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Source: Pirates Front Office Was ‘Furious’ With Bob Nutting’s Comments

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Bob Nutting, Pittsburgh Pirates

When Bob Nutting last addressed the media on June 21, the Pittsburgh Pirates owner provided fans with hope.

Nutting sounded like he was willing to expand the Pirates’ payroll – at least, within reason – so general manager Ben Cherington could bolster the team’s offense in hopes of making a run at the postseason this year.

“I’m not at all sure that we won’t have opportunities well in advance of the deadline,” Nutting said, referring to MLB’s July 30 deadline to make trades. “I think we should be prepared to move early. I think we should be prepared to take advantage of opportunities when they arise. I know Ben has that flexibility to look across a broader range of alternatives, options but also a timeline of when it makes sense to strike.”

The comment made many members of the Pirates’ front office “furious,” one member of the team’s baseball operations told Pittsburgh Baseball Now. They felt Nutting’s comments were “misleading, at best.”

“Bob implied we’re going to have money to spend, and he got the fans excited,” the person said under the condition of anonymity so he could speak freely without facing repercussions. “But he told us we don’t have any money to make any significant additions.”

According to Cot’s Contracts, the Pirates’ $86.9 payroll on opening day was the second-lowest in the major leagues behind the Oakland Athletics ($64.4). The Athletics are a special case as they are leaving Oakland at the end of the season and plan to spend three years playing in a Triple-A facility in Sacramento before moving into a new ballpark in Las Vegas in 2028.

The Pirates will likely have to offload a salary to add an impact hitter. Multiple executives from MLB teams told Pittsburgh Baseball Now that left-handed reliever Aroldis Chapman is available in trade talks. Chapman has a $10.5-million salary.

Nutting has faced fan criticism for his unwillingness to spend on player payroll for years. Even when the Pirates reached the postseason three years in a row from 2013-15, they did not make any major acquisitions at the trade deadline.

The Pirates, though, have signed left fielder Bryan Reynolds (eight years, $106 million), third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes (eight years, $70 million) and starting pitcher Mitch Keller (five years $77 million). There is speculation within the industry that the Pirates might be willing to offload Hayes’ contract.

The Pirates improved their record to 43-47 with an 8-2 victory over the New York on Monday at PNC Park. They are four games out of the third wild-card berth in the National League standings.

The Pirates have a promising starting rotation that includes rookies Paul Skenes and Jared Jones along with Keller, who won his 10th game of the season on Monday. However, the Pirates are scoring 4.11 runs a game, which ranks 19th among the 30 MLB teams.

The Pirates hired general manager Ben Cherington during the 2019-20 offseason to rebuild the organization. The Pirates finished last in the NL Central in each of Cherington’s first three seasons before going 76-86 last year, which was good for fourth place in the five-team division.

The understanding when Cherington was hired was that the Pirates would eventually no longer annually be among the bottom five teams in player payroll. Yet five years into Cherington’s tenure, the franchise is 29th in the league in payroll.

Two industry sources told Pittsburgh Baseball Now earlier this season that Nutting has not provided Cherington with the expected dollars for payroll.

“Ben in is a tough spot in Pittsburgh but he doesn’t say anything because he’s not an excuse maker,” said one of the sources, who has a longstanding relationship with Cherington. “He’s a good baseball man and a bright guy but he’s not able to do the job the way he needs to do it in Pittsburgh. His hands are tied. You can win without spending a lot of money now and again. but you can’t win when you spend no money.”

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NewMexicoLobo

So they’re saying Nutting lied?

Harvey

Yes. That’s exactly what they’re saying. Nutting lied

Tim Crytzer

This seems fishy. I like John, but I question this story a lot.

Spinning Wheel

Imagine that! Nutting misleading Pirate fans. We are Nutting hostages.

Tim kephart

Who the heck would want Hayes even at the Pirate price? He is a disaster.

David creighton

Disaster you try making some of the plays at 3rd that does.

Don Laible

This is first-class reporting.

Boof

Is your source “trust me, bro”?

Rob

Cause Bob Nutting doesn’t want to spend $$$ to help this team over the big hurdle. When team gets to that point they have to spend more $$$ which he doesn’t want to do. It’s really frustrating has a fan you want your team to win but ownership doesn’t want to help the team to do so!!! He just doesn’t care how the fans feel as long he is making $$$$ that’s all it matters to him!!!

Bill

Agreed! Nutting is just too damm cheap to spend what is needed to get this team to another level..
Makes it tough to be a fan, which I have been a fan for over 50 years.

Chris

As long as fans don’t put pressure on him to do something, he wont!

Chet

Nutting doesn’t give a crap about the fans! I’m afraid the carpetbaggin’ liar has a death grip on this storied franchise, and will never let go…

Rob

He might try to sign a 36 year old bat and a 40 year old pitcher 🤔

James Carr

Agreed. He is so cheap continuously, you would think there would be someone to buy them. Here is praying that happens.

Last edited 2 days ago by James Carr
Tony Bagadonutz

The question remains. How do you feel about Bob Nutting?

Gazza21

I hate it. Been a devoted Pirate fan for 70 years, since I could first throw a ball. But I may end up with no real choice, and do what my father did 10 years ago: Become a Braves fan. What a pity, and all because of one man, who should be out of baseball altogether.

Leo Walter

Yeah, sure you will . Me, for at least 70 years I rooted for the Pirates players, not the freaking owner.

Tony Bagadonutz

How much better is this team than when this rebuild began 5 years ago? If you judge by won loss record, not much better. This is a pivotal year, Cherington needs the approval from the owner to make some deals or he could be gone in my opinion.

Tyler

The pirates need to bust a nutting!

