Yesterday marked the beginning of the first full week of the MLB off-season in the new year; a time of new beginnings and resolutions, along with hopeful optimism, no matter how realistic any of these might be in the long term. For Pittsburgh Pirates Fans the 2020 season, and the few months that followed, were fully cemented in the rear view; as much as they could be, with an outlook toward the future and the eventual 2021 season that would expectantly take place slightly over the horizon.
However, this feeling wouldn’t last long, as few days earlier I was lying on the floor, nursing what some would assume was a hangover from a giant New Years Eve party the night before, but was more of regular exhaustion from staying up past my bedtime. Out of what can only described as habit, or due to being a glutton for punishment, I opened social media to look for any new Pirates headlines. Almost immediately my efforts were rewarded as reports of Pittsburgh’s previous interests in Toronto Blue Jays top catching prospect Alejandro Kirk exploded of the screen from multiple sports outlets. As I read multiple interpretations of the situation, that more than likely took place at the most recent trade deadline, a couple of thoughts instantaneously came to mind.
First of all, I would hope that Cherington, who knows the Blue Jays Farm System as well as or better than almost anyone else, would show interest in one of their top prospects. This is called being diligent, while sticking to his goals of identifying and acquiring talent for the organization. Kirk, to his credit, emerged as the top catching prospect with the Jays after an impressive campaign with the Lansing Lugnuts and the Dunedin Blue Jays between Low and Advanced A in 2019; where he slashed .290/.403/.465 with 7 homers and 39 extra base hits. Listed as the #6 prospect in the system according to MLB Pipeline and 86th overall in Fangraphs Top 100, Kirk eventually found his way to the Majors in 2020, after the deadline. In 24 at bats, beginning on September 12th, he batted .375 with a home run and 2 doubles. So, it makes you wonder in all honesty, who wouldn’t want a player of his caliber in their organization?
I also couldn’t help but to think about how this report, or rumor, would ultimately be twisted into how Cherington had screwed up the potential acquisition of a top tier talent at an identified position of need within the Pirates Farm System. This opinion, justified of not, has been an assumed deficiency of management over the past several years; even though Cherington has only been on the job a little over a year. He is automatically lumped in with the previous regime because his last name ends with -Ington and Bob Nutting is still the owner; which allegedly botched a trade with the Dodgers at the 2019 Trade Deadline, amongst many other indiscretions.
Once again, as has become a pattern with Pittsburgh Pirates Fans, we were forced to look into the past instead of toward the future; making as assume that it was the Same Old Buccos. And maybe it was. And maybe no one will never know this for sure, but it will still be assumed by some. Therefore, jading any possible move that Cherington makes, even before he he makes it; unless by some set of circumstances Kirk comes walking on the field at Pirates City at the start of Spring Training. Presuming this is the move that the majority of Pirates Fans would have him make in the first place.