Back in October, there was doom and gloom about the 2011 offseason from not only fans, but also writers that follow the Pirates closely. At the time, I consistently said that it was OCTOBER and you can't write the story for the upcoming offseason when it hasn't...ya know....started.
At the time, there was widespread consternation about the impending decline of options on Ryan Doumit and Paul Maholm. Hand-wringing, gnashing of teeth, shaking of fists kind of stuff. Ronny Cedeno would soon share the fate of not having his option picked up and that add another bough to the bonfire.
"The Pirates are too cheap to sign anybody!!" "The Pirates will never get a free agent to sign here unless they have no other possible options."
...and then a funny thing happened on the way to PNC. The Pir...