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.
"All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH
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!