What could the Pirates look like in 2017?

Few names this offseason have been mentioned in trade talks as much as Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen. Larry Placido/Icon Sportswire

The Pirates are trying to land Jose Quintana even after agreeing to a deal with Ivan Nova on Thursday morning. But just trying isn’t good enough, writes Sean Gentille. From his piece, which was published Wednesday before the Nova deal:

That’s nice for them. Trying things is great; I tried to finish Christmas shopping last night and wound up seeing “Rogue One” for the third time instead.

In that regard, I have something in common with the Pirates; I attempted something, let it be known that I was attempting it, and failed. It happens often with them.

They tried, by various degrees of reports, to get Chris Archer from the Rays at the trade deadline. Didn’t happen. They tried to sign Scott Kazmir last December. Didn’t happen. They tried to trade for David Price in 2014. Didn’t happen. They’ve tried to move Andrew McCutchen for a premium and extend Ivan Nova all offseason. Hasn’t happened.

Now they’re trying to pry Quintana from the White Sox, and it probably won’t happen. That’s a prediction steeped in history; Neal Huntington’s body of work, impressive as it is, and Quintana’s price tag, enormous as it is, make any outcome more than “welp, they tried” unlikely.

Gentille’s column echoes the cynicism I get from a lot of Pirates fans on Twitter, so there is a lot of pressure on the Pirates from their fans to stay in the National League Central fight, to contend, to win.