PITTSBURGH -- Without a doubt, the Pirates will be one of the most fascinating teams to watch in the weeks leading up to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The elements for intrigue are many: one of the Majors' best records, pitching surplus both in the rotation and the bullpen, no glaring holes.
Now add the experience of last season, when the Bucs likewise approached the Trade Deadline on a high, made several moves then, coincidentally or not, crumbled. General manager Neal Huntington has since conceded that some criticism of him tinkering with the club's chemistry might have been warranted.
So how do you approach it now?
"You always need to look and see if you can add to the team strength," said manager Clint Hurdle, who soon will participate in front-office conclaves to determine the club's approach. "We have a good team. I like how the guys have bound and figured out things together. Everyone has everyone else's back. We've been without ego. You pay attention to chemistry, and try to do the right thing."
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.