Just moments ago, the Milwaukee Brewers acquired outfielder Christian Yelich from the Miami Marlins in exchange for prospects.  One might say that the Brewers are going for it.

The Marlins will receive OF Lewis Brinson, OF Monte Harrison, INF Isan Diaz, and RHP Jordan Yamamoto in this deal.  Yes, this is a nice return for the 26-year-old outfielder.  Yelich is under team control for at least five more seasons.  Both teams are in a better place with this trade.

As I’m writing this, the Brewers have also signed outfielder Lorenzo Cain.  Five years for $80 million.  Sheesh.

Quick look at the NL Central

Right now, most of the NL Central is gearing up.  The Brewers now have an affordable star outfielder they can build around in Yelich.  They have Cain as well.  Furthermore, they have an abundance of young talent.  The Brewers are in a really nice spot right now.  They are still looking to add more.  Yu Darvish is a possibility.

The St. Louis Cardinals added Marcell Ozuna, another former Marlin who is a young star outfielder.  They also signed relief pitcher, Luke Gregerson.  They too are still looking to add more.

The Chicago Cubs signed starting pitchers Tyler Chatwood and Drew Smyly.  They also bolstered their bullpen with the signings of Brandon Marrow, Steve Cishek, and Brian Duensing.  The Cubs are a finalist in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes as well.  So yes, they are looking to add more.

Outlook for the Pirates

As for the Pirates, well, things are a little different.  Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole are gone.  In exchange, the Pirates received some players that could produce.  At the same time, nobody would be surprised whatsoever if they all flopped.  It’s not like much is expected of them.

The Pirates have signed no impactful free agent.  They have a hole in the outfield.  They could use another starting pitcher.  In the new era of the home run ball, the Pirates have one player in their current lineup who hit more than 20 home runs last season.

The current payroll sits below $80 million dollars.  If Josh Harrison is dealt, that total will drop below $70.  Clayton Kershaw will make half of that total in 2018.

Sure, there is still time left.  There are many free agents that need to find a home.  I still believe the Pirates will add a free agent or two before the winter is over.  At the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t.  Bob Nutting was supposedly the last to sign off on the trade of Andrew McCutchen.  If that is the case, shouldn’t he then be the first to sign off on a replacement?

Times are bleak right now for the Pirates, probably the bleakest they’ve been in the Neal Huntington era.  Right now, the team is dependent on what ifs.  What if Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte bounce back and break out?  What if the young pitching staff emerges?  Of course those things could happen, but there is no certainty with this club.  There is still no direction.

Meanwhile, the rest of the NL Central is gearing up for greatness.  Or at least trying to.


Nathan Hursh

Nathan is a graduate of Duquesne University with a degree in journalism. He has been a lifelong Pirates fans and loves watching baseball. Along with baseball, Nathan also has a passion for watching football and basketball. When he is not sitting on his couch indulging in sports, Nathan likes to be active outside. Along with Twitter, he can also be found on Instagram at nathan_hursh.