One of the constant concerns of a fan base is how much money is being spent on the big league roster, not how the dollars generated is being allocated throughout an organization.
According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Cubs Opening Day payroll has decreased every year since 2010 when the team that finished with a 75-87 record cost $144,359,000 to field.
In 2011, the Cubs payroll was $134,004,000 and the team ended the year with a 71-91 record.
When Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer took over baseball operations in October 2011, the Cubs had several financial commitments to players no longer in the organization that had to come off the books that were not reflected in the Opening Day payrolls posted by Cot’s. The big league payroll decreased in 2012 ($109,316,000), 2013 ($106,837,810) and 2014 ($92,677,368).
After the Cubs announced signing David Ross to a two-year deal for a reported $5 million, Phil Rogers tweeted the Cubs’ payroll for next season sits at $83.26 million for the 12 players under contract, plus around $20 million for the seven arbitration eligible players.
The Cubs currently have 21 players on the 40-man roster that are automatic renewal players (0-3 men) and one of the seven arbitration eligible players on the roster is Welington Castillo.
According to reports at the time the player signed his contract, along with information supplied by Cot’s Baseball Contracts and Baseball-Reference, Rogers’ number of $83.26 million appears to be a little high without adding in what the team will pay players with less than three years of service time.
- Jason Hammel – $9 million
- Edwin Jackson – $11 million
- Jon Lester – $15 million
- Jason Motte – $4.5 million ($2.5 million incentives package)
- Jacob Turner – $1 million
- Tsuyoshi Wada – $4 million
Total for Pitchers Under Contract – (6) – $44.5 million
- Miguel Montero – $12 million
- David Ross – $2.25 million
Total for Catchers Under Contract – (2) – $14.25 million
- Starlin Castro – $6 million
- Anthony Rizzo – $5 million
Total for Infielders Under Contract – (2) – $11 million
- Jorge Soler – $2.66 million
- Ryan Sweeney – $1.5 million
Total for Outfielders Under Contract – (2) – $4.16 million
Payroll Commitments to Players Under Contract – (12) – $73.91 million
- Jake Arrieta – $3.9-4.2 million
- Felix Doubront – $1.1-1.5 million
- Pedro Strop – $1.9-2.5 million
- Travis Wood – $5.2-5.7 million
- Welington Castillo – $2-2.3 million
- Luis Valbuena – $2.8-3.3 million
- Chris Coghlan – $1.2-1.5 million
Range for Arbitration Eligible Players – (7) – $18.1-21 million
RHP Dallas Beeler, RHP C.J. Edwards, RHP Justin Grimm ($505,500), RHP Kyle Hendricks, LHP Eric Jokisch, LHP Mike Kickham, LHP Joseph Ortiz, RHP Blake Parker, RHP Neil Ramirez, RHP Hector Rondon ($514,000), LHP Zac Rosscup, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Dan Straily ($505,000), C Rafael Lopez, INF/OF Arismendy Alcantara, INF Javier Baez, INF Tommy La Stella, INF/OF Mike Olt ($502,000), INF Christian Villanueva, OF Junior Lake ($502,500) and OF Matt Szczur.
The Cubs have 21 players with less than three years of service time. The Major League minimum for the 2015 season is $507,500. Signing each player to the Major League minimum would add $10,657,500 to the payroll. But several players were plaid slightly more than the minimum last year ($500,000) as indicated with the numbers in parenthesis and those players will receive more than the minimum ($507,500) next season.
The minor league minimum next season (2015) for players on the 40-man roster for at least a second year or with at least one day of Major League service time is $82,700. The Cubs have 20 automatic renewal players (0-3 men) that would fall under that pay scale, only C.J. Edwards is a new addition to the roster. And the minimum for a player on a team’s 40-man roster for the first time in 2015 is $41,400.
The Cubs have seven players, including Welington Castillo, that are arbitration eligible. Those seven players should cost a minimum of $18.1 million and could add as much as $21 million to the Opening Day payroll.
While the front office has not said publicly how much they have to spend on the 2015 team, a rough estimate would put the Cubs payroll around $103 million at the end of December with more additions and subtractions expected to be made to the roster.