Analysis

Pirates Off-Season Preview: Burnett, First Base, and the Walker Problem

Pirates Off-Season Preview: Burnett, First Base, and the Walker Problem

The Pittsburgh Pirates made the playoffs this year, and will largely be keeping the same team together next year. When you add in the continued improvements from young players, and the expected mid-season additions of prospects like Jameson Taillon and Gregory Polanco, then you've got a team that has the potential to be strong once again next year. Because of this, there aren't a lot of things the Pirates need to focus on this off-season. Here are three of the big topics to watch for when the off-season starts to unfold over the next two months.

Which Pitchers Will Return?

A.J. Burnett is a free agent this off-season. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Pirates have two pitchers who are question marks heading into the off-season. Wandy Rodriguez has a player option for $13 M, while A.J. Burnett is eligible for free agency, and hasn't decided whether he would return.

The question with Rodriguez isn't whether he will return. He's almost certain to pick up his option, considering ...

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Analysis
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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.

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