I don't think the Pirates could afford Burnett at $14 Million. Rumor is they offered him around $8 Million and it "insulted" him. Wandy is a wild card, but subbing Volquez for Burnett, a probable regression from Liriano and Jeff Locke already turning into a pumpkin, means they'll need a big year from Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon will need to burst on the scene. I'm pessimistic on the Reds, but I think the Pirates will finish 4th and several games behind Cincy. They could be tough in 2015 when Polanco, Hanson and Taillon should all be ready.
Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS
Pirates will be fine. They are still loaded down on the farm.
This Pirates were incredibly lucky to win 94 games last season. I think they have a pretty good shot at finishing above .500 in 2014, but they're not winning 90+ games. I think they'll win around 85.
Bucs have a strong farm. They'll be fine unless their management goes off the rails. That's a factor that is too often ignored. I'd rank the front offices Cards then Reds then Bucs/Brewers and lastly the Cubs, despite the vaunted Epstein.
No - I am not from State Farm!