As of July 13th, 2018, the Pittsburgh Pirates are sitting at 4 games below .500 with a 45-49 record. With the All Star Game quickly approaching, we need to take some time to figure out whether the Pirates will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are 9.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, and 6.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central Division.
While 9.5 games back isn’t a huge sum, I think it’s safe to say that we can rule the Pirates out for the 2018 season. The main reason? The Pirates ownership and Bob Nutting.
Bob Nutting is notorious for not spending money when necessary and pocketing as much as possible for himself and his newspapers or ski resort.
Here are some likely candidates to be moved and traded by the Pirates in 2018.
Likely Trade Candidates and Salaries:
Francisco Cervelli – $10.5 million
Corey Dickerson – $5.95 million
David Freese – $4.25 million
Josh Harrison – $10.25 million
Jordy Mercer – $6.75 million
Ivan Nova – $9.167 million
Sean Rodriguez – $5.75 million
Felipe Vazquez – $3.00 million
The Pittsburgh Pirates base salary for 2018 totals $89,775,002. If they can manage to get rid of these players at the trade deadline (assume half of annual contract remaining), that brings the total team salary down to roughly $62,000,000 for 2018. Keep in mind that Bob Nutting received $50 million dollars this year from Disney, so this team cost roughly $12,000,000 to field. Once you add in the television contract deal, that brings the total to about even. Everything else is pure profit. Ticket sales, jersey sales, etc…
The Pittsburgh Pirates fan base is being fleeced by Bob Nutting for his own financial benefit. It’s sad, but a fact of baseball that will never change unless the league implements a “salary floor” for spending.