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Langosch: Pirates Likely To Start Season With Payroll Over $50 Million

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The conclusion to this piece comes out of nowhere, because if the Pirates were above $50 million, that would mean they'd be well over their 2011 payroll of $46 million. With Paul Maholm, Ryan Doumit, Chris Snyder, Derrek Lee and Ryan Ludwick all likely to come off the books, that would be a mild surprise, even given the arbitration raises we already know they'll have to give guys like Joel Hanrahan, Jeff Karstens and Charlie Morton. Nothing else in Langosch's preview of the Pirates' offseason suggests they're particularly likely to make a big splash. A little back-of-the-envelope arithmetic suggests that even if the Bucs pick up Ronny Cedeno's option and take a bunch more guys to arbitration than they're expected to, they'll still probably be at less than $40 million, so if Langosch's guess of over $50 million is going to happen, the Pirates will have to spend $15 million or so in the free agent market or on trades.

Here's a guesstimate based on Cot's Contracts' chart and Tim Dierkes' guesses at arbitration salaries:

Buyouts for Maholm, Doumit, and Snyder: $2 million

Kevin Correia: $3 million

Pedro Alvarez: $2.05 million (includes portion of signing bonus)

Ronny Cedeno: $3 million

Joel Hanrahan: $4 million

Garrett Jones: $2.4 million

Charlie Morton: $2.1 million

Chris Resop: $1.1 million

Evan Meek: $900,000

Jeff Karstens: $2.8 million

Jose Veras: $1.5 million

Jason Grilli: $800,000

Jose Tabata: $750,000

Random smattering of league-minimum players: $7 million

That's $33.4 million, and keep in mind that the Pirates have shown no indication that they're actually going to take that many players to arbitration. If they're actually going to spend $50 million next year, they've got their work cut out for them.