Taking a shot at projecting the Orioles’ 2015 payroll

Trying to project or predict a major league team’s future payroll is a difficult proposition. But we can at least make some projections that could get us in the ballpark, no pun intended.

davis-wink-sidebar.pngHere is a look at a projected 25-man Orioles roster for 2015 and what it might cost the club. Right up front, I will say I included Nick Markakis, but did not include Nelson Cruz, Andrew Miller or Delmon Young. I did not include T.J. McFarland, who could potentially start in the minor,s but did include Ryan Webb who is signed for 2015, in the bullpen.

It is possible Chris Davis could be non-tendered, but that doesn’t seem likely and I’ve got him at first base next year on this roster. Others I included here also could potentially be non-tendered. This is all guesswork.

Since the Orioles right now have six starters for five spots, I list six starters and six in the bullpen, even though no one expects them to use a six-man rotation.

For players that are not yet arbitration-eligible I posted a salary of $550,000. For players that are arbitration-eligible I went with MLBTradeRumors.com’s projections.

Starting pitchers:
$12.25 million - Ubaldo Jimenez
$8.7 million - Bud Norris
$5.4 million - Chris Tillman
$4.75 million - Wei-Yin Chen
$3.7 million - Miguel Gonzalez
$550,000 - Kevin Gausman

This total is $35.35 million.

Bullpen pitchers:
$4.4 million - Tommy Hunter
$4.25 million - Darren O’Day
$3.2 million - Zach Britton
$2.75 million - Ryan Webb
$2.5 million - Brian Matusz
$550,000 - Brad Brach

This total is $17.65 million

Catchers:
$7.9 million - Matt Wieters
$550,000 - Caleb Joseph

This total is $8.45 million.

Infielders:
$11.8 million - Chris Davis
$11.5 million - J.J. Hardy
$1 million - Ryan Flaherty
$550,000 - Jonathan Schoop
$550,000 - Manny Machado
$550,000 - Jimmy Parades

This total is $25.95 million

Outfielders:
$13 million - Adam Jones
$12 million - Nick Markakis
$5.9 million - Alejandro De Aza
$2.2 million - Steve Pearce
$550,000 - David Lough

This total is $33.65 million.

That adds up to a payroll of $121.05 million for those 25 players for the 2015 season. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Orioles’ 2014 opening day payroll was $107.5 million.

Again, that number includes those 25 players and the club could certainly save some money or spend it elsewhere by non-tendering Davis or De Aza, or by not re-signing Markakis. If they can retain Miller and/or Cruz, it may have to come at the expense of someone I included here.

A payroll of $107.5 million, the O’s number last opening day, ranked 15th in Major League Baseball. A payroll of $121 million would have ranked 11th in MLB on opening day 2014.

The Orioles freely admit their payroll is going to increase and it may increase by more than just a few million dollars.

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