Saturday, December 18, 2004

Payroll

The Consumer Price Index was released on Friday. I haven't seen this reported anywhere, so I thought I'd point it out here. The CBA says the major league minimum for 2005 is $300,000*((CPI-W Nov 02)/(CPI-W Nov 04)), rounded to the nearest $500. For minor league service time for players on the 40 man roster, the minimum is $50,000*((CPI-W Nov 02)/(CPI-W Nov 04)), again rounded to the nearest 100. The Nov. '02 CPI-W was 177.4, and the Nov. '04 CPI-W was 186.8. This means the new minimums, so far as I can tell, are $316,00 (major leagues) and $52,600 (minor leagues for 40-man roster players).

In light of this and the Valentin signing, I've updated my payroll data. An average of $320,000 for players not yet arbitration eligible seems right. I haven't seen any salary data for Alvarez, so he's not included, and obviously things will change soon with the arbitration deadline and trade rumors pending. The Dodgers now have eight players under contract, pending Valentin's physical, for $55.23 million. They also have eight arbitration eligible players on the 40-man roster, whose price I've estimated at $21.9 million total, although it should be noted that the likelihood of all of those players returning is in the neighborhood of zero. With Dreifort likely to be disabled on the 60-day DL, an accurate payroll baseline would include 25 slots, 12 on the 25-man roster (to account for likely DL time) and 13 on the 40-man, and we should probably add in a month of salary for eight September call-ups. Using $320,000 for the average minimum Major League contract and $53,000 for the minor league contracts, that sets the baseline at $82.1 million. Frankly, I have no idea whether the $100 million benchmark is supposed to include salaries for minor-leaguers on the 40-man and September call-up salaries, although I'll note that if I were running a team I would probably do that. If we want to use the more conservative estimate of opening-day 25-man roster payroll, the baseline is $80.3 million, although I should note again that the salary for the arbitration-eligible players was all guessing on my part and it's unlikely they'll all return.

(note: the above was edited 12/18 at 10:30 pm when I discovered the cost of living adjustment for major leaguers was rounded to the nearest $500, not $100 as I'd stated previously.)

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