The Pirates are Frauds
When you follow the money you find that the Pirates story of building for the future is all BS. They are all about cutting costs NOW. Let me explain and let me use former Pirate Adam LaRoche to illustrate the point.
First off keep in mind that Adam LaRoche is making $7.05 million this year and will be a free agent at the end of the season. Most likely he'll be a Type B free agent meaning the team that loses him (assuming they offer arbitration) will get a draft pick between the 1st and 2nd round. That's a pretty high draft pick and the player selected will net themselves a pretty good signing bonus.
The Pirates saved about $3 million right now by trading Adam LaRoche to the Red Sox. In return they got back two players - AA Argenis Diaz and Single A Hunter Strickland - who were not in the Red Sox long term plans and who most likely will not ever be big league regulars (even for the Pirates).
The Red Sox were then able to turn around and trade LaRoche to Atlanta for Casey Kotchman who is arbitration eligible in 2010 and 2011 before he can test the waters as a free agent. This year Kotchman is making $2,885,000 which means he'll probably be in the $4-5 million range in 2010 and probably the $6-7 million range in 2011. If the Pirates really are building for 2011 like they claim to be - then Kotchman would be a better fit than the two scrubs they got from the Red Sox. The problem is the Pirates don't want to pay players that sort of money (money which is pocket change for the Red Sox).
You hear people suggesting that the Pirates should go the Tampa Bay route to success. The problem is the Rays built their team mainly through the draft and the Pirates don't seem to want to pay high draft picks the signing bonuses.
Consider that the Pirates traded six players in July. Those players included John Grabow - a Type A free agent, Jack Wilson - a Type B, Freddie Sanchez - a Type B, and LaRoche another Type B (probably). That's five (5) potential high draft picks! Instead of holding on to the players and netting the draft picks the Pirates traded them for mostly prospects who have been deemed expendable to the teams trading them.
The Pirates aren't building for 2011. They are just feeding into a cycle of suck.