Saturday, January 18, 2014

16 Pirates Under Contract; Payroll Taking Shape - Kinda...

Bucs signed to MLB contracts:

Wandy Rodriguez - $13M
Russ Martin - $8.5M
Cutch - $7.25M
Francisco Liriano - $6M
Neil Walker - $5.75M
Edison Volquez - $5M
 Pedro Alvarez - $4.25M
Jason Grilli - $4M

Charlie Morton - $4M
Jose Tabata - $3M
Mark Melancon - $2.595M
Gaby Sanchez - $2.3M
Clint Barmes - $2M
Travis Snider - $1.2M
Chris Stewart - $1M
Vin Mazzaro - $950K

Those 16 players total about $65M in salary (Houston is on the hook for $5.5M of Wandy's paycheck). The remainder of the 40-man roster, as constituted today, are minimum wage players, with a dozen in $500K range (Tony Watson, Josh Harrison, Gerrit Cole, Jeanmar Gomez, Andrew Lambo, Jeff Locke, Starling Marte, Jordy Mercer, Bryan Morris, Andrew Oliver, Stolmy Pimentel, Justin Wilson).

With signing bonuses (but without performance bonuses), Tim Williams of Pirates Prospects has the current 40-man payroll pegged at nearly $74M, which is just about at last year's level of $74.6M.

That's not a very good snapshot of the 2014 ultimate salary cost. Guys will go on the DL, the Pirates are still presumably looking for a first baseman and haven't entirely given up the ghost on AJ, players will be added before camp and probably again at the deadline.

To soften the blow, Pittsburgh will get $20M in extra TV revenue and found a few coins under the cushion thanks to last year's on-field success. And signing all their arb guys does give them some payroll certainty.

But we don't look for them to break into the cookie jar yet. Given the options, they could be satisfied with Andrew Lambo or Travis Ishikawa teaming up with Gaby at first, at least in the early going. If AJ becomes a full-time poppa, they should add another depth starter. The most probable route to fill those needs is by trade; we suspect they're done with the FA market until a couple of fringe value players are left unsigned as camp approaches. 

So the FO probably has one more decent signing left this off season, which should leave the payroll at $80M or so when the season opens.

1 comment:

WilliamJPellas said...

I think this summary is pretty accurate. Not sure that Bronson Arroyo wouldn't be considered should AJ really retire. Arroyo came up in the Pittsburgh organization and while he's a control guy / pitch to contact type, he's never thrown all that hard and so maybe he's got another good season or two left in him even at the tail end of his career. You could do a lot worse than him, of that I'm sure.

Otherwise, yes, I would expect that any significant additions to the roster---other than top prospects Taillon and Polanco---will come via trade and not as free agents in all likelihood. BTW, an $80 million payroll, even in these times, is definitely NOT chump change. In fact, it's a little higher than I am comfortable with, to be honest. I don't know how Bob Nutting affords even that much given that so much of his fortune is tied up in 1) a dying newspaper industry and 2) a seasonally volatile ski resort, but evidently he has some money to spend.