All throughout the season we keep a running total of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 40-man roster payroll, factoring in every move that takes place throughout the year. The final numbers are unofficial, but give a fairly accurate view of the total payroll. Last year, the end of the season payroll was estimated to be $42,788,838, which was $1,358,129 off of the actual end of the year payroll, which came out to be $44,146,967.
A big reason for the discrepancy is that the salaries for some players that are added throughout the year are unknown, and for the most part, are assumed to be at the league minimum. The payroll figures that are the hardest to come by are the 0-3 players, as those aren’t announced throughout the year. However, every season, USA Today releases those figures for the guys on the opening day roster, and the 2011 figures were released today.
The 2011 40-man roster/payroll page has been updated with all of these figures. The opening day payroll is projected to be $42,583,500, after calculating in all of the minor league players, signing bonuses, and the payment from Arizona for Chris Snyder. As for those minor league players, there are ten players who are currently on minor league contracts on the 40-man roster. Combined, those ten players make $661,500.
The bonuses include Pedro Alvarez’s $6 M bonus from the 2008 draft. The bonus was split in to four payments, making this the last payment that will be made to Alvarez. Also included is $1 M of Kevin Correia’s $2 M bonus.
Out of the 0-3 players, Pedro Alvarez is the highest paid, due to his contract he signed out of the draft. Out of the players who were tendered contracts this off-season, Evan Meek is the highest paid, making $461,500, which is a raise of $48,000 from his 2010 salary. Other notable salaries: Andrew McCutchen will make $452,500, James McDonald will make $443,000, Neil Walker will make $437,000, and Jose Tabata will make $428,000.