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A Look Ahead At 2014's Payroll

The Padres' 2013 season ended weeks ago and the only thing to look forward to in Friarland is 2014. We can begin with a look at the projected payroll for next season.


This week MLBTradeRumors released their salary projections for the Padres' arbitration eligible players. This is the last piece needed to get a full projection of what the 2014 payroll could look like without any free agent signings. The numbers MLBTR comes up with are usually pretty close and much better than when I guess so it has proven best practice to wait for them before talking about this stuff.

For those that do not know which Padres are aribtration-eligible, here's the list: Chase Headley, Ian Kennedy, Clayton Richard, Luke Gregerson, Eric Stults, Andrew Cashner, Everth Cabrera, Tyson Ross, Jesus Guzman, Tim Stauffer and Kyle Blanks. Everyone else either has a fixed contract with the team or does not have enough service time to qualify for arbitration and will only get a very slight raise on their previous season's salary (making their projections easy).

First off, there is an elephant in the room that needs to be discussed. One of the options the team has with any player that is arbitration eligible is that they can "non-tender" them. That means make them a free agent them at no cost to the team. It is an easy way to avoid big salaries for players that are unlikely to provide value on those dollars. The elephant that I am talking about is Clayton Richard. It would be such an extreme folly to tender him a contract (and owe him at least $5M in 2014) that I cannot possibly see it happening. So I have to assume that will happen and all my projections will leave out his salary. Make sense to everyone?

Anyway, here's how the 2014 payroll would shake out. In the notes column if you see "MLBTR Estimate", then that is an MLB Trade Rumors number and it should be close, but no guarantees. If you see "Estimate", that is my own estimate and it should be really close (within $25K plus or minus) considering that these players are not due significant raises. Everyone else has a guaranteed contract. Also you might quibble with who I list as being on the payroll (for example, maybe you do not think Brach will be on the team in 2014), but it does not matter all that much since if you took that player off and replaced him with someone else from the minors they would make close to the same amount. There are also more than 25 players here and that is because players on the DL get paid too and some of these guys will be on the DL to start the season.

Player Age Position Contract Status Projected Salary ($ millions) Notes
Chase Headley 29 INF Arb-4 10 MLBTR Estimate
Carlos Quentin 31 OF Extension 9.5
Huston Street 30 P Extension 7
Ian Kennedy 29 P Arb-2 5.8 MLBTR Estimate
Cameron Maybin 26 OF Arb Buyout 5.1
Luke Gregerson 29 P Arb-3 4.9 MLBTR Estimate
Will Venable 31 OF Arb Buyout 4.2
Nick Hundley 30 C Arb Buyout 4
Cory Luebke 29 P Arb Buyout 3.125
Eric Stults 34 P Arb-1 3 MLBTR Estimate
Andrew Cashner 27 P Arb-1 2.4 MLBTR Estimate
Chris Denorfia 33 OF Arb Buyout 2.25
Everth Cabrera 27 INF Arb-2 2.2 MLBTR Estimate
Jesus Guzman 29 INF Super 2 1.3 MLBTR Estimate
Tyson Ross 26 P Super 2 1.3 MLBTR Estimate
Yasmani Grandal 25 C Pre-Arb-2 1.26 Estimate
Tim Stauffer 31 P Arb-3 1.2 MLBTR Estimate
Yonder Alonso 26 INF Pre-Arb-3 1.15 Estimate
Kyle Blanks 27 INF Arb-2 1 Estimate
Logan Forsythe 27 INF Pre-Arb-3 0.52 Estimate
Dale Thayer 33 P Pre-Arb-3 0.52 Estimate
Brad Brach 27 P Pre-Arb-2 0.52 Estimate
Alexi Amarista 25 INF Pre-Arb-3 0.52 Estimate
Joe Wieland 24 P Pre-Arb-3 0.52 Estimate
Casey Kelly 24 P Pre-Arb-2 0.52 Estimate
Jedd Gyorko 25 INF Pre-Arb-2 0.52 Estimate
Nick Vincent 27 P Pre-Arb-2 0.52 Estimate
Clayton Richard 30 P Arb-3
Expecting non-tender

Salaries Total 74.845

As you can see the final number is just under $75 million. If anyone wondered how the Padres could end up paying that $80 million that Fowler claimed would be the 2014 payroll, well I think you can see how. They are already really close.