Oct 7, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; A fan waves a pirate flag before game four of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Pittsburgh Pirates Will Rank 27th In MLB Opening Day Payroll


This comes as no surprise, but the Pittsburgh Pirates will start the 2014 season as one of the lowest-spending teams in Major League Baseball.

According to Deadspin, which culled the information from the Associated Press’ annual report, the Pirates’ projected Opening Day payroll of just over $78 million will rank 27th out of 30 MLB teams.

Glancing back at last year’s report, the Bucs have increased their major-league spending by almost $12 million, yet they remain fourth from the bottom. The Dodgers’ outpaced the Yankees at the top of this year’s payroll list, as Los Angeles will devote approximately $235 million to MLB talent, $32 million more than New York’s total.

The AP says the Pirates are well clear of the bottom two teams: the rebuilding Astros ($44.5 million) and Marlins ($47.6 million). Tampa Bay is just behind the Bucs at $77.1 million, while Cleveland ($82.5 million) and Oakland ($83.4 million) are just ahead.

Deadspin’s Barry Petchesky reminds us that the Rays, Pirates, Indians and A’s all made the postseason last year, proving that smart franchises can compete with the big spenders on the field even if they can’t match their financial largesse.

As a counterpoint, the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox are fourth on this year’s payroll list with a $162.8 million total, while perennial contender Detroit ($162.2 million) is fifth.

Despite rising attendance figures at PNC Park over the past two years, the Pirates made minimal additions to their roster via free agency this winter. The one-year, $5 million contract given to starting pitcher Edinson Volquez was the Bucs’ biggest offseason expenditure, with A.J. Burnett‘s departure being the most notable case of Pittsburgh’s continued frugality.

The Pirates open their 2014 season at home Monday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs. Keep it here on City of Champions as we preview the dawn of a new baseball year in Pittsburgh.

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