MLB Payrolls 2019

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This topic contains 88 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Brian Walton Brian Walton 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #80770
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    gscottar
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    From time to time I like to take a snapshot of where team payrolls are. These numbers are from Cot’s and reflect 2019 team payrolls in millions. They are not the CBT numbers which can be slightly different. And obviously this is a snapshot taken on 1-27-19. These numbers will change as other transactions take place between now and opening day.

    1. Red Sox- $234
    2. Cubs- $208
    3. Yankees- $199
    4. Dodgers- $196
    5. Nationals- $195
    6. Angels- $170
    7. Giants- $164
    8. Mets- $162
    9. Cardinals- $157
    10. Astros- $150
    11. Rockies- $144
    12. Mariners- $142
    13. Phillies- $124
    14. Reds- $120
    15. Dbacks- $116
    16. Indians- $115
    17. Braves- $114.8
    18. Brewers- $114.2
    19. Tigers- $112
    20. Rangers- $110
    21. Blue Jays- $104
    22. Twins- $97
    23. Royals- $87
    24. White Sox-$84
    25. A’s- $82
    26. Padres- $80
    27. Orioles- $78
    28. Marlins- $75
    29. Pirates- $68
    30. Rays- $56

    #80780
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    The tax line is $206 MM, if I recall correctly.

    #80781
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    gscottar, do you recall if Cot’s includes obligations to players no longer on the team (such as Leake and deferred money to Holliday)? And on the other side, do they subtract out money coming in (like for Gyorko)?

    Thanks.

    #80784
    jj-cf-stl
    jj-cf-stl
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    Cots does account for Gyorko and Leake, which is a 5mil wash this season. Neither Cots or roster resource include Holliday.

    #80791
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    Close enough. Thanks.

    #80792
    BlackHillsCard
    BlackHillsCard
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    Free

    I thought the Holliday payments didn’t go into effect until 2020 and would last until 2029.

    #80793
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    OK, thanks.

    #80813
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    gscottar
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    Cot’s definitely takes into account money going out (Leake) and money coming in (Gyroko). I’m pretty sure they factor in deferred money as well because the salaries for Scherzer and Strasburg are inflated due to the referrals. They also factor in arbitration estimates even if the final arbitration number hasn’t been decided. Cot’s is the best in my opinion.

    And like I said the CBT payroll figure can be slightly different because it is based on the AAV of the entire contract whereas the payroll numbers for any given year are just what the actual amount for that year is.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #80816
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    PadsFS
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    Brian Walton

    The tax line is $206 MM, if I recall correctly.

    It is $206M, but the payroll numbers above aren’t the same payroll figures used. Those could be called the “luxury tax payroll”.

    First, the yearly salaries are determined by AAV’s so we are ‘taxed’ on players like Carpenter at $8.6M rather than the $14.5M we owe him in 2018 since it’s the end of his contract or a higher commitment on someone like DeJong. So right off the bat, there is a $12M over-payment on players from an AAV standpoint with regard to the LT hit.

    However, the luxury tax penalty does include player benefits, which end up around $14.5M. There is also the money paid to MiLBers that are not on the 25-man. That is about $2.3M. Then, MLB includes potential buyouts of next years’ options in this years payroll, which adds another $4.0M (Carp, Greg, Gyorko) So our final luxury tax payroll is $166.7M.

    The Cubs are hurting comparitively. When you add the 2020 options and the ‘player benefits’, they are sitting at $229M and the tier 2 tax threshold is at $226M with tier 3 starting at $246M.Brach was a $4.35M hit to their payroll, which pushed them over the tier 2 threshold.

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Avatar PadsFS.
    #80818
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    Good detail Pads. Does someone track “luxury tax payrolls” for all teams, too? Seems like they may be more important than the “real” payrolls.

    #80821
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    14NyquisT
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    It looks like the Cubs may be strapped financially and will start a decline in the standings because additionally their GM traded away a lot of their prospects that leaves their farm system ranked last in MLB. Back to the basement for them…. very soon.

    #80822
    stlcard25
    stlcard25
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    It looks like the Cubs may be strapped financially and will start a decline in the standings because additionally their GM traded away a lot of their prospects that leaves their farm system ranked last in MLB. Back to the basement for them…. very soon.

    I agree, NY. Casual fans might laugh it off now, but they are going to need to do some fancy maneuvering to avoid a free fall in the next three years. Plus, that ancient pitching staff can’t beat the odds forever.

    #80824
    jj-cf-stl
    jj-cf-stl
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    Cots CBT for stl shows 162.7mil
    Roster resource shows 166.7mil

    #80828
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    gscottar
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    Pads, I mentioned in a couple of my posts that the figures listed were different than the CBT figures. I thought I had made that clear up front but maybe not.

