The Pittsburgh Pirates will enter the 2014 season with Starling Marte as their starting left-fielder. By mid-season, Gregory Polanco could join the team as the starting right-fielder. Alen Hanson and Joely Rodriguez are both slated to begin the 2014 season in Altoona, and both could arrive in the majors as early as mid-2015. All four players were signed out of the Dominican Republic. The total cost for all four players was under $400,000, which is less than one league minimum player in the majors.

It's hard to believe that not too long ago the Pirates had almost no focus in the Dominican Republic. On Wednesday afternoon, Pirates owner Bob Nutting referred to the old program as "inadequate", referring not only to the facility, but also to the commitment in scouting and signing bonuses in...

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