The Pittsburgh Pirates roster that could have been
After a second consecutive exit from the playoffs by way of the wild card game, the Pittsburgh Pirates promised a bigger payroll this season, but could they have done better?
In December, Neal Huntington and Frank Connelly both hinted the Pirates target payroll would be approximately $105 million for opening day. As it stands, the Pirates opening day payroll was about $100 million.
That wouldn’t be so bad if the team’s pitching staff wasn’t off to a rough start, the first base platoon partner wasn’t gone after two weeks, and the Cubs weren’t the center of the baseball universe at the moment. The saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20,” but we consider what could have been if the Pirates had spent their money a little differently.
Let’s start with the breakdown of the opening day payroll broken down by position: (Note: Only players included on opening day 25-man roster/DL are included below.)
The rules for this little experiment are simple. We cannot exceed $105 million, and our payroll has to include 28 players due to Jared Hughes, Elias Diaz, and Jung-Ho Kang starting the season on the major league disabled list. If we choose any players the Pirates did not sign, we will assume the Pirates could have signed said player(s) to the same terms. Knowing what we know now, here’s a look at what the Pirates roster could have been.