Remember when Erik Bedard was a big FA acquisition? That’s better left forgotten.
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
After taking a deep dive into specific payroll calculations from the CBA and how they apply to the Pirates opening day roster in 2018, I thought it would be fun to take a look back and see where the Pirates ? payroll was and how it has progressed over the years using the same criteria. This is Part 1 of a six-part series which will examine the payroll on a year-to-year basis, looking at starting payrolls, mid-season additions, arbitration raises, amongst plenty of other roster machinations.
These recaps will be more of an overview, so for a primer on the intricacies of how the payrolls are calculated, see the original 2018 piece.
We ?ll start with 2012, the final season of the 20-year losing streak and when the Pirates really started to contend.
Major League Salary: Remember when the Pirates specialized in bringing in past-their-prime free agents and called it getting better? The 2011-12 offseason was no exception, when they committed $16,500,000 in salary to FA signings Clint Barmes, Erik Bedard, Rod Barajas, Nate McLouth, and Minor League FA Juan Cruz. Only Barmes and Barajas finished the season with the team, and Barajas had his 2013 option declined after the season. The team did make one major acquisition via trade, bringing in A.J. Burnett from the Yankees for spare minor league parts. Burnett had a $16,500,000 salary; however, the Pirates only had to cover $5,000,000, while the Yankees were so eager to get rid of Burnett they covered the rest. This obviously proved to be one of Neal Huntington ?s best trade acquisitions in his tenure.
The team was in the race during the season, so they made several trades at (or around) the deadline, acquiring Wandy Rodriguez, Travis Snider, Gaby Sanchez, and Chad Qualls, while sending out Brad Lincoln and offseason addition Casey McGehee on the major league side. At the time of the trades, Gorkys Hernandez and Rudy Owens were in the minor leagues drawing a minor league salary. In total, the Pirates added $3,528,088 in major league salary at the trade deadline. However, they also spent an additional $923,077 on the waiver claim of Hisanori Takahashi from the Angels. Obviously, in retrospect, none of these additions were enough to push the Pirates over the edge and into the playoffs.
Finally, the Pirates committed $17,257,500 in arbitration salaries to 8 players. Also of note, this was the first season of Andrew McCutchen ?s 6-year extension, in which he started out at a $500,000 base salary.
Major League Salary Starting Total: $61,557,000
Major League Salary Final Total: $66,285,352
Minor League Salary: The season started with $821,625 committed to 13 players, and aside from this being the first year where the Jose Tabata extension wasn ?t looking so hot ?he spent 47 days in the minors where he was drawing his $750,000 major league salary ?there ?s nothing major to report here.
Here are some familiar names who had three or more stints in the minors in 2012: Jeff Locke, Daniel McCutchen, Jared Hughes, and Evan Meek. This was also the final season for Top-5 pick Daniel Moskos in the Pirates system; he was Designated for Assignment and claimed off waivers by the White Sox.
Minor League Salary Starting Total: $821,625
Minor League Salary Final Total: $941,141
Signing Bonuses: Pro-rated Signing Bonuses equaled $1,875,000, which included Pedro Alvarez ? Major League Deal signed out of the draft, as well as McCutchen ?s and Tabata ?s extensions. The Pirates also acquired $576,923 of Wandy Rodriguez ? $1,500,000 signing bonus.
Signing Bonuses Starting Total: $1,875,000
Signing Bonuses Final Total: $2,451,923
Signing Bonuses (or Pro-Rated Buyouts): Again, this includes the buyouts from both McCutchen ?s and Tabata ?s deals, as well as a portion of Rodriguez ? buyout. In total, the Pirates added $5,384,615 in 2012 salary for Wandy Rodriguez.
Signing Bonuses (or Pro-Rated Buyouts) Starting Total: $208,334
Signing Bonuses (or Pro-Rated Buyouts) Final Total: $1,169,872
Performance Bonuses: Obviously, no salary was allocated at the beginning of the year for any Performance Bonuses, but the CBA states that ?[p]erformance, award, assignment, and other bonuses earned for performing or otherwise providing services under a contract shall be included in a Player ?s Salary if those bonuses were earned as of the conclusion of the championship season. ?
Many bonuses are hard to pin down, so only reported incentives are included in these totals. The Pirates had to pay Kevin Correia for both Innings Pitched and Games Started incentives, as well as Andrew McCutchen for his All-Star appearance, Gold Glove win, and 3rd Place MVP finish.
Performance Bonuses Starting Total: $0
Performance Bonuses Final Total: $450,000
Cash Considerations: Nothing to report here, as the only trade involving outgoing cash for the Pirates was the acquisition of Drew Sutton, which was unreported.
Cash Considerations Starting Total: $0
Cash Considerations Final Total: $0
Credits: The Pirates had a large amount of salary credits in 2012 ?the main factor being the $11,500,000 from the Yankees to offset A.J. Burnett ?s $16,500,000 salary. Also included is the portion of the minimum salary that the Orioles would have paid Nate McLouth after he was signed to a minor league contract.
Credits Starting Total: $11,500,000
Credits Final Total: $11,660,879
2012 Opening Day Payroll: $52,961,959
Final 2012 Payroll: $59,637,409