Pirates Notebook: Draft spending $11.9 million

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The Pirates spent a franchise-record $11.9 million on the draft, according to official figures obtained Tuesday by the Post-Gazette, second in Major League Baseball only to the Washington Nationals' $13.7 million.

That raised the Pirates' three-year total -- since current management took over -- to $30.7 million, most in the majors, also according to official figures.

The bulk of the current draft expenditure went to the right-handed pitchers taken with the top two picks. First-rounder Jameson Taillon received a franchise-record bonus of $6.5 million and second-rounder Stetson Allie received $2.25 million. Both of the payments were up front, and both part of minor league contracts.

In Taillon's case, getting the money up front makes his bonus even more valuable than it appears to be above the previous record of $6,355,000 given to Pedro Alvarez two years ago. That is because Alvarez's payments were staggered: He received $3 million the first year, $3 million the next, plus $355,000 in guaranteed salary.

Allie's bonus ranks sixth in franchise history, behind Taillon, Alvarez, Bryan Bullington ($4 million), Brad Lincoln ($2.75 million), Tony Sanchez ($2.5 million) and Daniel Moskos ($2.475 million).

Taillon and Allie each was paid roughly double MLB's recommended slot bonus for their drafting position, and four other players among the 27 total also received bonuses well above slot: Fourth-round pitcher Nick Kingham ($485,000), 15th-round shortstop Drew Maggi ($468,000), 17th-round pitcher Ryan Hafner ($450,000) and 23rd-round first baseman Jared Lakind ($400,000).

The Pirates' major league payroll under current management has shrunk from $52 million at the outset of the 2008 season to the current $39 million, lowest in baseball. In that span, the team has increased the draft spending -- it was less than $7 million in 2007 -- as well as a doubling of the international budget from $1.13 million to $3 million, and a 20 percent increase in scouting.

If the Pirates sign Mexican pitcher Luis Heredia, his cost -- in the range of $2 million-$2.8 million -- will count above the team's international budget.

Cedeno late scratch

Shortstop Ronny Cedeno almost returned after missing five games to a left shoulder impingement, this after a cortisone shot Monday and a round of batting practice Tuesday, but he was a late scratch after that session saw little more than awkward one-armed bloops to right field.

"It feels a lot better since the shot," Cedeno had said beforehand. "We'll see."

Buried treasure

• Taillon and Allie are expected to have introductory news conferences at PNC Park this week.

• Reliever Jose Ascanio was told Tuesday his bruised right hand needed only to be in a splint for 3-4 weeks after an examination by Dr. Mark Baratz, the Pirates' hand specialist at Allegheny General Hospital. Ascanio hurt the hand in a home accident, interrupting his rehabilitation from shoulder surgery.

• Class AA Altoona outfielder Andrew Lambo, one of the Pirates' top prospects, has a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and "probably will be impacted by it the rest of this season," director of player development Kyle Stark said, though he should be able to play "sooner rather than later." Lambo was hurt running into a wall Sunday.

• The Pirates brought aboard two members of their minor league staff, pitching coordinator Jim Benedict and personal development coordinator Anthony Telford.

• Florida's Edwin Rodriguez, the majors' first Puerto Rican manager, visited the Roberto Clemente Museum in Lawrenceville, joining a growing string of visiting coaches and players to do so. Earlier this year, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen did so.

Dejan Kovacevic: dkovacevic@post-gazette.com . Find more at PBC Blog .


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