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The Pirates may have stolen the offseason, and could steal the NL Central, too

Welcome to In Short Order, a weekly look at all the baseball that I like and can't stop obsessing over. We'll mostly live at the edges of the game; at the intersection of the weird, the fun and the esoteric. Oh yeah, and hair.

The greatest heist of the winter happened under our noses. While we praised the Giants and Yankees for winning the offseason, it was the Pirates that snuck in like a cat burglar on a moonless night and quietly stole it. We thought the trades of Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole were the start of a soft rebuild. We thought wrong. 

Here's the thing: though the trades may have been massively unpopular among Pirates fans, they made the team better, deeper, stronger.