The Pirates have recently gone dumpster diving with the acquisitions of Tony Armas and Dan Kolb. Corey already covered Armas' "potential", so I'll delve into the what the signing of Kolb does for the Buccos bullpen. First off, this is technically a minor league deal, which is a wise move by Littlefield. Second, if Kolb is added to the MLB 25-man roster it will be for $1.25 million...not so bad when you compare it to what other has-beens have been getting on the open market this winter and consider it is also a paycut from his 2 mil he made last season. I consider Kolb a has-been because he did have 2 solid seasons as the Brewers closer back in 03-04. Since then he's faltered in that role for the Braves in '05, and returned to Milwaukee last season, but didn't really do anything worth mentioning. Kolb's career ERA is 4.31 accompanied by a 1.51 WHIP, with little strikeouts but tons of groundball...expect much the same this season. I just hope Tracy has sense enough to not use him as the 8th inning setup man just because he's a "proven veteran". He has much better options in John Grabow and Matt Pocket-full-of-fat-Capps to hold down a close game. One thing that Corn-on-the-Kolb does have going for him is his nice bushy goatee...top-notch!
The Pirates are going to be an interesting team in the NL Central this season. They still have trash on their team, ahem, Shawn Chacon and now Dan Kolb, but overall they've improved this offseason. Adam LaRoche is going to be a tremendous boost to the offense, and the young rotation should continue to progress. I'd love nothing more than to see PA showndown in the playoffs...wishful thinking.