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2018 Projected Pirates’ Roster And Payroll — Where To Improve

PNC Park remains a jewel in baseball, but the team needs some work.

The Pirates enter this offseason preparing for a 2018 season with many apathetic and cynical eyes on them.  Revenues from attendance (and the food/merchandise that goes with it) will be down, due to the continued drop in attendance.  In 2016, attendance was 2.25M.  This season, it was 1.92M, a precipitous drop of 14.6%.  TV ratings on AT&T Sportsnet also cratered this season, a true indicator that people were really fed up with the direction of the team.

However, what is lost in the attendance portion of the revenue should be made up for by a one-time influx of cash from the continued sale of BAMTech shares to Disney.  Originally, I speculated that $50M might be going to each MLB team, but I neglected to account for the fact that the NHL is a 10% owner in BAMTech, too (a de-risking move done early on by MLB Advanced Media).  So each team could get $45M, which assuming 45% goes to payroll would result in a $20.25M boost.

I’ve already estimated the salaries for the arbitration-eligible players.  Let’s see what the Pirates have on hand, how much money may be left, and where they could improve.

The Pirates need to win back their fans.  They need to construct a good product that will interest viewers, as well, since their TV deal is up after 2019 and increased ratings will positively affect them during negotiations.  They are routinely running revenues in the $250M-$260M range, so I’m projecting a potential 2018 Opening Day payroll of $115M.  This would be a 46% payroll-to-revenue ratio based on $250M in revenue or a 44% payroll-to-revenue ratio on $260M of revenue.

EXISTING PAYROLL COMMITMENTS

Right now, the Pirates have $75.4M of committed salary to the following 10 players (and two buyouts):

Player Amount
McCutchen* $14.75M
Cervelli $10.5M
Harrison $10.25M
Nova $9.17M
Marte $7.83M
Rodriguez $5.75M
Hudson $5.5M
Freese $4.25M
Polanco $4.1M
Kang $3.0M

*Assuming Pirates pick up his 2018 club option and keep him

The Pirates did not pick up Stewart’s club option ($250K buyout) or LeBlanc’s club option ($50K buyout).

ESTIMATED ARBITRATION SALARIES

And from the arbitration estimate article, they have $19.7M potentially for these four players:

Player Amount
Cole $7.5M
Mercer $6.5M
Rivero $3M
Kontos $2.7M

If you assign $550,000 per player for eleven minimum-scale players (total $6.05M), that takes you up to $101.15M.  That leaves just under $15M of space to work with, assuming the $115M threshold, of course.

Let’s look at each position and the pitching staff to see where the money should be spent, or perhaps re-allocated.

Catcher

Francisco Cervelli ($10.5M) is the presumptive starter due to his contract.  Elias Diaz ($550,000 est.) is in the mix, but I’ve already written about how he is not my preferred option to back up Cervelli going forward.  I’ve already identified Chris Iannetta as a good backup to target in free agency, but for now let’s allocate $2M to the backup catcher position.

Allocation — $12.5M

First Base

After a 2017 season that will probably result in a 2nd place NL Rookie of the Year finish, Josh Bell ($550,000) is the starter moving forward.  I’m still not entirely sold on his overall offensive package, as his wRC+ was just 108 (meaning, 8% better than a league average hitter), but perhaps he can add another gear to his game this year.

There’s not a defined backup first baseman, as the Pirates have multiple players that could fill that role (and others) percolating on the roster.  I’ll cover them in the Bench section of this exercise.

Allocation — $0.55M

Second Base

Josh Harrison ($10.25M) is the starter at 2B for this exercise, even though he could easily slide over to 3B if Jung-ho Kang is not available.  In that scenario, the Pirates could look to the free agency or trade market for a 2B and move Harrison to 3B.  Harrison had a solid rebound year after two down seasons, as his 104 wRC+ and career-high 16 homers helped fuel a 2.6 WAR 2017 — which was the combined WAR total of both 2015 and 2016.  Harrison does not need upgraded.

