[Update: 2:12pm] The Rays have signed Lance Cormier to a one-year, $675K contract. To make room on the 40-man, the Rays have designated Dewon Day, who they had just claimed on waivers last week. With the addition of Cormier, this tells us that the Rays now expect Troy Percival to start the season on the DL as all spots in the bullpen are spoken for.
[1:42pm] With the recent addition of Gabe Kapler, the Rays 2009 roster may be set. After the recent contract agreements with Gabe Gross and Grant Balfour, the payroll is also much clearer. Let’s update the 2009 40-man roster projection. We will be back later today with a look at the 25-man roster and lineup.
40-Man Roster Projection (notes and explanations on the projection can be found following the roster)…
- Ages are as of today.
- Shaded players are projected to be on the 40-man roster, but not on the 25-man roster.
- There are currently 40 players on the 40-man roster.
- The Rays have reached agreements with two of their arbitration-eligible players (Gabe Gross, Grant Balfour). That leaves 3 arbitration players remaining (Dioner Navarro, Jason Bartlett, Willy Aybar). Salaries for those players are educated guestimations based on contracts of similar arbitration-eligibles in the past few years. The salaries are also based on one-year deals. If any of the players sign long-term extensions, their 2009 salary could be considerably different. So far we have been within $150K on the first two deals.
- The 40-man roster now projects to have 26 players on the 25-man roster. This is due to the belief that Troy Percival will begin the season on the DL.
- Troy Percival’s 2009 salary was bumped up by $445K due to escalators in his contract for appearing in 50 games and finishing 38.
- The Rays appear to be stuck with Troy Percival and Chad Bradford. Their $7.95 million combined salaries stick out like a sore thumb. One of those cartoon thumbs after somebody smacks it with a hammer.
- As a Rule 5 draft pick, Derek Rodriguez must be on the major league roster or be offered back to his original team. We don’t see a spot for Rodriguez, but we think the Rays will work out a deal to keep Rodriguez in the organization. It would likely cost the Rays a low-level minor leaguer or cash.
- The opening day payroll now projects to be $61.7 million, but we also need to include Rocco Baldelli’s buyout ($4 million). While not technically part of the payroll, it is a cost that cannot be ignored. That brings the projected payroll up to $65.7 million.
- $61.7 million would have ranked the Rays 25th in payroll on opening day last year. The Rays opening day payroll in 2008 was $43.8 million.
- $60 million is most likely at the high-end of where the Rays want their payroll to be and may even be above the threshold. The Rays tried moving Chad Bradford but could not find any takers. Other possibles would be Carl Crawford and Gabe Gross.
- A year ago, the Rays projected to have 7 million dollar players. That number has now more than doubled to 16.