When I was a kid in the 1970’s, the Pirates were the class of the NL East. No more. Their last division title was when they were still part of the NL East in 1992–the third of a three year run. They became part of the then newly formed NL Central in 1994–they have never won that division in its 28 year existence. They were NL Wild Cards for three years, 2013-2015. Why do I bring all that up? The Pirates haven’t merely missed the playoffs for seven straight years…that’s bad enough for their fans. No, they’ve lost far more than they’ve won for 30 years now. They’ve had 4 seasons with 100+ losses since 2000, two in a row now since they were 61-101 last year and 62-100 this year.
How bad were the Pirates this year? They were 26th or worse out of 30 MLB teams in both team OPS and team ERA. Did they have any bright spots? CF Brian Reynolds had 27 homers and 126 OPS+. SS Oneil Cruz had 2.3 WAR in just 87 games. KeBryan Hayes had 4.3 WAR.
They’ve signed free agent Carlos Santana from the Mariners, but obviously they are more than a couple players from contention.