I can’t help but think that the Pirates are in a strong position to spend if MLB’s next Collective Bargaining Agreement includes an incentive to increase payroll.
By Ethan Hullihen’s latest projection, the Pirates are projected to spend about $35 million in 2022. Pirates General Manager Ben Cherington has said the team is interested in adding another starting pitcher.
If MLB required a spending increase, then the Pirates would have plenty of money to find that extra pitcher. And a corner outfielder. And a solid reliever. And likely one or two more players to boost the team.
I doubt we would see such a system implemented right away, which means we wouldn’t see a massive spending spree by the Pirates.
I do have to think the Pirates are a target during these CBA negotiations as a team that spends among the lowest in the game. With the amount of revenue sharing the team receives, plus a newer local TV deal, it’s hard to imagine that they need to be spending anywhere near $35 million right now.
This low payroll makes sense if they’re saving up money for when they are a contender. That would be a sharp 180 from their strategy under Neal Huntington, when they had a more linear spending plan.
MLB and the MLBPA are still not negotiating, so the two sides aren’t any closer to any kind of deal. If this process does involve a change that will lead to some kind of payroll floor, it will at least be fun to watch the ensuing Pirates spending spree.
Who would you add to the starting rotation from the remaining candidates? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.