Pirates owner Nutting hints at payroll spike, extensions for 2014
Pirates owner Bob Nutting discussed payroll expectations, a desire to retain A.J. Burnett, and the contract status of general manager Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle in a radio interview Tuesday.
The Pirates' $66 million Opening Day payroll ranked 27th in baseball in 2013, but that number is expected to significantly increase next season.
Not only will each major league club accrue tens of millions in additional national television dollars, but the Pirates increased their attendance by nearly 300,000 — including three postseason games — and the club also has announced a ticket price increase for next season.
“I think what we've seen the last several years, without losing focus on our development system … is we've been able to increase our commitment to major league payroll,” Nutting said on radio station 93.7 The Fan. “I certainly would like to see that continue as we move forward. It's far too early in the process for us, internally, to pick a number (for 2014) and certainly not one we are going to talk about at this time.”
A payroll spike might be necessarily to keep free-agent pitcher A.J. Burnett from retiring or signing elsewhere.
“Personally, I'd love to see him back,” Nutting said.
While Burnett's status for 2014 is unclear, Huntington and Hurdle also are approaching the end of their contracts. Each is signed for 2014 with a club option for 2015.
The Pirates owner addressed whether they will be offered extensions during the offseason.
“It's premature to have a discussion,” Nutting said. “I don't like speculating about individuals. Right now, the feeling inside and outside the organization is very positive, very strong for both those guys. Whether it's a Manager of the Year candidate (Hurdle) or an Executive of the Year candidate (Huntington). Both had extraordinary seasons.”
Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.