Allocation — $10.25M

Shortstop

Jordy Mercer ($6.5M est.) also had a career-high of homers with 14, but it still resulted in a very Mercer-esque season of a 88 wRC+, solid defense at short, and 1.4 WAR overall.  Mercer is a middle-of-the-road SS and could be upgraded, but there are few options to actually do so.  Carlos Correa and Corey Seager aren’t getting moved, so the Pirates are probably going to play out Mercer’s final year of team control and go from there.

I’ve never been a believer in Kevin Newman’s bat (or, frankly, his ability to play short on a full-time basis in the Majors), so it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Pirates float a small bridge contract extension to Mercer this offseason.  Something like 3 years/$28.5M could benefit both sides.  Mercer’s a placeholder, not a cornerstone, but he’s our placeholder.

Allocation — $6.5M

Third Base

If you’re going to ask if I think that Jung-ho Kang ($3M) will be with the Pirates in 2018, I’d say your guess is as good as mine.  As I’ve frequently said, if you boil it all down, Kang is an immigrant with a criminal history trying to enter the United States in 2018 and take a job from an American.  Good luck with all that.

And I’m not going to get up on a high horse and clutch pearls on whether or not Kang should be allowed to play for the Pirates based off his DUI history.  What he has done is reprehensible, but you and I know that the second he starts going madang again and it helps the Pirates to win, fans will hold their nose and start cheering for him again.  There are plenty of Steelers that get cheers every week after having all sorts of criminal infractions against them.

If Kang is not granted a work visa, I’d move Harrison to 3B and look to upgrade 2B.  I don’t think Frazier’s defense will allow him to be a full-time starter at 2B and I’m not sold on Max Moroff as a starter.

Allocation — $3M

Outfield

I’ve been pretty adamant that the Pirates should pick up the option for Andrew McCutchen ($14.75M) and keep him.  Add in Starling Marte ($7.83M) and Gregory Polanco ($4.1M) and your starting outfield is in place.  It’s imperative that all three of them pick up their respective games in terms of full-season consistency.  Polanco would be an intriguing chip to dangle in the trade market to see if someone would bite on his upside potential and years of team control remaining (thru 2021, with 2022/2023 options).

Allocation — $26.68M

Starting Rotation

In theory, the starting rotation is set for 2018.  It would be comprised of the same five guys that made 145 combined starts for the Pirates in 2017.  Gerrit Cole ($7.5M est.), Jameson Taillon ($550,000 est.), and Ivan Nova ($9.17M) would be the front three.  Chad Kuhl ($550,000 est.) and Trevor Williams ($550,000 est.) would be the back-end guys.  I’ve long said that the Pirates should look to upgrade on one of Kuhl or Williams, though, as I feel both are more long-term bullpen options.  Williams showed me a lot this season, but he still lacks an out pitch to ensure long-term success.  I think Kuhl could be re-purposed into an elite multi-inning reliever that is quite en vogue these days.

But for now, we’ll go with these guys.

Allocation — $18.32M

Bullpen

Felipe Rivero ($3M est.) is absolutely the closer in 2018, but the rest of the roles are up in the air.  Daniel Hudson ($5.5M) is going to attempt to put 2017 in the rear view mirror and justify his contract this season.  He was signed to be a setup man (or at worst a strong 7th inning guy), so he’ll probably get the benefit of the doubt and start out as such.  George Kontos ($2.7M est.) is in the same 7th/8th inning mix.

I think Dovydas Neverauskus ($550,000 est.) has shown enough to warrant a spot in the bullpen somewhere.  Also, A.J. Schugel ($550,000 est.) quietly had a good season (1.97 ERA/4.00 FIP, indicating he had some luck), but he seems eminently upgradeable.  Lefty Wade LeBlanc will not be back, but I don’t think his spot will automatically go to Steven Brault.

