Another look at projecting the 2015 payroll

In early November, I took a shot at predicting the Orioles’ payroll for the 2015 season and came up with a figure of $121 million.

jones-white-home-run-fist-bump-sidebar.jpgWe can take another shot now that we have more information. We now know that the three key free agents - Nick Markakis, Andrew Miller and Nelson Cruz - are gone, and we now have more concrete salary arbitration figures. We know which players settled at which salaries and also the exchange of figures for those who might go to arbitration.

For this exercise, I included 13 pitchers, which could be one too many come opening day, and six starters, which almost certainly will be one too many. We still wait to find out which five will be in the rotation on opening day.

For players who have exchanged salary arbitration figures with the team, I picked the midpoint for their projected 2015 salary.

Starting pitchers:
$12.25 million - Ubaldo Jimenez
$8.875 million - Bud Norris
$4.75 million - Wei-Yin Chen
$4.315 million - Chris Tillman
$3.225 million - Miguel Gonzalez
$550,000 - Kevin Gausman

This total is $33.965 million.

Bullpen pitchers:
$4.65 million - Tommy Hunter
$4.25 million - Darren O’Day
$3.2 million - Zach Britton
$3.2 million - Brian Matusz
$2.75 million - Ryan Webb
$1.7 million - Wesley Wright
$550,000 - Brad Brach

This total is $20.3 million

Catchers:
$8.275 million - Matt Wieters
$550,000 - Caleb Joseph

This total is $8.825 million.

Infielders:
$12 million - Chris Davis
$11.5 million - J.J. Hardy
$1.2 million - Ryan Flaherty
$550,000 - Jonathan Schoop
$550,000 - Manny Machado

This total is $25.8 million

Outfielders:
$13 million - Adam Jones
$5.325 million - Alejandro De Aza
$3.7 million - Steve Pearce
$2.25 million - Delmon Young
$550,000 - David Lough

This total is $24.825 million.

That adds up to a payroll of $113.715 million for those 25 players for the 2015 season. According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Orioles’ 2014 opening day payroll was $108 million.

The Orioles ranked 15th last year in payroll on opening day. But just by going to nearly $114 they would pass several teams and rank 11th as of opening day 2015.

If the Orioles did add, say, Colby Rasmus on a one-year deal for around $7 million, they would be in the $120 range for the 2015 season.

Were that the final number come opening day, that might allow the club some flexibility to add some in-season payroll through a trade.

That figure of $113.715 doesn’t count the $1.245 million Dylan Bundy is slated to get in 2015 or the $1.975 million that Suk-min Yoon is slated to make according to Cot’s. Other players could add to their final salary total by achieving incentives during the 2015 season.

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