Owner Bob Nutting’s message to Pirates: ‘We’re here to win’
BRADENTON, Fla. – Pirates owner Bob Nutting spoke to the team before the first full-squad workout of spring training, and his message on Monday morning didn’t change despite a tumultuous offseason.
“Bob’s message to the team was, in my hearing, similar to messages he’s given in the past: ‘We’re here to win,'” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said. “We’re here to bring World Series championship No. 6 back to Pittsburgh. We’re here to help these guys be great. We’re here to provide them with resources and to help them do their jobs to the best of their ability. We’re all in this thing together, with one vision and one goal.”
Pirates players had openly questioned the direction of the franchise and criticized its communication and commitment to winning after trading ace pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros and five-time All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants last month.
— Christopher Horner (@Hornerfoto1) February 19, 2018
One of the most outspoken players, two-time All-Star Josh Harrison, publicly requested a trade a day after McCutchen was dealt. Harrison doubled down on that stance upon arriving at Pirate City on Sunday, but said Nutting attempted to quell those concerns.
Josh Harrison, on Pirates owner Bob Nutting’s message to the team before the 1st day of full-squad workouts at Pirate City in Bradenton, FL: pic.twitter.com/ebJ4k1Jdq5
— Kevin Gorman (@KGorman_Trib) February 19, 2018
“Just reassuring that we’re here for a reason – to win – and it’s got to be a collective effort,” said Harrison, who spoke to Nutting after the workout alongside first baseman Josh Bell and newly acquired third baseman Colin Moran. “I spoke on what I spoke. It’s done and over with it. The next plan of action is going out there every day bringing it.
“Every year, the message is a little bit different. You’ve got new guys and you’ve got to welcome the new faces, but it was addressing the team and letting them see the owner and meeting him but also him expressing his desire to win. That’s ultimately what we all want to do.”
Kevin Gorman is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.