As for the other two spots, there’s a mix of players like the live-armed lefty Jack Leathersic and Mike Bradley of TPOP’s personal favorite Edgar Santana.  There’s also the discussion of what to do with Tyler Glasnow.  I’ve been on the record for a while that I’d like to see him converted to a dominant bullpen guy that can just focus on two pitches in short bursts.

Allocation — $12.3M

Bench

I’ve already discussed allocating $2M for a backup catcher to pair with Cervelli.  The rest of the bench is kind of set right now with the likes of David Freese ($4.25M), Sean Rodriguez ($5.75M), Adam Frazier ($550,000 est.) and Jose Osuna ($550,000 est.).  But that doesn’t mean that the Pirates should not look to upgrade here.  None of them displayed a sterling bat (Freese 100 wRC+, Frazier 97 wRC+, Osuna 78 wRC+, Rodriguez while with Pirates 43 wRC+) so if they are able to move either Freese or Rodriguez to free up some cash for elsewhere, they should.

Allocation — $13.1M

So What’s Left?

Bench spots (1) — Besides the backup catcher that I think they need, I think the Pirates need to re-work the bench.  They don’t really have a player that can play a true shortstop, in the event of a Mercer injury.  Rodriguez can fake it for a game or two, but not long-term.  With Josh Bell as a switch-hitter and the presence of both Rodriguez and maybe Osuna, David Freese doesn’t really need to be around to back up 1B.  There are multiple players (if Kang is here) that can play 3B, too.

I would love to move Freese for a player that could play SS and then upgrade Osuna with Adam Lind.  Lind is a lefty that needs to be platooned.  He’s mostly a 1B, but he can fake it in RF for the Pirates, if needed.  His bat last year with the Nationals (.303/.362/.513, 122 wRC+) could provide a much-needed jolt off the bench in late innings.

Bullpen (2) — Sure, the Pirates could fill it out with internal candidates like Steven Brault and Tyler Glasnow.  That could work out for them, of course.  But I’d like to see them get in the mix on plenty of above-average 2nd-tier relievers out there like Brendan Morrow, Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, and Tommy Hunter.  Bringing one or two of them in would deepen the bullpen.  It would take immediate pressure off of Daniel Hudson to be the setup guy, it would put Kontos in the 7th inning where he fits best, and there wouldn’t be youthful errors to weather.

Rotation (0 or 1, very binary) — Yes, they technically don’t need a starter, but I’ve laid out the case for getting one and then moving Kuhl or Williams to the bullpen.  This would also eliminate 1 of the bullpen spots to be filled, of course.  I think Alex Cobb would be a great move, but he would consume most of the $15M that I’m projecting the Pirates have to work with (not factoring in moving salary to re-allocate payroll).  If the Pirates do something, they’ll wait until January to sift through what’s left and try to get a bargain.

***

There’s a lot riding on this offseason.  The division is not necessarily locked up by the Cubs, although the Pirates best path to the playoffs is most likely a Wild Card.  The Diamondbacks (24 wins) and the Rockies (12 wins) both dramatically improved their win-loss records to make the playoffs in one offseason.  They did it with shrewd trades and timely free agent moves, plus relying on their young core to produce.

The Pirates need to augment, not drastically alter, the composition of their existing team.  With some better off-field decisions by players and some better offseason decisions by management, the Pirates could be right back in the playoff mix in 2018.

About Kevin Creagh (309 Articles)
<p>Nerd engineer by day, nerd writer at night. Kevin is the co-founder of The Point of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Creating Christ, a sci-fi novel available on Amazon.</p>

52 Comments on 2018 Projected Pirates’ Roster And Payroll — Where To Improve

  1. mark delsignore // November 6, 2017 at 7:39 AM // Reply

    “The Diamondbacks (24 wins) and the Rockies (12 wins) both dramatically improved their win-loss records to make the playoffs in one offseason.”

    mmmm….hmmmm….

