As one who is perpetually frustrated by the Pirates’ front office – exacerbated after its failure to really support the team at last year’s trading deadline – it’s a pleasure to feel a bit optimistic for this coming season. I remain skeptical; we’re still talking a pretty minuscule payroll in baseball terms, and there were a lot of things they could have happened this offseason which didn’t get done. We all watched, for example, as one potential 1B after another was taken off the board. And I am not talking about the Pujols and the Fielder types; they were never realistic. But the Penas, the Kotchmans, even the Cuddyers or Willinghams, were all grabbed up by teams not called the Pirates.
But let’s focus on what did get done. I would put it this way. Generically speaking, the Pirates had three big needs – bring strength and consistency up the middle; bolster the SP staff; and improve the offense. I would give them credit on two of these.