A Rebuild Or Not? Pirates President Frank Coonelly Says Call It What You Want

People should make their own assessment of what happened in the offseason

Matt Koll
April 02, 2018 - 10:49 am
Frank Coonelly

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have vehemently denied characterizing the offseason trades of Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole as a "rebuild."

But before the home opener at PNC Park on Monday, Pirates president Frank Coonelly joined the Fan Morning Show and put the onus on the fans to determine what they think of what the Pirates did this offseason.

"I think that people need to make their own assessment of the moves that the organization made this offseason and how we're moving forward. If somebody wants to say, 'that's a rebuild' in their view, these aren't defined terms that we can look up in the dictionary that have precision, that's fine. That's their call," said Coonelly. "We believe what we have done is made an affirmative move in a different direction by moving two players who were approaching free agency, one year for Andrew, two years for Gerrit for six younger players to build the strength of the organization."

"We needed to get better. We needed to get younger. We needed to bring in more talent. We think that we've done that in these moves."

Coonelly looks at the roster now and says that it still has a lot of talent and is still capable of winning games.

"At the end of the day, look at the organization and we still have a very strong core of veteran players as you look around the diamond," said Coonelly. "In Bell, Harrison, Mercer, Moran is a rookie, Cervelli, Polanco, Marte, Dickerson added to left field, that's a strong core of veteran players. That's not a team that has been broken down to the studs if you will." 

Coonelly also said that he met with fans who had not yet renewed their season ticket packages and invited some to PNC Park.  He reached out more than usual this year, and gave them an opportunity to ask questions about the future of the organization and the vision for the team.

You can hear the entire interview with Pirates president Frank Coonelly on the Fan Morning Show below.