    Kevin
    The Snakes had a $120MM payroll and the ROckies had a $150MM payroll — apples and oranges when compared with the Pirates.

    At a projected $115M (and I’ll believe it when i see it) the Pirates only hope is for their core guys to play better.

    That strategy, by the way, is called “hope”.

    • The Twins improved by 26 wins with a payroll of about 108 mill. To say that these comparisons are apples to oranges is not being genuine.

      • mark delsignore // November 6, 2017 at 8:21 AM // Reply

        Milwaukee improved as well at ~86MM
        My point was lets compare apples and apples, not Pirates to Colorado

    • Kevin Creagh // November 6, 2017 at 8:51 AM // Reply

      Diamondbacks opening day payroll — $93M
      http://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/nl-west/arizona-diamondbacks/
      Rockies opening day payroll — $127M
      http://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/nl-west/colorado-rockies/

      The D-backs are a direct comparison (as are the Brewers, who improved but didn’t make the playoffs) to the Pirates. The Rockies are a Golden Delicious Apple to a Yellow apple of the Pirates.

      And you continue to miss the point about BAMTech — it helps the Pirates retain players (i.e. McCutchen for 2018) and allow them to wade into the market to procure talent that they otherwise may not have been able to do. Yes, everyone has it, but it doesn’t mean everyone will use it and it there are a finite number of players available.

      • mark delsignore // November 6, 2017 at 9:06 AM // Reply

        I dont see how opening day payroll comparison is relevant. Payroll changes throughout the season and is dynamic. See recent success from the likes of Kansas City and Cleveland for two comparable examples. Also, though not comparable, Cubs added $30MM throughout the year. Payroll is dynamic.

        Brewers (and Minnesota), I would agree with you. Relevant comparisons of low payroll, low revenue markets whou have “hit” on their youth

      • mark delsignore // November 6, 2017 at 9:10 AM // Reply

        On Bamtech — a high tide raises all boats.

        The Pirates get to keep Cutch — woop dee doo!!!
        That keeps them even — at best — with the rest of the league and even with their :’record” of last year — which was good enough for 4th place.

        MLB is a closed system with a zero sum game. When one team wins, one team loses. If all teams get a raise, nobody gets a raise relative to each other.

        Bamtech does not help the Pirates relative to the other teams and since they have the most catching up to do, how does this help? Just wishful thinking.

        Microeconomics 101…..

  2. mark delsignore // November 6, 2017 at 7:42 AM // Reply

    The BamTech “effect” helps all teams and therefore has no individual positive effect on the Pirates as all things are relative.

    The Bamtech effect will simply raise all salaries and therefore give the Pirates no advantage in this closed system called MLB

  3. mark delsignore // November 6, 2017 at 8:00 AM // Reply

    Through a combination of shrewd trades, lucky dumpster dive pickups, younger guys continuing in the role (see Schlugel above although I am not sold on him) Glasnow maybe finding better prospects as a reliever, I would spend that “extra money” on the bull pen. Year after year, team ERA has the highest (negative, but that’s good) correlation with team wins.

    Here is hoping to the starting pitcher’s success lead by Mssrs. COle and Tallion and a way better bull pen leading to a better team ERA.

    At ~$115M payroll, this and this alone is what will keep them in the post season hunt (oh, in addition to hoping the core hitter are better).

  4. Excellent take on the roster and the payroll, Kevin. I’ve seen people suggest the Pirates can go with the bullpen they have. I fully agree with you that upgrades are needed. I just hope you’re right that they will put 45 percent of their BAM money into payroll. If they do, I will be surprised.

    As for Bell finishing second in the ROY voting, I will give you two reasons why I think you’re wrong: Paul DeJong; Ian Happ.

    • Kevin Creagh // November 6, 2017 at 8:54 AM // Reply

      DeJong and Happ are both good candidates, but historically the ROY’s have not rewarded midseason callups over full-season contributors. Again, I wouldn’t be surprised if either (or both) of them finished ahead of Bell, but I don’t think that will happen.

