Has Russell Martin been the Best Free Agent Signing?

Has Russell Martin been the Best Free Agent Signing?

You get the sense with this Pirates team that something is different.

Russell Martin has been a vital part of the Pirates success so far in 2013. (Photo by: David Hague)

Sure, Pittsburgh has been rattling off wins at a near-record pace and appears poised to battle with St. Louis and Cincinnati all summer for positioning in the National League Central with the prospect of spot in the playoffs not seeming like a pipe dream. Those are all not the norm for the Pirates, but what has been the catalyst for the transformation from a good team that could not close the deal in 2011 or 2012 to the team that has been one of the best in baseball through the first two months of 2013?

There are many reasons, and one that jumps out to me is the chemistry this team has with each other. The attitud...

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Tom Bragg is a beat writer and analyst for He is the former sports editor of the (Fairmont) Times West Virginian and has worked at the Charleston Gazette, Charleston Daily Mail and the (Ashland, Ky.) Independent. His freelance work has appeared in newspapers all over West Virginia and he has written for The Associated Press with stories posted to several major media outlets (,, Tom graduated from Marshall University in May 2010 with a degree in Print Journalism. Follow Tom on Twitter: @TomBraggSports

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