    #80829
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    gscottar
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    Brian Walton

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    Good detail Pads. Does someone track “luxury tax payrolls” for all teams, too? Seems like they may be more important than the “real” payrolls.

    Yes, Cot’s tracks annual payrolls and CBT payrolls side by side. It is a great tool.

    https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Avatar gscottar.
    #80831
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    gscottar
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    14NyquisT

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    It looks like the Cubs may be strapped financially and will start a decline in the standings because additionally their GM traded away a lot of their prospects that leaves their farm system ranked last in MLB. Back to the basement for them…. very soon.

    They will be fine for the next three years but by 2022 they will have a big turnover in player personnel. They won’t be able to keep everyone. If I’m not mistaken Epstein’s contract is up after the 2021 season also. That might be a good time for him to bail.

    #80838
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    PadsFS
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    This is why a spending floor would be a fantastic model for the MLB. The Rays and Pirates would be forced to take on heavy salaries or sign free agents to ramp their payroll up to the salary floor. That could alleviate some of the big spenders from hitting the caps. If they Rays were to take on someone like Fowler (yes, I know there’s a no-trade) then the Cardinals could sign someone like Harper. Right now, there is zero incentive to take on salary like they do in the NBA.

    Brian Walton

    Good detail Pads. Does someone track “luxury tax payrolls” for all teams, too? Seems like they may be more important than the “real” payrolls.

    I use roster resource for that info:

    https://www.rosterresource.com/mlb-st-louis-cardinals-info/

    It’s very handy, but Cot is the most reliable.

    #80840
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    Let me play devil’s advocate for a minute. Using your example, parity would only get worse. The Cards get better while the Rays pay more money but probably get worse.

    My issue is that maybe the older guys don’t deserve the big deals. I am all for making teams pay more, but not for mediocre players just so teams can say they met the minimum.

    #80842
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    CariocaCardinal
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    Brian, your comments make it sounds like teams aren’t rational. Obviously they would pay a guy and cut him before they would get worse. And there undoubtedly would be the option of paying some tax or into a fund (most likely distributed among players under contract) if a team didnt meet their minimum. They are not going to pay more to get worse.

    There would be unintended consequences of paying younger players more. I think fewer high school guys would get drafted. I think guys would be kept in the minors longer. And who knows what else. The NBA and the NFL seem to have both figured it out. The big difference with MLB is that players dont really come in ready to play. Teams must also invest in development. At one point, the NBA had to reset downward its revenue % that the players get. That seems to be what is happening naturally in MLB. Unless egos get in the way, I dont see anything that can’t be resolved over tbe next couple of years.

    #80843
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    I simply offered my interpretation of the example cited by Pads.

    #80846
    Brian Walton
    Brian Walton
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    Here is a great example of why just spending more money is not necessarily the best strategy.

    #80851
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    mspaid
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    NY:

    I hope you’re right about the Cubs. I can’t wait.

    #80877
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    gscottar
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    Steve Phillips of MLB radio was going over the payrolls of each team this morning. When he got to the NL Central the first thing he said was “wow the Cubs are spending $50M more than the Cardinals this year. How do you feel about that Cardinal fans?” He went on to say that for $50M we could sign Harper and Kimbrel and still have less payroll this year than the Cubs and be much better than them.

    Now we all know that isn’t going to happen but it is a valid point. We are projected to be ever so slightly worse than the Cubs this year but another payroll boost should put us over the top. I think Kimbrel makes sense for us. He also makes sense for the Cubs. They may be trying to trade Zobrist so they can have payroll room for Kimbrel.

    I thought Phillip’s comments were interesting because he is normally rather conservative and usually advocates a pro-management spend less approach (he is a former GM) but when he saw the disparity between the Cubs-Cardinals payrolls it caught him off guard. He even mentioned that he felt confident in saying that the Cardinals could get their payroll much closer to the CBT and still be in good shape financially. I think we all suspect that is true.

    If you have a MLB radio subscription on Sirius XM you should go back and listen to it.

    #80895
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    mudville
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    Why does he interpret the payrolls that way? Instead of saying that the Cardinals are cheap for not spending all of their money, why not say that the Cubs are dumb for spending $50M (that’s fifty million dollars) more than the Cardinals only to get a team that is statistically only slightly better?

    #80898
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    gscottar
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    Well mud let me ask you this. At the end of the year do most fans say:

    “Yes, we won a championship!”

    “Yes, we won a division and made the playoffs!”

    “Well we almost made the playoffs but we saved so much money and were so much more financially responsible…Woo!”

    At the end of the day the fans want to win and couldn’t give a hoot how profitable the team is.

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