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Dave Littlefield: Nihilist?

You decide: Will you be open to trading one of your young starting pitchers for a position player?

Littlefield: I'm open to everything... There are no absolutes... Do you plan to offer any long-term contract extensions along the lines of the deal that you signed with Jason Bay last fall?

Littlefield: That is nothing that has been determined at this point... There is a possibility, then, that the arbitration-eligible players won't be signed for just one year.

Littlefield: There is a possibility, but there is nothing done at this point... Brad Eldred, Sean Burnett, John Van Benschoten and Bryan Bullington are former top prospects who have been sidelined in the past two seasons by injuries. How much are you counting on these players to be contributors to the big-league club in 2007?

Littlefield: I would say that I am not counting on anything.

Littlefield added, "I believe in nothing, Eagle. Nothing. And tomorrow I come back and I cut off your chonson."

In all seriousness, Littlefield does bury a couple of hints about the Pirates' offseason strategy in this otherwise pointless interview. He suggests that the Pirates may pursue trades to acquire players about the same age as the core of players they have now. He also says he'll pursue a new long reliever, a bullpen righty and possibly a middle infielder, ensuring that the Pirates will spend money to augment the only parts of the team where they actually have depth. He's also probably saying that, yet again, the Pirates will spread around their extra money to several mediocre players instead of spending it on one or two good ones.

By the way, I'm supposed to tell you to take this survey. So please take it. But don't take it for me. Take it for Littlefield. Surveys probably appeal to the middle manager in him.

No, seriously, take the survey.