No one is safe in Pittsburgh.
That was the message delivered by Pirates principal owner and chairman Bob Nutting on Monday after introducing new general manager Ben Cherington.
"I told Ben from the beginning that no one on the roster, no one in the minor-league system, or no one on the staff is untouchable, that he needs to have the flexibility to be able to drive forward and build an organization that he is proud of and that our fans are going to be proud of and that Pittsburgh is going to be proud of," Nutting told Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
The Pirates are in a transitional period after hiring Cherington and new team president Travis Williams, which could mean two-time Gold Glove outfielder Starling Marte - who's recently been mentioned in trade rumors - and All-Star first baseman Josh Bell are available.
Although the Pirates finished last in the National League Central last season, posting their worst record since 2010, moves will only be made to help re-establish the franchise as a winner, according to Cherington.
"Everything we do is focused on moving closer to a winning team or sustaining winning," the GM explained. "That's the lens that I would look at it through. There will be opportunities that come up this winter or over the course of the next year that we will evaluate on the merit of whether that's getting us closer to a winning team."