Financial documents show Pirates could spend more
The Associated Press published a round of documents late Sunday night that show the Pirates, on the verge of their 18th consecutive losing season, are still a highly profitable franchise and have been profitable for many years.
According to the documents, which are now on full display over at Deadspin, the Bucs made an income of nearly $29.4 million in 2007 and 2008 thanks to sources like revenue sharing, television packages, MLB merchandise and the MLB.com website.
That’s not a major sum of money for most professional franchises and it shouldn’t be all that surprising, but the Pirates have operated on a very meager payroll for ages and it certainly appears that they could be spending more.
The Pirates had baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll this season -- $34.9 million -- and are at the very bottom of a bad National League Central division. If anything, perhaps the revelation of these documents will put pressure on the Pittsburgh ownership to lock up young cornerstone players like Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez when it comes time for free agency. Making owners cringe can be a good thing.