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Pirates President Frank Coonelly Cites Alex Rodriguez Contract As Cautionary Tale

Pirates president Frank Coonelly has a strange comment on Tuesday in a Post-Gazette article about the Pirates' plans.

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Coonelly cited the Texas Rangers' $252 million expenditure on Alex Rodriguez, which crippled the Rangers for several years, as a cautionary tale against overspending on one player. That type of spending can also reduce the ability to re-sign current players on the roster, such as McCutchen and Walker.

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"There's nothing more important to us than locking up key players on this team," Coonelly said.

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The bit about Rodriguez was probably an offhanded comment, because I'm sure that if Coonelly thought about that for three seconds, he would realize that comment would be likely to chafe many Pirates fans. The Bucs' payrolls are typically about a fifth of Rodriguez's $252 million contract, and a long-term deal for Andrew McCutchen that bought out a couple free agency seasons would probably cost something like a fifth of $252 million. A long-term extension for Walker (which I'm not even sure would be a good idea, but that's neither here nor there) would cost even less. Most of the most hardcore Bob-Nutting-is-the-devil Pirates ownership haters advocate $252 million on a single player. It shouldn't be in the discussion.

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Coonelly's broader point about why the Pirates should be cautious spending on a single player in the free-agent market is a good one, but that's likely to be lost here.

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Via David Todd.

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For more on the Pirates, check out Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.