Bloomberg.com estimates that the St. Louis Cardinals made $250 million in total revenues last season. Bloomberg’s estimate for the Pirates is $185 million.
The Cardinals revenues were $65 million more than the Pirates revenues in 2013. But their estimated 2014 payroll is only $37 million more than the Pirates 2014 estimated payroll.
The Cardinals payroll of $108.5 million is $141.5 million less than their total revenues. The Pirates $71.5 million payroll is 113.5 million less than their total revenues. That’s a difference of $28 million in the Cardinals favor. Yet, St. Louis was unwilling to spend $15 per year to re-sign Carlos Beltran, who hit .296/.339/.491 — .830 OPS in 2013.
Bloomberg says nothing about whether they added or deducted “revenue sharing” numbers from the team’s total revenue figures. But let’s say hypothetically that they didn’t. The Cardinals reportedly lost $6 million to revenue sharing and the Pirates reportedly gained $35 million from revenue sharing. That would bring the Cardinals revenues to $244 million and the Pirates revenues to $220 million.
If we add and deduct those revenue sharing figures (and we don’t know if Bloomberg did or not, so we’re really just shooting in the dark) the Cardinals would hypothetically have spent $37 million more on payroll than the Pirates, while only having $24 million more in revenues. Reportedly and Hypothetically. That’s a speculative, theoretical, possible, estimated difference of $13 million in the Pirates favor. Just $1 million more than the offer A.J. Burnett declined from the Pirates. So, even in that speculative, theoretical universe that favors the Cardinals, the two teams spending would still be pretty much the same.
Maybe Bloomberg got it wrong. Maybe the Cardinals revenues weren’t so high. Maybe the Pirates made more than $185 million. And, maybe, since we don’t know the exact amount of any team’s revenues and expenses, it really would be foolish for me to tie myself into knots over the size of the Pirates payroll.