[Update] We have now updated this projection with the recent additions of Jesse Chavez and Ramon Ramirez to the 40-man roster. Both pitchers still have minor league options so at this time we are projecting that they will start the year in Durham. However, both pitchers will compete for roster spots in the Spring. Also, the Rays recently bought out two options at a total of $700K. While not officially part of the 2010 payroll, the Rays operate within a budget and it is a cost that cannot be ignored. Therefore, we choose to include the options as part of the 2010 payroll projection.

[Update] This projection has been updated to reflect the re-signing of Gabe Kapler. This move likely bumps Fernando Perez back to the minors and reduces the number of projected openings on the 40-man roster to five.

Yesterday we projected the 2010 25-man roster. Now let’s look at what that means for the 40-man roster and the opening day payroll.

40-Man Roster Projection (notes and explanations on the projection can be found following the roster)…

Notes on the 40-man roster projection

  • Ages are as of today. Shaded players are projected to be on the 40-man roster, but not on the 25-man roster. Italicized players are currently on the 40-man roster but are not projected to be on the roster in ’09 (actually, Dillon, Hernandez and Nelson have already been declared free agents).
  • Several players in the minors will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft for the first time this winter and either need to be added to the 40-man roster or risk being selected by another organization. This list includes Desmond Jennings, Jeremy Hellickson, Aneury Rodriguez, Ryan Royster, Chris Nowak, Eduardo Morlan, Nevin Ashley and Ryan Reid. Jennings and Hellboy are locks. We have Rodriguez also being added. You could make a case for Morlan and Reid. If only three are added to the roster, that leaves 6 open slots, which would provide the Rays with a ton of roster flexibility when it comes to signing free agents or making trades.
  • The Rays have 9 players that will be arbitration-eligible following this season. Salaries for 8 of those players are guestimations at this point based on other arbitration-eligible players in recent years that play the same position, have similar service times and comparable stats. Last year, we missed the five arbitration cases by a total of $300K and nailed 2 right on the head. Anybody you think we are way off on? We are projecting that the other arbitration-eligible player, Gabe Gross, will not be offered arbitration by the Rays.
  • The opening day payroll projects to be $62.0 million, but will certainly go up with free agent signings (bullpen) and any additional long-term contracts given to young players (Upton, Garza, Bartlett). Of course, there are places where the Rays can save money, if they choose to trade a player like Carl Crawford or Carlos Pena, both of whom are entering the final years of their current deals. Combined, those two players will account for about one-third of the 2010 payroll.
  • Elliot Johnson and Mitch Talbot are out of minor league options and we do not see a spot for them on the 25-man roster, so they will have to be Designated For Assignment and placed on waivers before they can be demoted to the minors.
(1) Based only on players currently within the organization and will be updated when trades are consumated and free agents are signed.
(2) Once a player is added to the 40-man roster, the team can ‘option’ the player to the minors 3 times. A team cannot be charged with using more than one option in a given season even if a player is demoted to the minors several times that year. An option is not used if a player is added to the 40-man roster midseason unless he is sent back to the minors at some point. An option is only used if a player spends more than 20 days in the minors while on the 40-man roster. A player with more than 5 years experience can refuse a minor league assignment, so we list those players as having no options.
(3) Years remaining under control of franchise before free agency eligibility. A player can become a free agent after 6 years of Major League service time.
(4) First, second and third year players will have their salaries determined by the team, but will fall close to the major league minimum which is $400K in ’10. Minor leaguers on the 40-man for the first time make $33,750 and second-year players (or players with at least 1 day of major league experience) make twice that amount. We are not including signing bonuses or incentives.
* Players with at least 3 years since their big league debut. These players must clear optional waivers in order to be demoted to the minors even if they have options remaining.


  1. Jsess says:

    Why does Mcgee only have 2 options left??... He's never been called up and didn't sign a major league contract.

    • He was added to the 40-man roster prior to last season. So even though he has never been demoted, he was considered to be on "optional assignment" in 2009 since he wasn't in the big leagues.

      Options may be the most confusing aspect of all this. I still have to review the rules all the time.

  2. KyleS says:

    I have a hard time seeing BJ getting more than Victorino did this year (3.1-ish). I guess I was thinking more along the lines of Hermida's 2.2 or so. While he's played a great CF, I just don't think he's shown enough at the plate (consistently) for arbitrators to award him such a large increase.

    • You might be right. Upton was the toughest call. I actually thought best comp was Jeff Francouer (even though he plays RF). Decent bat, solid D. And I compared his numbers for 2 years prior to arbitration to Upton. I think even arbitrators are starting to place more value on defense. In Francouer's case, he asked $3.8 and Braves offered $2.8. I think they settled around $3.2. I think Upton's numbers and the fact he plays center push him past Francouer. It will definitely be interesting to see what Rays offer if it gets that far.

  3. Don says:

    I feel Upton was OVERPAID this year (2009) at $400,000...(min. wages)
    I would love to hear some agent or so called baseball expect explain why he possibly could be worth $3.5 mil.!!! and if they start bringing up other players on other teams...I would bring up players like Zobrist, Jp Howell, Garza ect. on the Rays...
    who made about the same.... but contributed to the team....So what did he do to deserve a raise?

  4. Chris says:

    Left off Chris Richard, still on the 40-man at the moment (only a Bulls fan would notice).

  5. Gus says:

    Could the Rays consider a salary dump of Burrell with a prospect -- some blocked prospect -- say Brignac and Burrell for a minimal propsect. For a team with a logjam of prospects and a tight-fisted owner, this seems like some creative thinking. Put another way, is Brignac's future worth in dollar terms the projected overage in PB's 2009's salary. Say Burrell is project to produce $2M next year; isn't Brignac worth $7M at this point to a team like the Pirates or the Nats that has payroll room and will be facing some pressure this off-season to improve the roster.

    That $9M (1/7th of the payroll) could go a long way to bailing out Andy's Folly (the PB Contract) and dealing with what to do with the next wave of players who need to get paid.

    • I'm sure the Rays would love that. The problem is, you would need a team with a decent sized payroll to take on Burrell, and is rebuilding to take on a young SS like Brignac. Unless maybe there is a contender that thinks Brignac is a difference maker in 2010. Possible, just not sure what team that would be.

      • Beth says:

        New York Mets? I guess they don't specifically need a shortstop, however, as I assume Reyes will return. But they are both deep-pocketed AND rebuilding.

      • Gus says:


        Also, looks like the Bosox are not resigning Baldelli. Wouldn't a cheap Baldelli be better than Gabe Kapler?

      • cubfanraysaddict says:

        c'mon prof.,

        No way we package a great prospect like Brignac with PtB just for salary relief. We have 3 years at a total of ~1.2 mil for an above avg. defensive shortstop with at min. an average bat and 3 arb years on top of that, no way would our intelligent FO make him a throw in to cover a one year salary dump.

        • do you think the Rays are still that high on Brignac? I dont. Maybe I am wrong. But unless you think the Rays are going to deal Bartlett during his Arb years, Brignac has no home. Zobrist, Rodriguez and Aybar have a claim on second base for the next few years.

          I am not saying it is likely. But I think the Rays really want out of the Burrell deal. If they could move him, they could fill the DH with some combo of Aybar, Rodriguez and Joyce depending on who is not in the field on a particular night and still have a very good team for about $50-55 million.


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