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Pirates Q+A

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There's lots of interesting stuff in the Post-Gazette's new Q+A, beginning with this:

The most interesting nugget I can share with you from the handful of conversations I have had in the past couple days is that the club has, at the very least, initiated contact with parties you would think would be way, way out of their standard price range, including free agents. That does not necessarily mean they would follow through, of course. Anyone can place a phone call. But it could be an indication that their pledge to increase the payroll to the high $40 million range should be taken more seriously than last year, when the team spent $5 million less than its self-declared ceiling.

Well, we'll see. This is still the team whose most notable achievements last offseason were signing Jose Mesa to a ridiculous contract, trading a young fireballer for a million-year-old catcher who barely played, and failing to sign Jeromy Burnitz.

And:

Q: What do you think it would take to land [Hank Blalock]?

KOVACEVIC: From what I have picked up, it would have taken Oliver Perez. The Rangers have asked about Perez repeatedly since the end of the season, but they have been rejected each time.

Now that's interesting. Both players are big gambles at this point. I think I'd probably have made that deal and crossed my fingers in the hopes that Blalock pulled himself together and finally became the All-Star hitter he's supposed to be.