The Pirates and Brewers are basically in the same boat. Pittsburgh is the nation’s No. 23 media market. Milwaukee is No. 35. The Pirates ranked 19th in MLB attendance last season, drawing 2.256 million. The Brewers were 16th at 2.531 million. It’s hard to nail down exact figures for local TV revenue, but most reports had the Pirates at $18 million last year. The Brewers came in at somewhere between $12-30 million. The Pirates got playoff revenue. The Brewers didn’t. If the Brewers have beaucoup more money, it's difficult to see how.
So why are the Brewers spending, but the Pirates aren’t?
Why did Milwaukee just give free-agent P Matt Garza a four-year deal worth $50m while the Pirates have signed no one compelling this off-season?
The Brewers’ payroll was already $25m higher than the Pirates last season.
Garza isn’t Milwaukee’s only significant free-agent get. The Brewers had a hole at first base: Corey Hart went to Seattle via free agency after not playing in 2013 due to injury. So the Brewers signed a platoon of Mark Reynolds (21 HR last season) and Lyle Overbay (14 HR last season).
Reynolds and Overbay aren’t the Gehrig twins. But they’re a better bet than Gaby Sanchez and Andrew Lambo. At least the Brewers are trying.
Brewers + Matt Garza > Pirates - A.J. Burnett. Is that equation true?
You might not like the answer.