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Coonelly: MLB agreement not ‘aimed’ at Pirates

An excerpt of my interview with Pirates president Frank Coonelly about Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, one that limits spending on the draft:

“Is this everything the Pittsburgh Pirates hoped it would be? No?” he said. “But we don’t subscribe to the notion it was aimed at us. For one, this has been in the works for a long time. It wasn’t a reaction. For another, at the end of the day, if teams like the Yankees ever wanted to really flex their muscles in the draft, they could do it. This actually prevents that. We’ll continue to sign the players we want.”

More in my Wednesday column.


  1. JAL says:

    It does stop teams like the Yankees from spending lavishly on the draft but they seem to prefer spending big on established players than hoping draft choices making it.

  2. Cajun Thunder says:

    MLB seems to be much more concerned with the Pirates spending $3M more than other teams in the draft than they are with the Yankees spending $40M more than ANY team (and $175M more than the Pirates) on payroll.

    They have no interest in “competitive balance” even though they’ve evidently created something called the “competitive balance lottery”.

    In a few years, the Pirates will be a de facto major league farm club, where they produce players for acquisition by the big market clubs. I don’t see Bob Nutting offering Cutch $12M+ in a few years when he becomes a free agent, so we can expect him to be traded about 6-12 months before that happens. Hope our front office can do better than Andy LaRoche when that happens.

  3. […] Frank Coonelly doesn’t seem to be upset – he points out that rich teams like the Yankees could have easily spent like crazy in the draft all along, which is true–although obviously they haven’t. I would counter by pointing out that the Yankees could still easily pay a player they want since the penalties wouldn’t hurt them as much as teams like the Pirates – the Yanks will always be picking towards the back of the draft, so losing the 30th overall pick isn’t a big deal…and they obviously have the money to pay the tax. […]

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