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by: Andy Zsiga @zsiga_andy

As the trade deadline closes, many things become clear about the concerns of the front offices of teams, and many times we break teams up into buckets usually called sellers and buyers. It is funny that some of these teams end up in different buckets despite similar results.

Take a look at the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Both teams have similar records (a few games over .500) and are close to their Pythagorean record, but the thoughts about each team are different. The Cardinals just started a massive overhaul of their coaches, and seem to be selling some of their pieces, while the Pirates are surprising to the average fan, and are seeming to buy pieces.

The truth is both of these franchises use methods that don’t necessarily make them a true buyer or true seller most seasons, and I believe this is a highly successful thought process; exchange the talent that doesn’t fit your team when its value is high, and buy talent you feel is underrated. The fan’s perspective of where each of these teams is at is quite different while the results are quite similar; both teams could sneak their way into the playoffs, but neither looks incredibly poised to do so.  

While the Cardinals look less likely to perform over the next few years, the Pirates team seems poised to be at least decent for quite some while, but if you take a look at the average age of the team's players, their average ages are nearly the same. Both have very young pitching staffs (average age around 26.5), and their position players’ ages are average for the league (average age around 28).

Perspective is funny because it can cause a team or a team’s fan base to make very different decisions. In recent years, teams have embraced “tanking” as a viable strategy, and fans have come to embrace the idea when their team is not looking too good. This strategy has helped to create some of the worse possible teams with prospects of not competing on purpose for four to five years.

There really is nothing fun about a complete rebuild, and honestly, I am always happy when my team is hovering around .500. I know this sounds crazy, but a .500 team is just a few breaks from the playoffs, and you never know what could happen. Other people tend to believe you need to be winning or completely losing; while this is true at times, a team’s strategy should not be so clearly black and white. Rather than wish to lose on your team, wish efficiency, selling at the best point to sell, and buying when the value is there.

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