The Pittsburgh Pirates will have the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft after clinching the worst record in baseball this season. As the season winds down with its final games in 2010, the top two picks in the 2010 MLB Draft will go to Pittsburgh and Seattle, based on the futility they exhibited during the entire baseball season. It had seemed like the Baltimore Orioles were heading towards that first overall pick, but when they hired Buck Showalter to take over as manager mid-season, the Orioles started winning too many ball games.
Coming into Saturday night, with just two games left in the 2010 baseball season, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a record of just 57-103 for the year. It is an embarrassing mark, and it could end up even worse than how the Washington Nationals finished 2009 with a 59-103 record. It’s also possible that the Pirates will post the worst record in baseball since the 2005 regular season, when the Kansas City Royals finished with a 56-106 record overall. The sheer futility of this Pirates team is a look at what can go wrong with a franchise if the money isn’t spent to keep a team competitive.
The total payroll for the Pirates in 2010 was $34.9 million, a paltry sum when compared to many of the other teams around baseball. Take for instance the New York Yankees payroll, which passed $206 million this year, and you can see just how unbalanced the teams still are in this game. Maybe that is what will make this season so embarrassing for the Seattle Mariners, as their payroll is at $86.5 million, and they will finish the 2010 season with the second worst record in baseball. Coming into Saturday night (with two games left), Seattle was sporting a 61-99 record, which was good enough for last place in the American League.
Both teams will have at least a little better hopes in the 2010 season, but they have got to make some moves during the offseason to become more competitive. Neither roster has a superstar that is ready to emerge, even though in Seattle they still have Felix Hernandez and Ichiro Suzuki trying to hold that team together on a nightly basis. As for the Pirates, this is a franchise that is forever stuck in a rebuilding mode, and maybe with the first pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, they can put some talent into the minor league system that will make a difference for them soon.