Looking into the crystal ball can be a little scary to think about fan favorite free agents leaving after only 6 years with a team especially if you're a "small market" team like the Pittsburgh Pirates. Part of the Pirates biggest issue in the past two decades was not having a core in place with a development plan for succession after free agency hits. Starting pitching has also been a HUGE problem, but more on that in a later post.
The Pirates currently have one of the fastest and youngest outfields in all of baseball, but it's also one of the most drained for power too. Only Andrew McCutchen looks like he could become a 20 HR guy. However, the havoc that Jose Tabata, Alex Presley, and McCutchen can cause on the base paths could mean lots of fastballs to guys like Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones. This could result in lots of stolen bases for the 3 mentioned outfielders and 450 foot blasts coming from Jones and Alvarez.
But...what happens in 2015 when Andrew McCutchen becomes a free agent after the final game of the World Series? Will he still be in Pittsburgh through that time? I suspect not, and that saddens me greatly since he's my favorite active player on any team in any sport.
Fret not though, cause there's lots of hope coming up from the minors and at least one of them should be ready for a big league callup by midseason 2012.