The Pittsburgh Pirates are officially on the clock.
After the first ever MLB Draft Lottery, the Bucs secured the first overall pick, which was enough to trigger a celebration tweet by the organization.
We will select 1st overall in the 2023 MLB Draft! pic.twitter.com/fHNpobdFGM
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) December 7, 2022
Let’s not forget, however, that the Pirates are celebrating finishing 2022 with one of the worst records in Major League Baseball.
Pittsburgh was 62-100 this past season, barely edging the MLB-worst Washington Nationals.
The Nats ended up with the second overall pick after the lottery.
As a way to help discourage tanking, MLB and the union decided to implement a draft lottery for the first six picks.
All 18 non-playoff teams would participate in the event.
The Minnesota Twins were the biggest winners of the night, securing a top-five pick, while the Oakland Athletics, with similar odds to finish with the first selection as the Nats and Pirates, will pick sixth.
But let’s get back to the Pirates.
An Unsuccessful Model
The team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2015, back in the Andrew McCutchen days; and they haven’t finished with a winning record since 2018.
They haven’t made a Championship Series since Barry Bonds was in uniform, and they haven’t won a World Series since 1979.
You can firmly say that fans are tired of the same outcomes every season: when a talented player is about to reach free agency or become expensive, they trade him for prospects.
They can have all the first picks they want, but Pittsburgh won’t ever win another World Series until they can actually retain their top talent.