As of Wednesday, more than 28,000 fans signed a petition on change.org asking Major League Baseball to force Pirates owner Bob Nutting to sell the team.
Writing "we deserve better," the petition's starters aim to reach 35,000 signatures to protest the direction Nutting and the front office have taken in the offseason. Pittsburgh sent top starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to Houston on Saturday, then sent McCutchen to the Giants, shedding the organization of $20 million in salary in the process.
The Pirates, who reached the playoffs three straight seasons from 2013 to '15, have finished below .500 each of the last two years.
Nutting, who took over as the team's principal owner in 2007, called the decision to trade McCutchen the most difficult of his tenure.