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-P- BP's Kevin Goldstein on the Pirates' farm system:

Charlie (San Diego): If you were named General Manager of the Pirates tomorrow, what's the first thing you'd do to improve the minor league system, and why?

Kevin Goldstein: If I was named the General Manager of the Pirates, the first thing I'd do to make the ballclub better would be resign as GM, as I'm woefully underqualified. That said, there's no such thing as an instant fix for any system. I would certainly recommend going with more high risk/high upside players in the draft, as that's the only way the team is every going to get any kind of impact talent.

Goldstein's chat features a lot of discussion about geographically-named bands. My band, FOX Japan, is mentioned (thanks to me).

-P- I'm a little late on this, but Darin Erstad has agreed to a $1 million, one-year deal with the White Sox, with a team option for 2008. Erstad can still play defense, so $1 million plus an option seems like a very reasonable gamble. However, the White Sox already have about a million people to man centerfield.

-P- Jody Gerut signed yesterday, avoiding arbitration. He took a slight pay cut, going from $875,000 in 2006 to $850,000, but he can make up to $140,000 in incentives if he actually plays.

-P- Jack Wilson says he plans to retire after ten seasons in the big leagues. That would give him four more years, which limits damage he'll do to the Pirates to just one decade. OK, that was mean.