Tony Modz

Bob sucks the team is never going anywhere as long as Nutting owes the team with Nutting you get nothing. the MLB needs to step in and raise the minimum you can spend

DRC

https://chng.it/JYNpndcn5q
Petition for mlb to have nutting removed as owner. He’s done nothing to try to win here since taking ownership.

Steve Stunning

Mark Cuban said he would run the Pirates the same way as Nutting, Mega Markets run baseball & they don’t give a Rats Ass about any other team Especially the Pirates

Anthony S Corrado

Mark Cubans is a piece of garbage.
Another scumbag liar.
Hes busy helping Dems destroy America.

Robert Monsour

STFU. This site is about baseball, not knuckledraggers spewing political garbage.

JEP

Keep your asshole political comments to the voting booth, not a baseball column.

Chet

Good luck with that! The other owners love small market stooges like Nutting who quietly take millions in luxury tax revenue and keep their mouths shut!

Ernie H

The only surprise in this story is that it’s been leaked to us, and an internal inquisition of some sort surely follows. What I wouldn’t give to sit at a table with Neal Huntington, Ben Cherington and an ample supply of cold beverages to hear them compare notes. You do know this is a merry-go-round and despite all of the happy music we’re ultimately, inevitably headed back to where we started, right?

Last edited 3 days ago by Ernie H
DJM

IF TRUE, how utterly embarrassing. Why do any of us stay loyal to this joke team when the owner just cares about himself? Get out as soon as you can, Skenes.

Dale Piontek

Don’t worry he will be traded for prospects in few years

DJM

I know the drill.

Chet

Prospects, palookas, tomato cans, and a bag of baseballs…

Leo Walter

This is total bullshit ! “ Even when the Pirates reached the postseason three years in a row from 2013-15, they did not make any major acquisitions at the trade deadline.”. I’m not even going to put the names in here. Look it up. Telling a lie to make Nutting look any worse than we know he is doesn’t prove your case.

JJ Smooze

At some point we can only hope MLB steps in and puts a stop to this…this guy admits he’s not gonna spend money to improve his team…so basically he saying IDGAF of we win or lose….the guy should be forced to sell the Pirates

Michael Totos

Nutting needs to respond to this. So does Ben Cherington. If they both stay silent then it’s obvious that Nutting is a total fraud.

corky miller

who would want suwinski or michael a taylor there lucky to hit 300 both together

Gary HRUBOCHAK

If the Pirates do not make a move to add a bat to this lineup I as a devoted fan for 55 years am through with this cheap as owner. I’m so tired of this crap year after year. He has been voted one of the worst owners in sports. Baseball needs to step in and get rid of this idiot.

Dale Piontek

They sign players that are starting to get good just to make fans hope up but when the players contract starts to really kick in they send them to another team for prospects then continue to do the same cycle under ownership ,example Cole, Bell ,to name few

Jerry C

My question is, where are ALL these accumulated prospects that they’ve been accumulating for years of trading away All-Stars?

Angry fan

I can see it another losing year there will be a fire sale new GM and another re-build. Pirates will always be in rebuild mode until the spend money. Such a loser organization

Yalls99

Nutting been doing this for years. He’s happy collecting his money and not careing if the Buccos win or lose. Tired of the same old Nutting B.S.Just sell the team to someone who wants to put a winn e r on the field& not worry about $ signs!!!
.

Emoneypitt

I know that this source said that Ben will never speak up but i wish he would. He probably would get the Trevor Bauer treatment if he did. Is Neal Huntington even in baseball anymore? What would he have to lose?

Jeff Zaborowski

Who in their right F’n mind believed that cheap p.o.s anyway. I certainly didn’t. Know why? The F’n moronic hillbilly Sh*÷bag dismantled a 98 win team. Buck Fob Nuttra** sorry John no disrespect intended to your page

Last edited 2 days ago by Jeff Zaborowski
Fuzzy Lumpkins

Nutting is running the team for profit, and has little concern about winning. He’s arguably the worst owner in any of the major sports.

Chris Z

Man, F Bob Nutting and the horse he rides around on

NewMexicoLobo

Another way to look at this is that the “furious” front office guys now are feeling the pressure to execute some solid pennant-race GM-ing.

Jason T

Spend Nutting, win Nutting.
I swear he reminds me of the fictional owner of the Cleveland Indians in the movie Major League.

LoveBB

Pirate revenue in 2024 is slightly over $300 Million. Bob Nutting cares about Nutting. Not the fans, not the team, not the nostalgia… about his own pocket. The only possible way to stop him is to just boycott the games. That’s difficult for die-hard baseball fans, but otherwise he will continue to spend nutting and the Pirates will win nutting.

Robert Monsour

The Pirates are a bad joke. A terminally cheap owner uninterested in winning who habitually lies and poisons everything he touches. And an inept GM who mismanages the decisions he actually has the authority to make (manager, coaches) and blows through what money he does have (Chapman, Grandal, etc.).

Chris Z

I think it’s fair game to ask about Bob Nutting’s children, who he said he wants to leave the franchise to. They are by my estimate 34, 32, and 27. Respectively. They are hardly children. It’s time people question their desire and intentions to continue the ownership legacy of their fathers Sport Franchise.

Steve

Nutting is a nut@@@@. Haven’t gone to a game in 3 years and have no plans to. Owners are terrible, fans deserve so much better.

Kowboygoc

Nutting and the pirate organization DO NOT deserve the pittsburgh fans and people. We are lied to every year. SPEND nutting get nutting. Worst owner in sports history. BOBs gotta go.💰💰💰👎🤮💩💩

Jesse Gonder

Cherington knew what he was getting into when he signed a contract. Which is to say, the worst organization in professional sports.

Jesse Gonder

Hey, look — John Perrotto broke a story for once! @WooHoo

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