Bruce Siwy: Should the Pirates sign a big hitter?

No

Sometimes you play to your strengths.

It is part of the reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers draft and stockpile quality linebackers year after year. Stifling defense is always the keystone of the team's strategy.

After nearly two full decades of futility, the Pittsburgh Pirates have decided perhaps to mimick the city’s most successful professional sports franchise.

The Bucs have accumulated a wealth of pitching potential in farm club prospects like Stetson Allie, Jameson Taillon and several others.

These guys are probably among the team’s best bargaining chips. Any club willing to part with a stud slugger will likely demand no less than a top prospect.

The temptation is great. But Bucco brass should stand firm and patient.

Pittsburgh has made a run this year by maintaining a deep lineup of strong, enthusiastic players under an excellent manager and staff.

Injecting a power hitter via trade would likely come at a steep cost. Instead of banking on a blockbuster deal, the team should instead rely on returning starters Ryan Doumit, Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata.

And if the team is going to gun for anyone on the market, maybe it should look at another arm.

With surprisingly strong starting pitching and a lights-out closer in Joel Hanrahan, the Bucs need only a strong middle-inning bullpen to complete the defensive puzzle.

There’s a rumor that the Baltimore Orioles are willing to deal Koji Uehara. The reliever has thrown 59 strikeouts and boasts a 1.80 ERA through 45 innings pitched this year. If the price is right, the Pirates could add Uehara to an already impressive pitching staff.

It wouldn’t be flashy, but it would be an effective way to complete the 2011 Buccos, a team that’s made baseball exciting in western Pennsylvania for the first time in years.

(Staff Writer Bruce Siwy can be reached at bruces@dailyamerican.com)

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