Pirates' payroll fourth-lowest in majors
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ATLANTA - The Pirates' 2008 payroll of $50,788,783 will rank fourth-lowest in Major League Baseball, the same position as opening day a year ago.
The only teams lower are the Oakland Athletics at $47.9 million, Tampa Bay Rays at $43.8 million and Florida Marlins at $21.8 million.
The sum of the Pirates' salaries for all players on the current 25-man roster will be $49.6 million, or $1.8 million more than the Post-Gazette projected last week.
Two reasons for that: One, outfielder Chris Duffy was added to the 15-day disabled list at the end of spring training, adding his $403,500 to the figure. Two, the salaries for all 30 teams released yesterday by the Associated Press included an addition $537,283 on top of starter Matt Morris' $9.5 million salary, the result of a previously unknown prorated signing bonus. There also was a $150,000 performance bonus paid to outfielder Jason Bay on top of his $5.85 million salary, as well as other, smaller bonuses.
The Pirates' 2008 payroll, as accounted by MLB, also is required to include any minor-league players on major-league contracts - Class AA starter Yoslan Herrera is the only one, at $390,000 - and any buyouts from the previous year. There were two of those, $500,000 for pitcher Tony Armas and $300,000 for infielder Cesar Izturis.
The highest payroll again belongs to the New York Yankees at $209 million. Their payroll is four times that of the Pirates, and their third baseman, Alex Rodriguez, will make more than the entire Florida roster.
The Central Division gap grew, mostly because the Chicago Cubs soared by more than $10 million to $118.6 million. The St. Louis Cardinals are at $100.6 million, the Houston Astros at $88.9 million, the Milwaukee Brewers at $81 million and the Cincinnati Reds at $74.2 million.
The Brewers are based in a market two-thirds the size of Pittsburgh.
The breakdown of the Pirates:
Starting pitchers: Morris ($10,037,283), Ian Snell ($1.035 million), Paul Maholm ($424,500), Tom Gorzelanny ($419,000), Zach Duke ($400,000).
Relievers: Damaso Marte ($2.15 million), John Grabow ($1.135 million), Tyler Yates ($800,000), Matt Capps ($435,500), Franquelis Osoria ($393,000), Phil Dumatrait ($390,500), Evan Meek ($390,000).
Catchers: Ronny Paulino ($423,500), Ryan Doumit ($412,000).
Infielders: Jack Wilson ($6.7 million), Adam LaRoche ($5 million), Freddy Sanchez ($4.3 million), Jose Bautista ($1.8 million), Chris Gomez ($1 million), Doug Mientkiewicz ($750,000), Luis Rivas ($635,000).
Outfielders: Bay ($6 million), Xavier Nady ($3.35 million), Nate McLouth ($425,500), Nyjer Morgan ($391,000).
First Published April 2, 2008 12:00 am