Rob Biertempfel previews the Pirates' offseason. As with most of what has been written about what the Pirates will do this winter, this article is very depressing - realistic fans will note that the couple of good players Biertempfel mentions (Edwin Jackson, Carlos Pena) are unlikely to come to Pittsburgh, and that the Pirates are likely to be stuck with some of the less-helpful guys. One new one who comes up is Jason Varitek - the Pirates need a catcher, but there won't be much on the free agent market, which could leave the Pirates with Varitek, an injury-prone receiver who will be 40 in April.â†µ
Biertempfel also adds that the Pirates are likely to non-tender Garrett Jones, which makes little sense given that 1) Jones won't cost much in free agency and 2) the Pirates don't have much of a plan at first base if Jones leaves and they're unable to get someone like Pena or Derrek Lee. Prospect Matt Hague might be modestly useful in a platoon situation, but as of right now, there's no good reason to go into the season with him as the starter. And even if he does win the job outright, Jones would be a very useful bench player.â†µ
For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.