After the arbitration agreements last week, the Pirates now have $63.7 million committed to 12 players in 2013, $50.2 million of that coming out of their own pockets.
Assume, for the sake of argument, that Neil Walker and James McDonald settle at their respective midpoints of $3.3 million and $3.025 million. That means the Pirates will have $70 million committed to 14 players in 2013. Add in roughly $5.5 million for the remaining 11 players on the active roster making at least the minimum $490,000 and you're at $75.5 million. Add another million, to keep the math simple, for the rest of the 40-man roster -- which is important because the 40-man payroll is what counts for luxury tax calculations -- and you're looking at an opening-day payroll of $76.5 million.
Important to note: Spending more only helps if the money is invested in the right areas. Spending on players who under-perform hampers the roster and limits trade deadline flexibility. So while an increased payroll is a positive sign, and I'm sure a welcome one to this fan base, it alone does not signal true improvement. This is merely intended as a status update.
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