maybe NH will surprise us next year. from last offseason to this one there were a lot of positives. it's easy to overlook them since he signed two starters who OPS'd about .600. but forgetting that, they go into next year with AJ and Wandy. that's awesome. i believe NH gives us a chance in the offseason to find another above average player. the fact that he went for and signed Bedard was big too. that's exactly the kind of chance they needed to take and was exactly the name i wanted. it didn't work out, but it showed that he was looking for a guy that could potentially be great and not just maybe a correia signing (which wasn't a bad one at the time, but the pirates had enough depth last year and needed a guy with upside.)
i also liked the appel drafting. showed he's again willing to go risky and negotiate with boras to try to get what they feel is the best talent. and even though they didn't get him, there's not a big downside to it and he offset it by drafting mathisen and barnes who both immediately performed well in the rookie leagues which was refreshing.
then the trades midseason. in a vacuum, they may have hurt the team for last year, but getting locked in talent with upside is the right thing for the pirates franchise. snider could be another failure like andy laroche, but he was cheaper, has a higher ceiling and a higher floor. and gaby, while a bit older, was only in his third season. two years ago he broke in as a rookie and put a full season together of .788 and repeated a full season last year of .779. until his 0-17 streak to end the year with the pirates, he was exactly on those numbers in his first 100abs with the bucs and can be expected to hit at those ranges or better. he's a big upgrade defensively at first as well. and another thing about these two guys is that they both have a very good BB%. patience is a huge weakness on the team, and it's nice to see guys who can put up a decent BB rate.
the fact is that i trust huntington to improve the team this offseason. i think he's getting better as well. i liked the trades, i liked most of the signings, and i liked the drafting. i would really like to see better use of a rule 5 pick next year though.