Before the Pirates even take the field this April for the 2007 season, it is likely the organization will have already made more money from shared MLB revenue then they have spent on their payroll for the season, according to the Post-Gazette.
The Pirates are expected to spend somewhere in the range of 50 million on their 2007 payroll but will be guaranteed over 60 million stemming from media contracts and a one time payout from the sale of the Washington Nationals organization.
In the same article Dejan Kovacevic makes the argument that the Pirates would benefit on multiple fronts to sign Jeff Suppan or Tomo Ohka to solidify their rotation. Both pitchers should be able to be counted on for 200 innings and a signing would eliminate the risk of trading one of the Pirates young stars.
In his Hot Stove notebook, Dejan reports that both Jose Castillo and Ryan Doumit are having excellent winters at the plate, but both are doing it out of position. Castillo has been playing the outfield in Venezuela and Doumit has been playing almost exclusively at first base in Mexico. With the Pirates wish to start Freddy Sanchez at second base, it is possible the Pirates could try Castillo in the outfield.
The Cardinals are looking for a closer in order to move Adam Wainwright to the rotation and that said closer could come from the Pirates, who could be interested in outfielder/first basemen Chris Duncan, who hit 22 home runs in only 280 at bats last season.
Finally, PG columnist Gene Collier makes another, yet separate, push for the Pirates to sign Jeff Suppan with some sensible arguments.