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Royals 2015 Net Surplus Payroll

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Last march I wrote about the Royals net surplus payroll for 2014. According to my calculations the Royals had around $231M in surplus. The calculation is easy: (production * $/WAR) -  salary = surplus value. One task I set out to do but ultimately never finished was trying to calculate all 30 teams net surplus payroll. I wanted to try to put the $231M into perspective for the league comparison but alas I never got around to it. I won't promise I'll do it for the 2015 teams either, but it's on my to do list.

Despite not making the league comparison, I of course did the calculations for the 2015 and will present that below. All salaries are per Spotrac who I think does a great job of nailing the little things like incentives, minor league guys on the 40-man, retained salaries, etc...

As I noted in the article I recently wrote about Yordano Ventura's contract extension, I used a $/WAR value that was probably a bit too high ($8.4M/WAR). For 2015 I'll be using $8M. This will likely skew the numbers some, and for that I apologize.

2015 net surplus

Player Salary 2015 fWAR Value Surplus
Alex Gordon $      14,000,000 2.8 $     22,400,000.00 $       8,400,000.00
Alex Rios $        9,500,000 0.2 $       1,600,000.00 $    (7,900,000.00)
Jeremy Guthrie $        9,000,000 -0.9 $     (7,200,000.00) $  (16,200,000.00)
Jason Vargas $        8,500,000 0.4 $       3,200,000.00 $    (5,300,000.00)
Greg Holland $        8,250,000 0.8 $       6,400,000.00 $    (1,850,000.00)
Omar Infante $        7,500,000 -0.9 $     (7,200,000.00) $  (14,700,000.00)
Edinson Volquez $        7,500,000 2.6 $     20,800,000.00 $    13,300,000.00
Kendrys Morales $        7,250,000 2.1 $     16,800,000.00 $       9,550,000.00
Wade Davis $        7,025,000 2 $     16,000,000.00 $       8,975,000.00
Eric Hosmer $        5,700,000 3.5 $     28,000,000.00 $    22,300,000.00
Luke Hochevar $        4,000,000 0.1 $           800,000.00 $    (3,200,000.00)
Salvador Perez $        3,900,000 1.6 $     12,800,000.00 $       8,900,000.00
Johnny Cueto $        3,879,781 1.1 $       8,800,000.00 $       4,920,219.00
Alcides Escobar $        3,100,000 1.5 $     12,000,000.00 $       8,900,000.00
Ben Zobrist $        2,827,868 1.2 $       9,600,000.00 $       6,772,132.00
Lorenzo Cain $        2,825,000 6.6 $     52,800,000.00 $    49,975,000.00
Mike Moustakas $        2,700,000 3.8 $     30,400,000.00 $    27,700,000.00
Danny Duffy $        2,425,000 1.2 $       9,600,000.00 $       7,175,000.00
Kris Medlen $        2,000,000 0.5 $       4,000,000.00 $       2,000,000.00
Franklin Morales $        1,850,000 0.4 $       3,200,000.00 $       1,350,000.00
Kelvin Herrera $        1,600,000 0.6 $       4,800,000.00 $       3,200,000.00
Tim Collins $        1,475,000 0 $                             - $    (1,475,000.00)
Jason Frasor $        1,250,000 0 $                             - $    (1,250,000.00)
Jarrod Dyson $        1,225,000 1.8 $     14,400,000.00 $    13,175,000.00
Yordano Ventura $            950,000 2.7 $     21,600,000.00 $    20,650,000.00
Ryan Madson $            850,000 0.9 $       7,200,000.00 $       6,350,000.00
Drew Butera $            809,426 0 $                             - $        (809,426.00)
Louis Coleman $            725,000 0 $                             - $        (725,000.00)
Chris Young $            675,000 0.9 $       7,200,000.00 $       6,525,000.00
Joe Blanton $            628,416 0.5 $       4,000,000.00 $       3,371,584.00
Brian Flynn $            508,450 0 $                             - $        (508,450.00)
Paulo Orlando $            371,612 1 $       8,000,000.00 $       7,628,388.00
Jonny Gomes $            371,585 -0.3 $     (2,400,000.00) $    (2,771,585.00)
Christian Colon $            339,683 0.2 $       1,600,000.00 $       1,260,317.00
Cheslor Cuthbert $            146,980 0.3 $       2,400,000.00 $       2,253,020.00
Brandon Finnegan $            138,661 -0.1 $         (800,000.00) $        (938,661.00)
Francisco Pena $              97,292 -0.1 $         (800,000.00) $        (897,292.00)
Terrance Gore $              97,158 -0.1 $         (800,000.00) $        (897,158.00)
Erik Kratz $              91,516 -0.1 $         (800,000.00) $        (891,516.00)
Scott Alexander $              91,516 0 $                             - $          (91,516.00)
Miguel Almonte $              91,516 -0.4 $     (3,200,000.00) $    (3,291,516.00)
Joba Chamberlain $              72,103 0 $                             - $          (72,103.00)
Yohan Pino $              66,557 0.2 $       1,600,000.00 $       1,533,443.00
Orlando Calixte $              47,144 -0.1 $         (800,000.00) $        (847,144.00)
Michael Mariot $              44,371 -0.1 $         (800,000.00) $        (844,371.00)
Dustin Coleman $              33,278 -0.2 $     (1,600,000.00) $    (1,633,278.00)
Aaron Brooks $              27,732 0.1 $           800,000.00 $          772,268.00
Total $   126,557,645 38.3 $   306,400,000.00 $  179,842,355.00

The Royals had a drop in their net surplus payroll from 2014 to 2015 of  ~$50M (though again the 2014 numbers are likely a bit inflated compared to 2015). This make some sense as the 2015 team despite it's success had a few poor contracts (Infante, Guthrie, Rios).

Largest positive change in value from 2014

Player Change
Eric Hosmer $           20,700,000.00
Mike Moustakas $           20,500,000.00
Lorenzo Cain $           10,775,000.00
Louis Coleman $             3,275,000.00
Aaron Brooks $             2,372,268.00

Lorenzo Cain had the biggest year for a Royal, but he was coming off a very strong 2014 and got a slight raise. Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas both had thus far career best years, and even with modest raises were able to double the surplus value change of Cain.

Largest negative change in value from 2014

Player Change
Alex Gordon $        (44,400,000.00)
Jeremy Guthrie $        (28,200,000.00)
Jason Vargas $        (26,100,000.00)
Omar Infante $        (18,700,000.00)
Alcides Escobar $        (18,300,000.00)

It's pretty easy to figure out who would be on this list, and I bet you could have done it just by guessing. Alex Gordon was still a very productive player despite injuries but he received a raise in 2015 while his production compared to the previous year was cut by more than half.

Jeremy Guthrie only got a slight raise in 2015 but his miserable performance this year brought him down.

Jason Vargas was injured so this might be slightly deceiving. He was worth ~1.5 fWAR (per 180 IP) but of course he was still paid for a full year of performance, despite pitching only 43 innings.

I imagine this will be a yearly tradition, so stay tuned for 2016 too!