Hey Robert Fick, Wes Helms, Jeff Cirillo, Bobby Higginson and Brian Jordan! Dave Littlefield wants you to call him...
This sounds like business as usual from the Pirates - they'll grab third-tier free agents who have some name recognition, then hope they bounce back - but there's no reason to expect that the market for second-tier free agents will be as funky as it was before the 2003 season, so expect another crop of Raul Mondesis, Randall Simons, Chris Styneses, and Jose Mesas. Great. I didn't expect more from Littlefield, but it's particularly troubling that he's already admitting that he's going to settle for the bottom of the barrel.
As for "good players who came out of that crop that weren't necessarily the highest-rated from the masses," well, forget it. If anything, Littlefield has proven that his talent-evaluation skills are far worse than those of most GMs, so it isn't like he knows a lot of things that they don't. And his 2003 trick isn't going to work again.