The BP staff recounts some of the winter's best transactions and decisions.
The BP staff recounts some of the winter's worst transactions and decisions.
February 26, 2014 6:00 am
Our candidates to break out or bounce back this season.
The staff believes these players will struggle to repeat their 2013 campaings.
Young players who could show that they're big league ready in exhibition action.
You'll hear these things throughout February and March—probably more often than you should.
Our staff identifies holes that teams might want to address as spring training approaches.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates: Mid-rotation starter/Bring back A.J. Burnett
Last year was, by any metric, a magical season for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They had stars, they had character, and most importantly, they finally had the record to contend with the perennially, annoyingly great Cardinals. But if they want their romance with the MLB postseason to last more than one frustrating date, they need to do something about their rotation, and fast.
A.J. Burnett was the team’s rock last year, eating up 191 innings with All-Star caliber pitching. But the 37-year-old Burnett, a free agent this offseason, has wavered between resigning with the Bucs and calling it quits altogether. Contract talks have gone silent of late, so there’s no telling when this issue will get resolved. If Burnett does decide to retire, the Pirates’ options are severely limited: Masahiro Tanaka is now off the market, and the best remaining arms—Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez—both cost a compensatory draft pick. (With the team’s recent track record of developing talent, that pick figures to be a huge obstacle to any potential deal.)
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