Earlier today 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.
  • The Rays now have 37 players on the 40-man roster. Elliot Johnson and Mitch Talbot are out of minor league options and we don’t see a spot on the big league roster for either. We expect both players to be removed from the 40-man roster at some point.
  • The Rays had 10 players that were arbitration-eligible this off-season. The Rays non-tendered Gabe Gross and avoided arbitration with Grant Balfour, Dioner Navarro, Lance Cormier and Randy Choate. Salaries for the remaining 5 arbitration 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.
  • With the addition of Rafael Soriano and the decision to keep Dioner Navarro (for now) the opening day payroll projects to be $71.1 million. 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 almost one-third of the 2010 payroll.
(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. Gus says:

    I know the Rays fared well against him (in realtive terms) in recent years, but missing 4 or 5 Roy Halladay starts has to be counted as good news for the Rays. Toronto in a total rebuild is addition by subtraction.

    On the other hand, I feel like Lackey has been tough on the Rays over the years, so seeing him two or three more times isn't that fun.

    One more: How come cold-weather Boston gets to open the season at home against the defending AL Champs again? That makes no sense. The League Champs should get to open at home, even if they are the Yankees.

  2. Kevin says:

    I would be suprised if the Rays end this year paying $71M in payroll. That is a pretty significant increase over last year...a bit under 15%. Does anyone think the following is possible? All my numbers will be made up which is why I don't know how possible this line of thinking is.

    The Rays think the value of making the playoffs is $15M. By increasing payroll by $8M to the projected $71M they feel the chances of making the playoffs are improved enough to assume that payroll risk. Said another way an investment of $8M could return $15M at seasons end.

    Let's say a few weeks after the trade deadline next year the Rays decide they are not going to make the playoffs (similar to what they decided this year). So now their $8M investment is likely to return $0 and actually result in a $8M loss. Could they be thinking they can trade one or more of the guys coming off the books next year for cash? For example, trade Pena and save $2.5M by not paying him for the last 25% of the season and in return for the trade get the other team to pay the Rays $1M. Suddenly they have saved $3.5M of the $8M increased salary.

    Do that with some combination of Pena, Burrell, Soria and/or Wheeler and the team could save some significant dollars. The Rays could even trade within the division to the free spending Yanks and Sox since these players (other then Wheeler) will be free agents (I think) at the end of the year.

    Any chance with is possible? What is a realistic cash return in a trade for a guy like Pena?

  3. Don says:

    Your premise on the playoffs worth $15 is correct....actually the Rays netted $16 mil from the playoffs in 2008!
    So you might be on the right track .."take a shot at the playoffs in 2010,
    if it doesn't look good ....unload in the late summer"
    and think about it.... if they DON"T make the playoffs with Pena, CC,
    Navarro,Burrell, Upton, Wheeler....what good are they anyway?....time to unload and reload with the young guys rottening away in the minors!

  4. Rayhawk says:

    Extremely well thought out and concise, as usual, my weak point in baseball, but enjoyed it never the less.

    YOU WILL give us XMas pictures of the young Professor correct????

    Happy Holidays, Keep warm

  5. Brian says:

    Dump the salaries of Burrell, Wheeler, and Navaro after this season. We cannot afford to lose CC! Soriano will be the wildcard. I think the closer of the future will be coming from our farm system. If that is the case, there is another $7mm we just dumped. I will say it again, we cannot afford to lose CC. I may be thinking with my heart and not with my head but it would bring a tear to my eye to see CC in another uniform.

    • Gus says:

      Brian: I'm with you on the CC is our George Brett, our franchise guy. Our best bet to keep him is an injury/subppar year that kills his value. I worry about the Red Sox ending up with him now (no Bay in LF, Cameron just a place holder). That would kill me.

  6. Don says:

    CC will not be traded if the Rays make the playoffs this year..or look like they are going to make the playoffs late in the year....
    But if they don't...CC and a few more are on the chopping block!
    Actually what if Jennings is better than CC... for less money and they can get usefull players for CC ???
    AGAIN....playoffs.... or all hell breaks lose...only a couple of players safe...
    The low payroll types!


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