But the Pirates did not wrap up their season before they had ended a 20-year run of consecutive losing seasons, which had begun after their last playoff appearance in 1992. NL MVP Barry Bonds bolted as a free agent after that season and things went downhill from there in Pittsburgh.
While the core of this talented Pirates team isn't going anywhere in the offseason, there are some holes that general manager Neal Huntington is going to have to fill if they're going to stay near the top of a tough division.
Having a strong farm system certainly eases the pressure of Huntington having to do too much in the offseason. But there's no denying that the addition of several veterans through free agency and trades has boosted the Pirates to another level.
Becoming a championship-caliber team, however, might require the acquisition of another impact player. The question is whether Pirates ownership is willing to boost the player payroll by a significant amount and whether the front office would trade one or two of the team's best prospects to make it happen.
Here's everything you'll need to know before Huntington and the front office get started.