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Frank Coonelly Speaks

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And it sounds pretty good:

Don't expect the Pirates' payroll, which currently sits just under $40 million, to increase drastically under Coonelly's direction. What can be expected to change, however, is where the majority of the team's funds are allocated.

"From my judgment, resources haven't been allocated effectively or efficiently," Coonelly said...

Where that starts, Coonelly said, is within the developmental rungs of the organization.

"There's a model out there and you have to build your team from the bottom up," Coonelly said. "You have to build your team beginning with the farm system, bring them up, develop them well and bring them to the Major Leagues and make a commitment to them once they're in the Major Leagues, so that they are committed to you moving forward."

With this approach, Coonelly said the team is going to be more aggressive in acquiring both national and international talent. While the focus of nabbing talent through the annual First-Year Player Draft isn't going to waver, Coonelly said that he will see that there is a renewed commitment to investing the necessary resources abroad.

There's some potential BS at the end of the article, where Coonelly is quoted discussing how the Pirates' minor leaguers need more "pride," and obviously it's not good to hear that the Pirates' payroll won't increase much. But it sounds as if Coonelly at least understands that it's better to invest in scouting and the draft rather than in the Matt Morrises and Jeromy Burnitzes of the world. Which would obviously be an enormous step forward.

There's also an open letter from Coonelly that's pretty promising:

The best way that we can consistently compete is to aggressively acquire and develop talent, both in the domestic and international markets. This strategy has proven to be successful in other markets and one that must be executed effectively.

Our immediate priority will be to find the right general manager who will work hard to build on the baseball foundation by broadening our talent base, improving our player development systems and making the international market a true priority.

Not too bad, right?

Thanks to WTM for the first link.