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How Pirates Could Become Legitimate World Series Contenders In 2025

Could Pittsburgh enter the championship conversation next season?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are hanging around the postseason conversation in 2024 as the season already showed glimpses of a potentially special future.

Pittsburgh boasts a pair of talented starting pitchers along with a lineup that’s finding bats to compete with. The Pirates also present multiple capable relievers that offer production in the bullpen.

There’s a lot of growing for the young squad to do, but maybe the Pirates’ window to contend isn’t that far away.

These three developments could push the Pirates to contention in 2025.

Play meaningful games in September
The biggest advantage the Pirates can gain from this season would be extended competition for their young core. With just days before the All-Star Game, Pittsburgh sits within distance of a wild-card spot.

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The Pirates must find a way to stay in that race and rise above the rest of the competition in the National League down the stretch. That type of race can set the standard of experience for several foundational players. If the Pirates enter a window of championship contention, the second half of this season will be remembered as the start.

Make a lineup splash
There are talented bats in the Pirates’ order.

The team already extended Bryan Reynolds and hopes for offensive growth from Oneil Cruz. Now, a middle-of-the-order bat could bring the lineup together and push Pittsburgh further to contention.

This offseason, impact hitters such as Alex Bregman, Rhys Hoskins, Anthony Santander and J.D. Martinez are all set to hit the open market. If the Pirates are ready to invest and make a splash, those types of hitters could provide a legitimate boost.

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Support young starting pitching
Pittsburgh’s foundation rests on the arms of two young starters who can headline the rotation for years to come.

Paul Skenes and Jared Jones offer terrific stuff on the mound and have the ability to lead from the front. Top prospect Bubba Chandler could be MLB-bound during the 2025 season and Mitch Keller continues to produce. In order to keep the innings off of young arms entering a key window, Pittsburgh could look to add another starting pitcher.

This offseason, several short-term arms could be sensible additions for the Pirates.

While the Pirates might not be in the market for Shane Bieber, Walker Buehler or Corbin Burnes, there are plenty of arms to add behind Skenes, Keller and Jones that would supplement the rotation and turn Pittsburgh into a capable title contender.

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Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images