The Pittsburgh Pirates were a much-improved team in 2012, winning 79 games and competing for a playoff berth for much of the season. That does not imply that this team does not have several clear holes, however.
Thanks to the emergence of players like Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker, more lineup slots are covered than in years' past, which means GM Neal Huntington can focus on addressing those areas where the Pirates are weakest.
It will not be easy for the Bucs to address for all their woes, as the positions where Pittsburgh has struggled the most are the weakest in baseball. The method will vary, too, as high-priced free agents will not always yield the best results for a team with a limited budget like the Pirates.
But the Pirates need to do something to address each of the following needs, whether it's finding an established free agent, picking a few guys off the scrap heap, or turning players loose from Triple-A.
Over the next few weeks, I will provide potential avenues for the Pirates to address each of these holes. The purpose of this article is simply to identify those holes.