Rob Biertempfel checks in with players' union representative Michael Weiner:
MLBPA executive director Michael Weiner on Monday gave grudging approval of the Pirates' budget-conscious strategy for rebuilding the team.
"Are we happy with the current state of the Pirates' payroll? Of course we'd like to see it higher," Weiner said at Penn State's Dickinson School of Law. "Is it tough to see when they sign a player like Nate McLouth and then trade him? Is it tough to see some of the other things they've done? Sure. But, to date, we have been convinced the Pirates have a plan.
"You guys (in Pittsburgh) have as beautiful a ballpark as there is in the major leagues. You've got a phenomenal fan base and history. (Ownership has) a plan in place, so we'll continue to monitor it. We've been satisfied so far."
Later in the article, Weiner seems to be suggesting that based on what he knows, the Pirates appear to understand the need to raise their payroll in the near future. If even the players' union is currently satisfied with what the Pirates are doing, that's great news, because the union presumably has access to a lot more information than you or I do.