I've always believed that the best approach for small market teams is to build a farm system that constantly provides replacements for the players in the majors.  When a star player is ready to leave, the system will ideally have a guy ready to take over and provide the same production.  The system will also allow the team to trade guys away as they get in to their expensive years, while replacing them with an internal option that is only being held back by the expensive player that was blocking him.

The Pittsburgh Pirates aren't to this stage yet.  Their rebuild really started with the 2008 draft, and they're just now getting to the point where players from that draft are reaching AAA and the majors.  Considering that the 2011 season saw players from the 2006/2007 drafts make their way...

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