Stephen Zielinski has a mother of an article at Only Bucs on whether the Pirates' ownership will open its wallet as promised. It's packed with great stuff and well worth your time. Zielinski suggests that the ownership's plans can be judged on whether they acquire young, potential impact players this winter. (Zielinski actually says "prospects," but I'll amend that to include players like Wily Mo Pena who have substantial upside and major league service time.) Star veteran free agents are out of the question; even with a payroll increase, the Pirates really can't/won't afford them. And if, as Zielinski suggests, they use the payroll increase to acquire players like Jeromy Burnitz or Shawn Green, then that's just business as usual.