Dollars and cents. Any discussion about the off-season as to begin with the finances. Although we are not privy to Bill DeWitt and his ideas about how much payroll to have, we can speculate on it.
- Opening Day payrolls for 25-man roster
(salaries plus pro-rated signing bonuses):
- 2009: $ 88,528,409
- 2008: $ 99,624,449
- 2007: $ 90,286,823
- 2006: $ 88,891,371
- 2005: $ 92,106,833
- 2004: $ 83,228,333
- 2003: $ 83,786,666
- 2002: $ 74,660,875
- 2001: $ 78,538,333
- 2000: $ 63,900,00
Our payroll for next year is a bit over $55 million for those with multi-year(9 players) deals. Boston is paying about $9 mil on the Lugo contract. Now to reach at least to the $88 million we had on Opening Day we can add about $33 million more.
Before we talk about signing free agents, let examine those that we have to pay.
Schumaker made $430,000
LaRue took in $950,000
Ryan earned $403,000
Everyone else is close to or making the minimum of $400,000.
Let’s attempt the MATH. $56,530,000 wrapped up in 12 players but we have to say we have 13 because of the Lugo contract.
In an attempt to be fair let’s put the opening day salary back to the 2008 range of $100 million for the remaining 12 players.
So now for free agents. Later we can discuss the merits of whether it is a good thing or bad thing to sign these guys but let’s say that the Cards are signing Holliday, DeRosa and Smoltz plus 9 more. If those 9 players make minimum salary plus a modest raise to $450,000 each (and I doubt that happens) we have added a tad over $4 million to the salary schedule. We have $40,000,000 to use!
DeRosa had a 3 yr $13 mil contract. Smoltz was garnering $5.5 mil and Matt Holliday was raking in $11.5 million. The 2009 version of these players had combined salaries of a bit over $20 mil.
Do we have the money to sign them?
Don’t you believe we will have to sign some lesser free agents before the season begins?
I say we need $31,000,000 to sign these 3 players.
It is do-able.