The Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system is ranked #1 by Baseball America.
Last year, it was the St. Louis Cardinals with the Cubs coming in at number 12.
You gotta think the Cubs have moved up some this year, right?
I don't pay THAT much attention to rankings (unless the Cubs are up top somewhere), but man this seems like the future of the NL Central is gonna be where alot of the best pro action will be happening.
Just so the Pirates and Cardinals understand that, you know, it's kind of a foregone conclusion that the Cubs win the World Series in 2015.
Or '16 or '17.
One of those years.
Maybe '18 - that way you could buy t-shirts with the nice rounded off number - 11 decades since the Cubs won the WS.
"THE CUBS WILL PARADE IN THE 11TH DECADE" or something.
Anyway, when I read this about the Pirates it got me thinking about how they'll go about their business.
Maybe they're the latest small market iteration of the model Theo and Jed are creating here.
They grow top talent, sign 'em to a smart contract for as long as they can - maybe get a prime year or three - and then sell 'em to the Yankees.
Whatever, it'll be interesting to watch.
One thing I'm pretty sure about, their GM, Neal Huntington, has got to be a bit more saavy than the guy they had in 2003, Dave Littlefield.
Here's a phone call I'm totally making up that might have happened about July 21st, 2003:
Jim Hendry is JH, Dave Littlefield is DL.
JH: Do you have Prince Albert in a can?
DL: Ha ha ha. Jimbo the Jokester. What's going on?
JH: Listen Dave, you know Corey Patterson's out for the year now with the knee. I just GOTTA have Kenny Lofton.
DL: Well, we're not going anywhere and it's almost the trade deadline. Who will you give me?
JH: How's about a guy to replace Aramis Ramirez?
JH: Sure, we'll take that guy off your hands - he's gonna cost you about $6 mil next year, right?
JH: How about we give you Jose Hernandez who's only making $1 mil? In return, we'll take that big Ramirez salary off your hands, and Kenny Lofton.
DL: I don't know...
JH: What if I promised you a scouting job with the Cubs after they throw you out?
Okay, an oversimplification and there were more players involved but honestly, I still do not understand how that trade ever happened.
But at the time I sure did love Jim Hendry, and it made 2003 alot more interesting.
And btw, Dave Littlefield actually IS a scout for the Cubs.