Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Opening Day Payroll

USA Today has released their 2014 salary database, giving us a look at the league minimum salaries and the salary for Travis Ishikawa ($1 M). That is always the final thing needed for the 2014 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 under $75 M. Click the 40-man link to view the details. A few notes:

**The payroll doesn’t account for in-season moves. Last year the Pirates started at around $67 M, and finished at around $75 M. In-season moves could include call-ups, taking on salary in trades, or waiver claims.

**Some payroll projections include the money that 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. Since the Pirates are getting money, and not sending money, my projection is going to be lower than some outlets.

**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 started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Two things I noticed:
1. First year on the 40-man pays only 40 grand. Not much.
2. Pirates are still a young team – younger than last season.
Grilli 37 – how much longer can he do it?
Wandy 35 – very likely to be gone after this season, but the Pirates are only paying $7.5 million of his salary
Barmes 35 – Probably his last season here.
Stewart 32 – Just a backup
Martin 31 – $8.5 million the most the Pirates pay to any of their players. Also likely to be elsewhere in 2015.
G. Sanchez 31 – Platoon player
Volquez and Liriano 30.


Before anybody complains about the 27th ranked payroll understand the ticket prices are 29th in baseball. Because if we raise ticket prices to the middle of the pack more people would complain about that than the payroll going up.

Will Sanchez

all in all revenues ere not # 29..pirates had more revenues than 7 other clubs #23

Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros,Miami Marlins,Oakland Athletics,Kansas City Royals,Tampa Bay Rays had LESS revenue than the bucs


Well Duh- Pittsburgh is somewhere around 29th in terms of average household income out of those major league cities. Obviously, they next expect them to pay what it costs in Philadelphia, D.C., Chicago, NY, or LA.


Tim, thank you for compiling this great resource, especially info like Options remaining since those are next to impossible to find anywhere. Can you please explain why Cole only has 2 options remaining. I thought he would have all 3 remaining since he didn’t start last year on the 40-man roster and was never sent back to the minors after being added to the 25-man and 40-man rosters. I don’t fully understand how Options are determined so any explanation would be helpful. Thanks!


Tim, why is Andy Oliver’s salary of $501K included if he was removed from the 40-man roster and he’s in Indy? Isn’t it the same as Chase D’Arnaud where he’s a guy on a minor league contract no longer on the 40 man and shouldn’t be included in these calculations?

Bonds Top Hand

Tim: Looked at your updated 2014 numbers. Is there no part of Marte’s signing bonus hittng the payroll this year?

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