Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Opening Day Payroll

USA Today has released their 2013 salary database, giving us a look at the league minimum salaries. That is always the final thing needed for the 2013 40-man payroll page. I’ve updated the payroll page with the new numbers, and the Pirates will be entering the season with an estimated payroll of just over $67 M. Click the 40-man link to view the details. A few notes:

**The payroll doesn’t account for in-season moves. In the last two years the Pirates have added about $8 M or more in-season. So the final payroll could easily be in the $70-75 M range.

**In the past I counted the bonus for one season. For example, Jason Grilli received a $500,000 bonus, so I would include that in year one of his deal, and have nothing in year two. Most sites (Cot’s, USA Today) spread the bonus out over the life of the contract. In the long run the numbers match up. But I decided to start doing that as well. The adjustment actually lowered the payroll a bit, since Russell Martin and Jason Grilli went from $2.5 M combined to $1.25 M combined. Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata had their bonuses added.

**Some payroll projections include the money that the Yankees are paying for A.J. Burnett and the Astros are paying for Wandy Rodriguez. USA Today is an example. I deduct those amounts, showing only what the Pirates are paying out of pocket. On the flip side, if the Pirates sent money to another team, I would include that.

**The Opening Day payroll doesn’t include projected bonuses. I add those throughout the year when they’re reached.

**I use the 40-man payroll, rather than the 25-man. MLB teams use 40-man numbers, and when you see the official numbers come out at the end of the year, they’re always 40-man numbers. You might think that the minor league salaries drive up the payroll (or at least that’s the common argument). The total of all the minor league guys on the 40-man is a little less than $1 M. As the season goes on, a lot of those minor leaguers will be called up, at which point they’ll be making major league salaries. I always pro-rate the major league salaries when players don’t play a full season.

**The payroll page is updated whenever a move is made. It also keeps track of option years, service time and contract situations. Keep the page bookmarked throughout the year, or find it under the “Rosters” tab at the top of the page. If you want to see long-term contract information, check out the Future Payroll page.

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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