Pirates Ranked 28th in Draft Spending

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.

Tim Williams

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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  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.gahagen Brian Gahagen

    Well, they wanted it lower and it is lower. I do believe the draft process is fairer and with the extra Compensation ( I like to call them the Sisters of the Poor Picks) picks the low market teams get extra money and extra 1st round talent to stock the minors with. I guess it is a wash all things being equal.

    • Lee Young

      Brian ….. I agree with you.

  • PiratesFan

    How were so many other teams able to spend so much more than us? I though that we would’ve had one of the biggest draft budgets because we picked early and the slot for the 8th pick is pretty high. Did other teams sacrifice draft picks? Or did they have a larger budget, and if yes, why?

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      The top four teams had some significant bonuses for their first picks. Then some teams had multiple compensation picks, which drove up their overall spending, even though they picked later. Toronto, for example, had the 17th and 22nd picks in the first, plus the 50th, 58th, and 60th in the comp round. The Cardinals also had five picks in the top 60.

  • http://twitter.com/scott_klima Scott BUCN Klima

    i still think it’s stupid that there’s a salary cap on the draft but not one for MLB rosters…