The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates?

It may be premature to speculate about how the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates will perform within the NL Central.

However, with the official announcement of the Grilli deal ($2.75 mill for 2013, including a $500K signing bonus, and a $4 mill salary for 2014), a jolt of optimism seems to have overtaken Pirate fans.

Like most Pirate fans, I'm glad they kept Grilli. On the other hand, I hope I'm wrong but I gotta feeling that by 2014, the Pirates (and Pirate fans everywhere) will regret this deal. I fear that Grilli will either get hurt or flame out before 2014..... and I don't believe the Pirates will be competitive in 2013, anyway.

I remain hopeful that Huntington will do SOMETHING during the off-season to improve the team. However:

- Retaining Grilli clearly doesn't IMPROVE the team, since Grilli was a Pirate in 2012 (and probably over-performed).

- If they dump Hanrahan, any trade probably will not improve the 2013 Pirates, either.

- Sorry, but I don't see the acquisition of Russell Martin (he of the consistent 5-year decline, culminating in batting averages of .237 and .211 for the Yankees over the past two seasons) as a significant improvement over Barajas-McKenry..... and we all know how bad Barajas was (except for that awesome slide at home plate).

- The release of Karstens seems inexplicable.

- The marginal pitchers NH has acquired don't look promising (at least to me), either.


- Cincy has made what appears to be a significant improvement already.

- St. Louis can usually be counted on to do something positive during the off-season.

- Houston is gone from the NL Central.

- Chicago has money (certainly more than the Pirates) and new management (Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer)..... and I fully expect the Cubs to make progress.

- I wonder if anyone expects the Pirates to overtake Milwaukee???

It will be interesting to see how the experts predict the NL Central will finish in 2013..... but I expect them to be as pessimistic as I am about the Pirates' chances. Nothing would please me more than to see Huntington and the Pirates prove me wrong..... but I won't hold my breath.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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