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Sportsline NL Central Preview

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Sportsline says that the Pirates will raise their payroll to$60 million next year - I wonder where they got that? Elsewhere, Scott Miller warns the Pirates not to overspend on mediocre free agents, advises them to trade pitching for offense, points out that last year's Pirates were dreadful at getting on base, and wonders what impact Sean Burnett and John VanBenschoten will have in the next couple years. All pretty standard stuff, except the assertion that the Pirates need to hunt for a closer this offseason, which is silly - if he's healthy, Mike Gonzalez could be one of the best in baseball, and closers are hideously overvalued on the market. They're a luxury that a team like the Pirates can't afford.

Thanks to Cardnilly.