Pittsburgh Pirates Payroll Projects to be Lowest in the NL


The Pittsburgh Pirates have a new front office and coaching staff.  Still, the same owner is in place and continues to short change the organization.

One of, if not the main, topics of conversations that Pittsburgh Pirates fan discuss is the lack of relevant moves.  This was always the case under the previous regime, who often got criticized for their approach to free agency.  They often would target bounce back candidates who they could get on a cheap one or two-year deal, never being in conversations for legitimate proven free agent talent.

Well, many Pittsburgh Pirates fans got what they wanted this offseason, a turnover of the front office and coaching staff.  Still, nothing has changed in terms of their approach to the offseason.  They have signed a couple of defensive-minded catchers and an outfielder who has decent peripherals and projects to be a solid platoon hitter.  If anyone thought that a change at General Manager would all of a sudden lead to more spending is just fooling themselves.

Things are not much better entering the 2020 season.  The Pittsburgh Pirates have spent little money this offseason and most of the impact free agents are off of the board.  The team is not in a position to add in much of payroll at this point.  According to the Tribune-Review, the Pittsburgh Pirates projected payroll sits at about $69 million.

This gives Pittsburgh Pirates the lowest payroll in the National League, $5 million less than the Miami Marlins, who are second to last in the National League.  Even more embarrassing is that the Milwaukee Brewers are the third lowest at $107 million, $38 million more than the Pittsburgh Pirates.  In no world should the Milwaukee Brewers be outspending the Pittsburgh Pirates by that large of an amount of money.

The team actually has the projected second lowest payroll in all Major League Baseball according to the Tribune-Review.  The Baltimore Orioles are the only team that is spending less, at a projected $65 million.  For a team that just signed a new TV contract, as well as do nothing but save money against the payroll over the last three-to-four years with veteran trades, the payroll should be much higher than it is right now.

What is even more ridiculous is that the team could actually enter the season with the lowest payroll in the majors if they trade away Starling Marte.  Marte is set to make $11.5 million for this upcoming season.  If his contract is dealt and only prospects and/or league minimum players are coming back in the trade, then the payroll would be under 60 million dollars.

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At the end of the day, Bob Nutting is still the owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who remain in the Pittsburgh market. The report was that the Nutting family was unhappy with the lack of success from the previous regime.  Part of that lack of success came from their inability to develop their top prospects and low success rate of finding impact talent through trades.  No one is asking Bob Nutting to spend the same amount as the big market teams, but without putting at least a competitive payroll on the field, it is hard to convince fans that he is trying to win.

Update: Felipe Vazquez’s contract ($5.25) is apart of the $69 million dollar projections.