A few quick notes for Tuesday:
-P- This, by Grant Brisbee, is an interesting visualization of each franchise's ability to contend currently and the likelihood that it will contend in the future.
The Pirates are in the bottom right quadrant on the graph, indicating both that they can contend this season and that they're well positioned to contend in future years. Basically, you want to be on the right side somewhere, and the bottom right is best. The really awful place to be is the top left. Notice the relative positioning of the Pirates' divisional foes, which all seem about right to me.
-P- Dave Cameron discusses potential tensions a team might encounter between trying to field the best possible team and trying to keep popular players. As David Todd implies, this debate will rage in the next couple years as Pirates fans discuss what the team ought to be willing to do to retain Andrew McCutchen. (That's a problem we've discussed here and elsewhere.) There's a head versus heart question here that Brisbee actually nailed a couple years ago when discussing the Matt Cain extension.
It's telling, I think, that the right side of Grant's face turned out to be pretty prophetic with regard to Cain's performance over the course of the contract. Of course, as Cameron notes, there can be more to the issue of whether to extend a star veteran than how many wins he's likely to produce.
-P- It happened over the weekend, but I'll note here that I liked the Brewers' end of the deal in which they sent Jean Segura to the Diamondbacks. They added a nifty young infield prospect in Isan Diaz, as well as a starting pitcher in Chase Anderson who isn't necessarily the best but is an innings eater who could help them get through some very lean years, the way guys like Paul Maholm did in Pittsburgh a few years back.