After the Jacobs and Crisp trades, I thought it would be instructive to see where the payroll stands. So, below you'll see the Royals current payroll. I have included arbitration and pre-arbitration estimates. I included arbitration numbers for just about all eligible players, except for Gobble and Gathright, as I think they either will be non-tendered or traded before opening day.
Before you jump to the numbers, I want to mention this from today's KC Star:
Even with a projected payroll pushing a club-record $70 million, the Royals, apparently, aren’t yet tapped out.
"There’s flexibility for us to do some other things," Moore said. "We have the opportunity to improve our payroll maybe 20-25 percent over last year."
Moore previously cited $70 million as a likely ceiling, which would represent roughly a 20 percent increase over last year’s $58.2 million payroll on opening day. A 25 percent hike boosts the total to about $72.7 million.
First, that $58.2M 2008 payroll number is, to put it succinctly, bullshit. That is a weak, lazy and very soft job of journalism. That was the payroll of the 25 men who happened to be on the MLB roster on opening day. It was not the Royals actual 2008 major league payroll (total of all outlayed major league contract expenditures), nor even what it was projected to be back on opening day. That number doesn't include Berroa's $5.25M salary as well as some others.
When all was said and done, the Royals 2008 MLB payroll was actually about $67M. So when Moore says that he can improve payroll by 20-25 percent, I think that means that the payroll budget is potentially $80-84M. Or that could just be fan-placating rhetoric on Moore's part. But Moore certainly knows what the real major payroll was. Currently, the Royals payroll projects at about $71M.