It's Time to Drastically Increase Payroll, Mr. Glass

Ed Zurga

He's promised to raise payroll if we had a chance to win our division. We have a chance next year. So its time to pay up.

We have advocated David Glass opening his wallet before here and here. David Glass offered his take on the payroll situation back in November.

"I would tell you that for us to break even, our payroll has to be in the $70 million range. But as we’ve discussed before, we will react based on what our opportunities are."

Our own Craig Brown showed what a farce this claim is, but whatever, its David Glass's story and he's sticking to it.

Here is a look at Royals payroll obligations for the next few years. First is the total of all the players if they were to retain all arbitration-eligible players and pick up all club options. The second total is the more likely scenario, if they non-tender Luke Hochevar, Emilio Bonifacio, Felipe Paulino, Chris Getz, George Kottaras, and Luis Mendoza, and decline the club option on Jamey Carroll, and replace them all with minimum wage players.

Royals Payroll

2014

2015

2016

Comments

James Shields

$13,500,000

Free Agent

$1 million buyout

Jeremy Guthrie

$11,000,000

$9,000,000

Free Agent

Alex Gordon

$10,750,000

$13,250,000

$12,500,000

Billy Butler

$8,000,000

$12,500,000

Free Agent

$1 million buyout

Luke Hochevar

$5,800,000

Free Agent

Wade Davis

$4,800,000

$7,000,000

$8,000,000

Greg Holland

$4,500,000

Emilio Bonifacio

$3,300,000

Free Agent

Alcides Escobar

$3,000,000

$3,000,000

$5,250,000

$500,000 buyout

Aaron Crow

$2,700,000

Felipe Paulino

$2,200,000

Free Agent

Jamey Carroll

$2,000,000

Free Agent

$250,000 buyout; option becomes player option with 401 plate appearances

Chris Getz

$2,000,000

Free Agent

George Kottaras

$1,850,000

Free Agent

Tim Collins

$1,750,000

Salvador Perez

$1,500,000

$1,750,000

$2,000,000

Luis Mendoza

$1,500,000

Noel Arguelles

$1,380,000

Justin Maxwell

$1,250,000

Eric Hosmer

$850,000

Lorenzo Cain

$800,000

Mike Moustakas

$725,000

Kelvin Herrera

$600,000

Jarrod Dyson

$600,000

Danny Duffy

$600,000

David Lough

$510,000

Payroll total

$ 87,467,014

$ 46,502,015

$ 27,752,016

Likely payroll total

$ 72,317,014

Club option

Player option

Free Agent

Arbitration Estimate

Likely non-tender/
decline option

The Royals sit at around $80 million in payroll this year, and indications are they will maintain or increase payroll for next year. As things stand now, even if they jettison a lot of dead weight, they'll only have about $8 million to spend this winter if they maintain payroll.

But its time to increase payroll. By a lot.

Next year, a new TV deal with FOX, TBS and ESPN will provide an additional $788 million in revenues, pushing overall league revenues well past $8 billion. Since these revenues are split evenly among all teams, that adds $20-25 million per year in each team's pockets.

David Glass told Dick Kaegel back in November:

"I’m even willing to go further and subsidize it at a time when we’ve got a chance to win our division or really be competitive. We’re at that time, so now you get to the point where it depends on what’s available."

This year we were competitive into August and had we not had such a black hole at second base and right field, who knows how competitive we would have been for a Wild Card spot. I criticized Dayton Moore pretty hard yesterday for his inane comments but he was right that most of this roster is young and on the upswing, or in the prime of their careers (that's why we had to get rid of Old Man Myers!) We do have a frontline starter in James Shields, a few interesting arms behind him, a terrific bullpen, and some interesting bats. Its not a complete team, but its a team that if you squint you can kinda see "contender for a playoff spot" if the right pieces are added to it adn everything lines up right.

So its time to increase payroll. To at least $100 million.

"So now you get to the point where it depends on what’s available," he said. "You say, ‘Go spend it.’ Well, what do you spend it on? Unless you get something that is going to help you beyond this year … I don’t want us to have a one-year approach."

Even a league average second baseman would be a huge boon to this lineup. Re-signing Ervin Santana to a 3 year deal wouldn't be totally crazy. Adding another starting pitcher so we don't have to see Wade Davis start anymore gives us a fighting chance. As you can see above, the Royals only have about $46 million in salary obligations in 2015 with about $20-25 million more in arbitration commitments. That still gives you a lot of leeway to make long-term commitments with free agents or acquired players. You don't like old free agents? Fine. Every offseason there are young talented players available for a bounty of minor league free agents. We may not have the guns to get a Giancarlo Stanton, but you never know what kind of deal is out there.

Look, I don't trust Dayton Moore any more than you do. But the only way we can hope to overcome his mistakes is through David Glass's financial reserves. Its time to increase payroll Mr. Glass. You promised, now pay up.

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