Opening Day payroll: $46 million


CHICAGO — Using figures provided by The Associated Press, the total payroll for the Pirates’ 25-man active roster, plus five players who’ll begin the season on the disabled list, is $46.047 million. Last year, the AP pegged the Pirates’ Opening Day payroll at $34.943 million.

moneyTheir highest-paid players are Paul Maholm and Chris Snyder, who’ll each get $6.25 million. The two guys at the bottom are rookie Mike Crotta and Rule 5 pickup Josh Rodriguez who will each receive $414,000, the major league minimum.

The Pirates have 12 players who’ll earn at least $1 million. One of them is Pedro Alvarez, who gets $2.05 million — $500,000 in base pay, plus $1.55 million of his $6 million signing bonus, which is spread over four years.

»»» Of the other “zero-to-three” guys on the roster, the highest-paid is Evan Meek. The 2010 All-Star reliever will make $461,500, a raise of $48,000.

»»» Andrew McCutchen, who’s also a zero-to-three, will make $452,500 this season. That’s a $30,000 raise from last year and just $38,000 more than the major league minimum.

Over 262 career games, McCutchen has a .286 batting average, 28 homers, 110 RBI and 55 stolen bases. Just for giggles, let’s play “Who Gets the Bigger Paycheck?”

Matt Wieters or McCutchen? Answer: McCutchen, by a mere $250.

Gordon Beckham (234 games, .260, 23 HR, 112 RBI, 11 SB) or McCutchen? Answer: Beckham, who’ll make $485,000.

Jay Bruce (12th overall pick in 2005) or McCutchen (11th pick)? Answer: Bruce, who’ll pocket $2.79 million after signing a multi-year deal last offseason.

Cameron Maybin (10th pick in 2005) or McCutchen? Answer: McCutchen, by $23,400.

… Royals outfielder Mitch Maier (283 games, .256, 8 HR, 79 RBI, 12 SB) or McCutchen? Answer: Maier will earn $459,000 this year.

Nyjer Morgan or McCutchen? Answer: Nyjmo, who recently was traded to the Brewers, will make $471, 500.

Jason Heyward or McCutchen. Answer: A big rookie season landed Heyward $496,500 this year.

… Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus (293 games, .266, 6 HR, 75 RBI, 65 SB) or McCutchen? Answer: McCutchen will make $320 more.

Drew Stubbs (192 games, .258, 30 HR, 94 RBI, 40 SB) or McCutchen? McCutchen, by $2,500.

Fun facts: Only two players on the Red Sox’s active roster — Jed Lowrie ($450,000) and Felix Doubrant ($417,000) — make less than McCutchen this year. … The New York Yankees have seven players who’ll make a salary comparable to McCutchen’s. The one who’s closest is catcher Gustavo Molina ($455,000), who’s played in 23 games over three seasons and has a .122 career batting average.