay to rest their futility record this season. They are also positioned in the right division to continue upward mobility for years to come.
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