First Pitch

First Pitch: The 2014 Pirates Are a Better Team Than the 2013 Pirates

First Pitch: The 2014 Pirates Are a Better Team Than the 2013 Pirates

Every off-season you see the same type of analysis when it comes to evaluating how a team has improved for the following season. It's always a basic formula that subtracts the players who are leaving from the end of the season roster, and adds in only the players who project to be on the 25-man roster on Opening Day the following year. And the whole process is wrong.

The Pirates saw A.J. Burnett, Marlon Byrd, Justin Morneau, Garrett Jones, Clint Barmes and others walk as free agents at the end of the season. Byrd, Morneau, and Jones have signed elsewhere. Barmes just re-signed with the Pirates today. Burnett is still in limbo, deciding whether he will retire.

The Pirates have added Edinson Volquez, Chris Stewart, Jaff Decker, and Miles Mikolas so far this off-season. And you can add Barmes, just so he appears on each list.

The incorrect way of evaluating things compares these two lists. Edinson Volquez isn't as good as A.J. Burnett. The Pirates lost Byrd, Morneau, and Jones, a...

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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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