The Pittsburgh Pirates are trying to buck some of the stigmas that were attached to years and years and years of ineptitude. First, they finally finished a regular season with a record over .500. Then they made the playoffs last season.
Led by manager Clint Hurdle and center fielder Andrew McCutchen, this team has an identity and legitimate reasons to hope for good things in the future. And this week in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, writer Bill Brink notes another welcome change in how the Pittsburgh franchise is being run: they are spending more money.
The Pirates payroll, a source of contention among fans in recent seasons, rose for the third consecutive season in 2013.
According to figures published this week by the Associated Press, the Pirates finished this past season with a $74,608,266 payroll. That represents a sizeable increase from $61.3 million at the end of 2012, $51.8 million after 2011 and $44.1 million after 2010.
They still rank near the bottom of baseball in payroll (25th), and these increases will have to spike even more drastically if they want to keep up with teams in light of the new television deals that are on the horizon. But this still goes to show that the changes to the Pirates truly run up and down the organization, which is great news for a fan base that was so famously starved for any measure of success for so many years.