Here’s a phrase we haven’t used lately: the Pittsburgh Pirates finished near the bottom in draft spending this year. Baseball America has released the team by team figures, and the Pirates rank 28th, with $3,829,700 spent.
It’s not like they could have spent more. They were $92,600 shy of going over their draft pool and paying a 5% tax. A big reason the number is so low is because first round pick Mark Appel didn’t sign. However, if Appel would have accepted a deal, the Pirates would have only added about $3 M extra to this total, which would have put them 17th on the list.
This is a big change from the past. The Pirates had the highest average spending from 2007-2011, and that included a 2007 draft where the team didn’t spend that much. They spent a record-setting $17 M last year.
They will get a compensation pick for Appel next year, and could get an extra pick in today’s competitive balance lottery, but it would be hard to see them getting close to their previous figures due to the way that this new system restricts spending.
Only four teams this year spent over $10 M in the draft, after ten teams did the same last year. The total draft spending was down about $21 M from last year.