      • You seriously need to add a “Like” button to your blog. I really liked your comment and I agree 100%. However, the media influence that comes out of Chicago and the fact that the Cards are the team most followed by folks in the South Central U.S. states that have no team of their own, makes it 50-50 that part season performers from those two teams might finish higher than Bell in ROY voting.

      • No, historically they’re at a disadvantage due to the lack of time to put up counting stats, but if those stats are there anyway, they’ll get rewarded for them. For example, Ryan Howard won NL Rookie of the Year in 2005 despite only playing in 88 games.

        • Kevin Creagh // November 11, 2017 at 9:46 PM // Reply

          Voters tend to ding midseason guys because they don’t feel that the league had a chance to properly adjust to them and get them in a slump.
          As for your rate stats v. counting stats, look at 2016’s AL ROY. Gary Sanchez of NYY had a phenomenal run after his callup with a 171 wRC+ and great stats, but finished a distant 2nd to Michael Fulmer of DET who had a very good full season in the rotation.

          And Ryan Howard won the ROY in a very weak field that year. Willy Taveras was the only full season guy of note in the running in 2nd. Zach Duke finished 5th after pitching just 84 innings.

      • Wilbert Matthews // November 12, 2017 at 7:15 AM // Reply

        Best piece of the off season so far. Enjoyed it. Competition is too good right now to stand pat. I still think Bell is an AL player and should be dealt now. He is just another Pedro. We need a 40 HR bat at either first, third, or both. Hudson is not Tony Watson. We need a better man in the 8th. Sign Cobb and one of KC s corner men. Trade Palonco and Bell if need be.

    • Neither DeJong nor Happ played the entire season like Bell did, and neither should end up 2nd in ROY voting. That being said, Pittsburgh is almost always the red-headed step child the league beats up on when giving out league wide awards. So you may be right, but it wouldn’t be right.

      • The voting is for the best rookie, not the rookie who has played the most games.

        In 2016, both runners-up, Gary Sanchez and Trea Turner, played abbreviated seasons.

        And please, Bob Stover, spare me the Pittsburgh Pity Party. Maybe the reason the Pirates have come up short in postseason voting is because they’ve been a bad team too many times. I remind you that McCutchen won the MVP in 2013 and was high in the voting in multiple recent years.

        • Where in Hades is that darned “like” button!?

        • And how do you account for the difference in the number of games played? Is it a complete non-factor? I’m having no truck with pity parties, I’m simply pointing out that media exposure affects voting for or against players that the voters don’t see that often in person. Maybe it doesn’t affect your vote, but I don’t buy that no votes are affected.

          • Bob Smizik // November 6, 2017 at 12:10 PM //

            Bob Stover: You point out how “media exposure affects voting . . . ”

            Do you even know how the voting takes place? I’m betting you don’t.

            There are 30 people, two from each city, who vote. The voters are members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. I have voted for this award. I was not influenced by `media exposure.’ The only thing that influenced me was my brain. I believe the 30 members who are voting this year will act in a similar manner.

          • Simple, you look at their stats irregardless of the number of games played. If one guy has better rate stats and better counting stats despite being a midseason callup, then he clearly deserves to finish higher in the voting. The tricky ones to judge are when one guy has decently better rate stats while the other guy has decently better counting stats yet neither advantage dwarfs the other.

    • I think what Kevin is saying is that the Pirates tend to put about 45% of revenue into payroll.

    • Bell Bellinger and DeJong are the 3 finalists for ROY.? Most knew Happ was not in the race.

  5. One thing that didn’t change from FOB to here, was the over the top optimism of the front office. (No offense intended, Don)

    This team has :

    a. Always tied payroll to attendance, both in spending and cutting.
    b. Never “invested” in the present by spending outside of A.

