David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
- C Chris Stewart
- RHP Edinson Volquez
- RHP A.J. Burnett
- RF Marlon Byrd
- C John Buck
- 1B/OF Garrett Jones
- C Michael McKenry
- 1B Justin Morneau
What Still Needs to Be Done
First base and right field were issues in Pittsburgh last season, so the team went out and acquired Justin Morneau and Marlon Byrd in separate deals to plug those holes.
Both have since left for other teams as free agents, and the Pirates have done nothing to replace them. That's a problem.
The Pirates currently have four mediocre players—Travis Ishikawa, Andrew Lambo, Chris McGuiness and Gaby Sanchez—in camp to compete for the first base job, and a platoon situation isn't ideal for a contending club.
Neither is the team's situation in right field, where Jose Tabata has proven that he's too inconsistent to be counted upon to produce on a daily basis. Top prospect Gregory Polanco could be the team's internal answer at the position, but he's not expected to make an impact at the top level until late in the season.
The Pirates also watched A.J. Burnett, the team's most reliable starter, walk away as a free agent. They replaced him with the incredibly wild and erratic Edinson Volquez, hoping that pitching coach Ray Searage can work his magic once again, as he did with Francisco Liriano a year ago.
Pittsburgh failed to improve its roster—even slightly—after ending more than two decades of ineptitude and capturing the hearts of baseball fans across the country in 2013. As presently constituted, it's going to be nearly impossible for the Pirates to reach the postseason for a second straight season.