With the regular season coming to a close on Sunday, fans of the 21 (soon to be 22) teams that did not make the playoffs have one saving grace this time of year: 2010.
Yes, even though the hot stove is not officially open for business yet, there has been much chatter around baseball about 2010 budgets as teams prepare for the excitement of free agency and trades.
It's fascinating to see which teams are increasing payroll, decreasing payroll, or just standing pat in 2010.
In an effort to make things as easy as possible for you, the reader, I have compiled a list of newspaper quotes stating what the early budget projections are for several teams. Let's take a look:
"By shedding expiring contracts, the club has dropped approximately $46.6 million from the 2009 payroll. Heading into 2010, they have about $30 million tied up in six players. They'll pay incremental raises to many of their youngsters and will face arbitration hikes with several more. But the payroll will start significantly below what it was in 2009 -- meaning there should be money to tap this winter. So an increase is expected, but the Orioles' 2010 payroll likely won't exceed $75 million."
"Sabean left little doubt that Freddy Sanchez will be the second baseman, whether the club negotiates a multiyear deal or simply picks up his $8.1 million option. The GM said they already have folded Sanchez's salary into their payroll budget, which should hold in the $90 million range."
"Padres CEO Jeff Moorad indicated on Saturday afternoon that the team's 2010 payroll would be at least $40 million, which should give Kevin Towers' successor some wiggle room when constructing the roster."
"The Astros' record payroll of $107 million in 2009 will likely be cut, and $54.5 million is already tied up in four players -- Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, Kazuo Matsui and Roy Oswalt. Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez are due big raises in arbitration, making Wade's job more difficult.
'"Our payroll is in all likelihood going to be lower than it was this year,' Wade said. 'It could be appreciably lower, but we don't know until we sit down and get the actual numbers.'"
"When the Indians open the 2010 season, they are projected to have a payroll somewhere between $50 million and $60 million, depending on what they do or don't do this offseason."
"The payroll may go up a little, but only because of all the back-loaded contracts. I don’t see Ricketts as a Steinbrenner-type who will spend, spend, spend to fix the team. The Cubs have spent a lot of money the last few years, and most of it was wasted money. They need to spend more wisely this off-season."
"We demand better, we expect better and our fans deserve better," Wilpon said. "Ownership is dedicated to delivering a championship-caliber team. It is our belief Omar and Jerry have the expertise and deserve the opportunity to help us get there. Once again, we'll be providing Omar with one of the highest payrolls in all of baseball to address our needs."
So for those of you keeping score at home, here are the numbers so far:
Pittsburgh Pirates: $28 million (at least)
San Diego Padres: $40 million (at least)
Cleveland Indians: $50-$60 million
Baltimore Orioles: Less than $75 million
San Francisco Giants: $90 million
Houston Astros: Less than $107 million
Chicago Cubs: slight increase from $134 million
New York Mets: Somewhere in the $140-$150 million range
This post will be updated as more information is released. If you find any budget info for any of the 30 teams around baseball, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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