    Call me a cynic. I call it reality and following this team for years. Until they prove me wrong, I say the same old, same old continues.

    They won’t be increasing the payroll by double digit % when the attendance dropped by double digit %.

    I expect the 2018 team will look very similar to 6 weeks ago, and may or may not have Cutch on it, based on Uncle Bob’s payroll directive.

    • Navin R. Johnson // November 6, 2017 at 10:06 AM // Reply

      Agree. Its hard not to be cynical with this team in regards to spending money. There was a fascinating interview with Ron Burkle done by the Post Gazette a couple of months ago. Burkle was quoted as chastising his CFO a number of years ago for focusing on the bottom line. Burkle’s philosophy is to build wealth through investing in the team and building a champion. Some may say its apples to oranges comparison but for me I have a lot more trust in the Pens ownership than I do in the Pirates. I feel I am not alone in this belief and that I think should make Pirate ownership a bit nervous. They need to stop the bleeding. They should be asking themselves where did all of the millennials packing the park from 3 years ago disappear to?

      • He should be less worried about Beard Day/Food Truck on Federal Street with the millennials and be more worried about long time, previously patient, season ticket holders, like me.

        Those millennials got their tickets from their season ticket holder parents anyways who are like me and dropping their ticket packages at an alarming rate.

        Most of them have an attention span of a fruit fly anyways.

        • Navin R. Johnson // November 6, 2017 at 10:20 AM // Reply

          Yes he has disrespected all fans – epecially the ones who suffered through 20 years of losing. While your comment about millennials has some merit, they are also more apt to fall for the marketing gimmicks which raises revenue…. So I believe they are important to the team’s viability as well.

          • Fish Monger // November 6, 2017 at 10:21 AM //

            Of course. I was having a little fun at the millennial expense. They are certainly important to the ticket sales.

            Especially as they start to have families and bring their 8 month old babies to the game.

          • What, pray tell, is a “marketing gimmick” that these gullible millenials are falling for?

          • Bob Smizik // November 6, 2017 at 11:23 AM //

            I was around for all 20 years of losing. I don’t recall any `suffering’ involved. I get your point, but suffering is way too strong a word to describe what the fan base went through.

          • Bob Stover // November 6, 2017 at 11:27 AM //

            Millenials are also more likely to be impulsive, walk-up ticket purchasers. Those smart phones that they are glued to can find you a ticket instantly, so that if there is a hot attraction and they are all sitting around at work and decide to go to a game, they can get tickets without the team’s group ticket sales office. Walk-ups are important to a team’s revenue, as they know well in advance what revenue to expect from ticket package holders. The last time the Pirates added payroll mid-season, it was in the midst of some success and huge surge in walk-up and game day sales.

          • Fish Monger // November 6, 2017 at 11:29 AM //

            I hear Mustache Wax night is planned for 2018.

          • Fish Monger // November 6, 2017 at 11:36 AM //

            Sponsored by Blue Apron, I’m sure.

    • No offense taken, Fish. I do have more confidence in Huntington and team given their past success. No doubt there have been missteps but the 2013-2015 clubs were Huntington constructed and very good teams. He was operating then under the same restrictions as now so I know he’s more than capable of building a winning roster.

      There’s plenty of blame to go around for the past two seasons both on the field and off it. Evereyone needs to perform their respective jobs better if the team wants to return to the postseason.

      • Like the 2013-2015 teams, the 2018 team’s success (as currently constructed) will require several players having career years or playing well above norms. As I have stated, the core is there, in my opinion to build around for 2018. If, as Kevin says, they invest in this team, it can be a contender.

        Let’s hope I’m eating a bowlful of crow in March. Past history says I’m probably safe.

    • I don’t know where over-the-top optimism ends and resigned resignation begins. Everybody got four year extensions, so what we have is what we’re going to have. I do not believe that most people on this blog were over-the-top optimists about our front office, there was praise for certain parts of the performance, dings for the negatives, especially on the drafting and development side, and a weary understanding that the front office is greatly hampered by the owner’s unwillingness to invest in payroll.

