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Jon Heyman: Pirates Already "Aggressive" In Free Agent Market

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated tweets that the Pirates have already been "aggressive" in hunting for players on the free agent market. We'll see what this offseason brings - as I've said, I think their best path is to try to sign or trade for a good defensive middle infielder (like Orlando Hudson or J.J. Hardy) to help their starting pitchers thrive. They'll also probably have to grab a couple relievers - I think they have the beginning of a pretty good bullpen with Joel Hanrahan, Evan Meek, Chris Resop and the newly-re-signed Wilfredo Ledezma, but they'll need help after that.

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Every indication has been that the Pirates will also be interested in signing a starting pitcher. That's not necessarily a horrible idea, but if they don't improve their defense, signing a starter might backfire on them, and most of the starting pitching options in their likely price range (Dave Bush, Doug Davis, etc.) aren't much of an upgrade on what they already have. A hitter to play first base or corner outfield is also a possibility, but I think that even if the Pirates don't move Pedro Alvarez to first, they should be okay at first and right field with Garrett Jones, Lastings Milledge, Steve Pearce, John Bowker and possibly Jeff Clement.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.