The Pittsburgh Pirates will have an interesting playoff race over the next month and a half. They're currently 4.5 games back in the NL Central, and half a game back from the second Wild Card spot. So far this season, they've had some interesting situations develop that are impacting the playoff race, and will impact the future plans. Those include the emergence of Josh Harrison, the sudden surge from Travis Snider, Pedro Alvarez's struggles, or the strong play of Russell Martin (all year) and Francisco Liriano (second half).

Looking past the current playoff race, we're about to be set up for a very interesting off-season, that will be far from the cookie-cutter off-seasons from previous years. There are several interesting financial decisions coming up, and I thought I'd take a look at...

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