The consensus is that Brandon Moss has a chance to be a consistent .800 OPS guy at a corner outfield spot, which could equate to the Dodgers' Andre Ethier or Texas' David Murphy.
Even if Moss is just an average producer, it saves the Pirates from overpaying for another Jeromy Burnitz type on the free-agent market. The same applies to Andy LaRoche at third base and Jeff Karstens at the back end of the Pittsburgh rotation.
The biggest mystery among the new Pirates is Jose Tabata, who was rated the Yankees' No. 2 prospect by Baseball America in 2007. That was before he walked out on his Double-A team in Trenton in the middle of a game and received a three-game suspension.
It's rare to see a 19-year-old phenom's stock drop so quickly. But Tabata is now saddled with the "bad makeup'' label and has a lot of image reparation to do.
The Pirates, naturally, are confident that he can. They did exhaustive research and determined that Tabata cares, wants to be the best and is a driven player at heart. But he struggled with the cold spring weather in Trenton, experienced failure for the first time and did not respond well.
"He made a huge mistake and was extremely remorseful for it," Neal Huntington said. "He's still dealing with maturity issues, as most 19-year-olds are."
> SS Jack Wilson was a late scratch with right shoulder stiffness last night, but it doesn't seem to be anything too serious. He batted as a pinch-hitter in the 12th and reached base on an infield single. Luis Rivas took his spot.
> Ex-Buc Brian Giles is staying put. Boston claimed him from the waiver wire, some say out of legitimate interest, and others say to block Tampa Bay from landing him, but either way, he's not leaving the coast. It was reported that he'd veto a deal to Boston even if one could be struck.
The Bosox weren't willing to pay very dear a price for him because they feared he'd rejoin the Padres after the season, so they saw him as a two-month, playoff rental.