I just saw this tidbit at the bottom of the Post-Gazette's Notebook today - Pirates general manager Neal Huntington sounds like he's about had it with the media:â†µ
Huntington, on pursuing free agents this offseason: "We're going to be looking, but we're not going to just throw money at free agents to appease the fans and a few members of the media."â†µ
Oh snap! Huntington is right not to spend wildly this offseason - while there might be some ways to find decent stopgap players, particularly in the middle infield, it would be unwise for the Pirates to raise the payroll to the $70-$80 million level, which is where I think most fans, including myself, hope it will eventually go. There's no real reason to throw much money around until the team's core of young talent is good enough to support all the extra spending. If the Bucs spent $80 million and then lost 90 games again (and that's well within the realm of possibility even if the Pirates spent that much), the effect on the Pirates' finances would probably be calamitous. The Pirates do, eventually, need to spend a lot more money. But first things first - they need to build the core of a winning ballclub, so that when they do spend, they'll have a contending team.