Coonelly talks finances with Post-Gazette

In an attempt to dispute recent claims that teams like the Pirates are pocketing excessive profits, Frank Coonelly sat down with the Post-Gazette’s Dejan Kovacevic to discuss some numbers.

The Pirates have made less than $11 million in profit over the past two years, and all of that was channeled back into baseball, team president Frank Coonelly told the Post-Gazette.

Coonelly, eager to dispel mounting charges that the franchise puts big profits above winning, broke from the team’s long-standing policy of not discussing finances to disclose in a series of interviews last week that the Pirates put all their profit in that span toward $11 million in baseball-related capital investments and, even then, needed to incur additional debt to cover the rest of the amount.

“The Pirates utilize every dollar we receive in our effort to build a winning club,” Coonelly said.

To be honest, I am not very interested in the Pirates’ finances right now. The team is in a rebuilding stage, meaning the major league payroll should be low. It will be important to increase payroll as the young talent becomes more expensive, but that is several years down the road.

Dejan finishes his article with this quote from Coonelly, which absolutely nails the Pirates’ situation:

“For far too long, the Pittsburgh Pirates, much like the media, were solely concerned with what major league payroll looked like. In doing so, they neglected to make the long-term investments critical to a team in a market like ours. Investments weren’t made throughout the organization or the draft or the international markets like the Dominican. That’s what we need to compete with the big boys.”

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