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Tuesday Morning Rockpile:

With Tulowitzki's recent contract, fans of other teams are now asking if their team will look to wrap up deals like that with their young stars. A Pirates fan asks that question in the Pirates' latest Official Site mailbag. Part of the response was this:

It's interesting that you bring up Tulowitzki as an example because this weekend Coonelly used the Rockies shortstop as his example when he said exactly what your question suggests. Coonelly made a promise that the Pirates would definitely be looking to lock up young players to long-term deals earlier than, say, during their final arbitration year.

But are there any players still in their arbitration years on the roster that deserve a long-term deal? At least not on offense, with maybe Xavier Nady being the exception. Still, he's not exactly young, and the team has pursued trading him this off season.

For pitchers, Ian Snell (who approached the team about one and was rejected) and Matt Capps (who's made little progress in talks with the club) would be likely targets to sign long-term deals.

That Capps is one of the targets is interesting in that it brings up question from Sunday: Should the Rockies look into extending Corpas now? Thomas Harding tackles that question in his latest mailbag, letting us know that there are no plans at the moment to sign Corpas to a long-term deal. Part of that reasoning, according to Harding, is that "the future performance of a closer is harder to predict than other spots." So, here we have two teams with young pitchers who became major league closers in 2007. One team has languished at the bottom of the league for years; the other emerged last year as a team with a bright future. Who's right and who's wrong? Or is it more complicated than that? Is the answer team specific, because the Rockies have done something to reward the individuals on the team (and have Casey Weathers in case Corpas falters), while the Pirates haven't?

I think, in part, the answer can be found in the first question found in Harding's mailbag (concerning future payroll and such):

My assessment is the Rockies are in decent shape in that, unlike the past when they spent heavily on free agency and regretted it later, they have a good idea how the players will perform.

The Rockies have the results, whereas the Pirates look for results, but have none. Signing Capps would make it appear as if the Pirates are doing something.


Beyond the Box Score previews the Rockies. The biggest question I got out of it concerns what's written about Todd Helton: "Like every year since 1998 first baseman Todd Helton will play a key role in the Rockies offensive attack." If you had to rank how "key" each player in lineup was to the team, where would Helton place?