Why the Cardinals could afford Tulowitzki and Ellsbury

Note: This is a guest column from blingboy and as such, does not necessarily reflect my opinion. But hey, we’re open-minded around here!

By blingboy

Fangraphs writer Wendy Thurm brought together information from several sources in an article that looks at Major League Baseball teams’ 2014 salary obligations as well as the effect of the new MLB television deals on team revenue.

The St. Louis Cardinals’ 2014 obligation is said to be $76 million.  This includes projected arbitration salaries as follows:

That comes to $15-$16 million, which is actually not an obligation as of now.  That would mean around $60 million plus quite a few pre-arbitration, near minimum wage salaries are what is written in ink for 2014.

In the same Fangraphs article, the estimated per team revenue increase from 2013 to 2014 from the new MLB television contracts with ESPN, FOX and TBS is put at $25 million.

Nobody knows how much of that extra $25 million Bill DeWitt might want to spend on player salaries, but he could spend it all.  That is an option.  So it is possible for the opening day payroll to be $25 million higher than it was in 2013, which would come to $141 million.

Taking from that figure the $60 million actually committed for 2014 leaves Mr. Dewitt and general manager John Mozeliak with $81 million in salary that could potentially be added.  If we use an overly generous round number, $10 million, for the pre-arb minimum wage guys, that still leaves $70+ million.

So yes, Bill could give Mo the green light to call agent Scott Boras about centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury and take on shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s contract, and he’d still have room to hire Albert Pujols back without taking a hit in his wallet.