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Lady Steel
10-14-2013, 10:49 PM
How to maintain a winner: 2014 Pirates outlook
October 14, 2013 12:01 am
By Michael Sanserino, Bill Brink and Jenn Menendez / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Pirates built a winner in 2013. Maintaining that success is now the biggest challenge.

A handful of players who helped the Pirates end a 20-year streak of losing seasons will likely play elsewhere in 2014 as the front office shifts from on-field strategy to off-field decisions.

Before the end of the season, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said that sustaining the team's success could prove just as challenging -- if not more challenging -- than building the winning team. The Pirates' payroll is at a record high for the club and figures to grow as young players are due raises either by arbitration or contractual salary increases.

At the same time, the front office has prioritized re-signing pitcher A.J. Burnett and outfielder Marlon Byrd. Both were vital to the 2013 team but could prove costly as they enter free agency.

The 2014 Pirates will look awfully similar to the 2013 edition. But a few potential departures could severely hurt this team's chances of repeating their success.

Player updates:

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/pirates/how-to-maintain-a-winner-2014-pirates-outlook-707489/#ixzz2hl7N6aPo

10-18-2013, 07:28 PM
Re-signing Byrd is a must. Glad to see it was done. But Burnett... really? *facepalm* To say he was "inconsistent" this year is an understatement....