  6. mark delsignore // November 6, 2017 at 9:21 AM // Reply

    “I expect the 2018 team will look very similar to 6 weeks ago, ”

    Agree, sir, with the addition of a dumpster dive or three.

  7. Daquido Bazzini // November 6, 2017 at 11:05 AM // Reply

    I liken the art of projecting the Pirates roster and payroll to a husband and wife buying a Mega Million ticket every Thursday afternoon, and fantasizing what they are going to do with all those winnings till early eve Friday.
    When reality hits, they have the same amount of money in their wallet that they’ve had for the past 22 years.
    Such is life with the Nutting Regime.
    They will do as little as they can which will amount to basically one big pile of nothing.
    The only question mark is whether or not they trade Andrew McCutchen (who was their best player on the field in ’17) for a few supposed prospects.
    Everything else will remain the same and (to some extent) that will include the bullpen.
    Expect to hear how Daniel Hudson is progressing in preparation for a big year (if they can’t find someone to take on his salary).
    If relegation was an option in MLB, the Pirates would be a top 5 candidate.
    I actually think that Bob Nutting would welcome it.

    • I’m hoping to see more of your sage commenting, Daquido. Now that you are no longer shackled by the regime backed-propaganda of the Reverend Orris-led FOB site, it’ll be a real breath of fresh air to see your oft-changing and open minded point of view.

      Perhaps you can convince some of the other freedom fighters to come on over too?

    • I haven’t been commenting much on Pirates blogs lately. I must say reading Daquido’s is quite the breath of fresh air even though more often than not I don’t agree with his point. The metaphors are outstanding.

    • You had Cutch out of town 5 years ago. Your Pirate analysis tends to fall a bit short.

      • Daquido Bazzini // November 6, 2017 at 6:30 PM // Reply

        Funny you say that because I nailed the Pirate record on the head this year (before it started) at 75-87.
        If you don’t believe me….Check the PG blog and my Twitter account around 4/3/17.
        I was right on the money!!

  8. Kevin,

    In my own payroll projection, I had originally included McCutchen’s bonus, which I see you didn’t. That obviously makes sense, and I removed. However, you did include Sean Rodriguez’s bonus, and my question is–does that responsibility fall on the Braves, or do the Pirates also inherit that as they do the salary upon the trade?

    • Kevin Creagh // November 6, 2017 at 1:18 PM // Reply

      If you’re talking about Rodriguez’s signing bonus, I just have it calibrated as $5.75M each year (split equally over the 2 years). That’s typically how Cot’s accounts for the signing bonuses, over the life of the contract. This is why McCutchen’s is not accounted for, as this is an option year pickup.

  9. Daquido Bazzini // November 6, 2017 at 11:54 AM // Reply

    I never really intended to “convert” people because there are more than enough that were slathered with the cheapness of the Nutting Regime through the decades.
    I have noticed that you have changed your tune and improved your wit.
    Keep up the good work!
    You’ve been going to Pirate games for your years and you deserve more.

  10. The Pirates simply need players playing up to their supposed talent levels. Cole and Taillon have shown top of rotation talent.

    Polanco showed in the first half of 2016 that he can be a force. Marte had averaged better than a 4 War during his first 5 seasons.

    Those 4 players getting back to those performances would easily have the team in the mid to upper 80’s in wins.

  11. with bob nutting the owner the pirates payroll will go down

  12. If Kang isn’t available, why wouldn’t you just use Freese as the starting 3rd baseman like you did this season? A proven league average bat for just over $4M is a pretty good bargain. Besides, it’s the pitching staff that needs a lot more help than the offense.

    • Lanidrac (Pig Latin for Cardinal), is a funny tool. Yes, pitching is the Pirates problem. They scored plenty of runs for a team that had at least marginally good pitching.

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