By Rich Walsh


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BRADENTON (KDKA)– Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting is excited for what the team can bring to the field this season.

Nutting, aware of the fans frustrations because of the lack of offseason acquisitions, thinks this team will be even better than last season.

“I really respect and appreciate the concerns that the fans have,” Nutting said. “But I also want them to know that internally, we believe we are moving forward on a good path.”

When asked how the team will bring back the fans lost from last season, Nutting reassured the excitement surrounding the team with the pitching rotation and young players on the roster.

“There is a lot to be excited about in 2019.”

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With the Bucs’ payroll currently sitting at second-lowest in the league, Nutting says that they will not worry about the dollar amount and instead make moves they deem necessary, no matter what the cost.

“We are going to focus on the players we do have, not the players we don’t have. We are extremely enthusiastic about those players, and the payroll, to some degree, is a factor of, we have young players that are heading into arbitration with a number of them next year. It’s a part of the cycle.”

When asked if the team can add players with the current budget plan, Nutting said there is definitely a chance.

“Neal [Huntington] has the flexibility, will continue to, and needs to have the flexibility to opportunistically, strategically and intelligently add to the team where he can. We saw it last year with [Chris] Archer and [Keone] Kela. Can we continue to make those kinds of additions, whether it’s perhaps in Spring Training as we did with Corey Dickerson, perhaps middle of the year as we have a number of times. I think we need to be nimble and opportunistic.”

Nutting was critical of the current financial system with Major League Baseball in terms of team salaries.

“There’s no question that the economic system doesn’t create a level playing field now, that’s not going to be an excuse for us and we are going to move forward. We have absolutely communicated our goals to the commissioner’s office.”