CATCHER: Francisco Cervelli is back as the lead backstop, however the last thing you want is for your top catcher to have concussion issues. With Chris Stewart's club option declined, Elias Diaz is the primary back-up.
INFIELD: Every one is back, at least for now with Josh Bell, Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer and David Freese the returnees. Sean Rodriguez is a threat to supplant Freese.
OUTFIELD: The strength of the Bucs, Andrew McCutchen, Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco are the starting three, when healthy. Health is the key, making Adam Frazier relevant.
BENCH: While it's better to have a strong starting unit, it doesn't hurt to have solid depth, like that in the Steel City. Rodriguez and Frazier will get their playing time with Jose Osuna and Jordan Luplow in the mix. For those wondering, Jung-ho Kang had permission to play winter ball, then had to return to South Korea. His ability to travel to the US is still up in the air, and even if he does, he could face suspension from the Pirates or MLB.
ROTATION: Gerrit Cole anchors Jameson Taillon, Ivan Nova, Chad Kuhl and Trevor Williams with Tyler Glasnow, Steven Brault and Nick Kingham knocking on the door.
BULLPEN: Felipe Rivero took over when Tony Watson was dealt and excelled, so he'll enter 2018 with saves duties. George Kontos, Wade LeBlanc, Daniel Hudson and A.J. Schugel are the setup crew.
PROSPECTS TO WATCH: Outfielder Austin Meadows is one of the jewels of the system, though he appears blocked. Something has to give, perhaps finally dealing Cutch. Mitch Keller is the jewel of the arms, but likely needs a year at Triple-A, unless Pittsburgh is in the playoff mix. Some are predicting he debuts this season, I'm not in that camp.
POSSIBLE ACQUISITIONS: The Pirates are a tweener, they don't appear to have the talent to compete, but there's a pathway if the stars align. An infield upgrade, especially at shortstop is possible, as is back-end starter and bullpen help.
- ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS ATLANTA BRAVES BALTIMORE ORIOLES BOSTON RED SOX CHICAGO CUBS CHICAGO WHITE SOX CINCINNATI REDS CLEVELAND INDIANS COLORADO ROCKIES DETROIT TIGERS HOUSTON ASTROS KANSAS CITY ROYALS LOS ANGELES ANGELS LOS ANGELES DODGERS MIAMI MARLINS MILWAUKEE BREWERS MINNESOTA TWINS NEW YORK METS NEW YORK YANKEES OAKLAND ATHLETICS PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES SAN DIEGO PADRES SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS SEATTLE MARINERS TAMPA BAY RAYS TEXAS RANGERS TORONTO BLUE JAYS WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Do you want to win your league?
Platinum 2018, featuring the industry's earliest projections has launched. All you have to do is register an account, make sure you're logged in and click HERE.
Follow me on Twitter @ToddZola
Follow the site on Twitter @Mastersball