Quick Hits: Pirates, Francona, Tracy, Phillies

Sunday afternoon linkage..

  • Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wonders if the Pirates will take a step forward in 2013.  Biertempfel notes that the Bucs find themselves with the same holes to fill as they did a year ago at catcher, first base, shortstop, right field, in the bullpen, and in the starting rotation. 
  • The hiring of Terry Francona as manager gives the Indians credibility heading into next season, opines Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (video link).  Rosenthal believes that Francona was looking for a front office that he could really trust after his uncomfortable exit from Boston.
  • Unless Jim Tracy believes that the Rockies are capable of reaching the playoffs next season, the veteran skipper should opt to part ways with the club, writes Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post.  Kiszla suggests that Tracy should find a way to leave without forfeiting his $1.4MM salary, but it has been widely reported that he simply as a handshake agreement for 2013.
  • Free agent options such as Josh Willingham and Yoenis Cespedes would have been a worthwhile investments for the Phillies last winter, writes Bob Brookover of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  While there were missed opportunities for the club, Brookover is quick to note that injuries took their toll on the team in 2012 .

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