This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"We focus on the Yankees and Cubs, the Phillies and Dodgers, but a team like the Pirates can not only sign Manny Machado without risking a loss, they are positioned to get more from the signing, based on the marginal wins he would add, than almost any other team. It’s teams like the Pirates refusing to take themselves seriously that is grating. The 2019 Marlins shouldn’t be spending money. The 2019 Royals shouldn’t be spending money. The 2019 Pirates should. That they’re just accepting 81 wins and fat checks should be more an embarrassment to MLB, and frankly to Bob Nutting, than it is."