Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Opening Day Payroll

USA Today released their 2012 payroll figures yesterday, which gives us a look at what the league minimum players, and Juan Cruz, are making this year. Those are the only numbers that had previously been left to speculation on the 2012 40-Man Roster/Payroll page. The addition of these numbers gives a good estimate of the Pirates’ 2012 Opening Day payroll.

The Pirates start out with a projected $54,372,500 payroll for the 2012 season. This number will change throughout the year. Last year the Pirates added about $11 M in payroll throughout the season, with the normal call-ups, injuries, and players designated for assignment or released, who they still have to pay. In 2010 they added about $8 M throughout the course of the season. We keep the payroll page updated after every move, to keep a running count throughout the year.

Some key notes on the payroll:

**The off-season additions added about $17.3 M. That is spread between A.J. Burnett ($5 M), Clint Barmes ($5 M), Erik Bedard ($4.5 M), Rod Barajas ($4 M), Casey McGehee ($2.375 M), and Juan Cruz ($1.25 M)

**The option buyouts for Paul Maholm, Chris Snyder, Ronny Cedeno, and Ryan Doumit totaled $2.2 M.

**The Pirates currently have four players on the disabled list, which essentially adds four league minimum guys to the total, or about $1.75 M.

**I sometimes get asked why the minor league players are included. The most common payroll that is reported is the 25-man roster. That’s because it’s simple. Just add up the salaries of the players on the 25-man, and you’re done. The problem is that the payroll fluctuates throughout the year. Matt Hague is on the opening day roster, but what if he gets sent down? You don’t count him for $480,000 the entire season. Throughout the year I pro-rate the salaries of the players as they go up and down, trying to get the exact figure that they received.

Also, while the 25-man payroll is the one that is reported, the 40-man payroll is what every team uses. The impact of the minor league salaries isn’t much. This year those salaries add up to $865,500, spread between 13 players.

**Last year the Pirates started the year with a $42,583,500 payroll. They finished the year with a payroll of $53,441,206. A big reason for the large jump was that they added salary with the Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick trades. That gave the payroll an extra $5.5 M boost.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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