The Pirates' farm system, which has made a strong recovery under player personnel director Brian Graham the last three seasons, began sending more players to the major leagues this year as the Pirates had 13 rookies on their roster at the end of the season. That has left the Pirates thin in prospects at the upper levels, but they have many interesting players, particularly pitchers, lower in the system.
October 6, 2004
Will they mess with Mesa? The Pirates took a low-risk gamble on veteran RHP Jose Mesa, signing him to a minor league contract as a free agent in January. After being run out of Philadelphia in 2003, Mesa paid off big for the Pirates as he converted 43 of 48 save opportunities and became only the sixth pitcher in history with four 40-save seasons.
October 4, 2004