Bell’s exit ‘won’t be the last one,’ bringing long overdue reckoning with reality

Bell’s exit ‘won’t be the last one,’ bringing long overdue reckoning with reality

PITTSBURGH — Anyone who wishes to see Pittsburgh’s 135-year-old Baseball Club someday claim another championship needs to come to grips with the grisly truth that there are only two ways it can occur:

1. Salary cap

2. Load up the system

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That’s it. That’s really it.

If this isn’t painfully clear after three decades of near-nothingness since the last time the Pirates outspent everyone -- 1992, which not coincidentally was also their last year with even a division championship -- then I’m afraid neither I nor this column will be of much help. Because any other option that gets offered isn’t rooted in reality and, to be blunt, it’s likely rooted in radio-talk-show claptrap.

Still with me?

Even after the claptrap slam?

OK, cool. Let’s talk Josh Bell. But let’s also stick with reality.

Bell was traded on Christmas Eve, I’m guessing everyone’s heard, to the Nationals for two right-handed pitching prospects, Eddie Yean and Wil Crowe. That’ll be what gets discussed and debated the most, the exchange itself. Whether or not Bell can regain 2019 All-Star form. Whether or not Yean and/or Crowe can achieve more than now being the Pirates’ No. 7 and 17 prospects, per an instant re-ranking after the trade by MLB Pipeline.

Only time, of course, will tell. As ever, I prefer patience with trades involving prospects.

RAW INTERVIEW: Channel 11's Jenna Harner talks with Pirates President Travis Williams