Strengths: Stability. The Pittsburgh Pirates have basically the entire offense coming back. Andrew McCutchen just won NL MVP, and he is only getting better. The Pirates even have a full rotation of starters that can keep them contenders with, and have Jamenson Taillon waiting in the wing.
Weaknesses: There isn’t really a big weakness. They could use an upgrade at short and another right handed power bat wouldn’t hurt. The shortstop position is probably the biggest need. Jordy Mercer played well down the stretch but is hardly a franchise guy.
Off-Season Needs: The Pirates are not a big market team, so they won’t be big players in the free agent market, but they will need to make a small splash to start a streak of winning seasons after two decades of futility. If they decide to spend some money, there is a guy that can fill both their needs of shortstop and right handed power, Jhonny Peralta. That said, the Pirates have several ground ball pitchers, and Peralta isn’t exactly a great defender.
2014 Projection: Playoffs. I think the Pirates have the potential to be very good and battle for the division. They probably aren’t real World Series contenders, but they are close.