The Pittsburgh Pirates had one of their best off-seasons in 2002-2003 from a free agency standpoint. I feel that disclaimer is necessary because while the Pirates made some strong free agent signings that off-season, they also lost Chris Young and Bronson Arroyo for nothing during the same off-season. The Pirates did have success on the free agent market, signing Matt Stairs, Jeff Suppan, Reggie Sanders, and Kenny Lofton to deals.
Stairs was the first to sign, inking a one year, $900,000 deal in mid-December. He put up a strong season, hitting for a .292/.389/.561 line in 305 at-bats, mostly working off the bench. The 35 year old parlayed that in to a three year, $3.55 M deal with the Kansas City Royals the following off-season.
The Pirates were quiet after that. They had traded for Randall Simon earlier in the off-season, but after signing Stairs they only made minor moves. Some of those minor moves ended up working out very well, such as the January signings of Jeff D'Amico and...
Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.