It was an off-day yesterday (for the hitters), so let’s take a moment and update the 2011 roster and payroll projection. Notes on the projection can be found after the table…

Notes on the 40-man projection…

  • A legend for the table can be found below after the jump.
  • This projection is based on players currently in the organization and assumes that no free agents will be re-signed. That list includes Carl Crawford, Rafael Soriano, Carlos Pena, Grant Balfour, Pat Burrell, Gabe Kapler, Joaquin BenoitRandy Choate and Chad Qualls.
  • Here is what the 25-man roster would look like based on this projection.
  • Players in white would be on the 25-man roster. Players in grey would be on the 40-man roster but in the minors.
  • Salaries for players eligible for arbitration are based on salaries for comparable players in recent years. Those numbers should be in the ballpark but could fluctuate up or down depending on how well those players perform this season.
  • Justin Ruggiano will be out of minor league options.
  • Dioner Navarro and Jason Bartlett would still be under team control but we project both to be gone next season either by trade or by declining to offer arbitration.
  • Stuart Sternberg said the 2011 payroll will be under $60 million. As we can see the Rays are only committed to $42 million. So there is still some flexibility to possibly re-sign a player like Carlos Pena or Joaquin Benoit.
  • The Rays could save another $2.5 million by declining the option on Dan Wheeler’s contract ($1M buyout) and replacing him with a league minimum player. They can also save a little if they buyout Willy Aybar’s option and take him to arbitration instead.
  • The more we think about it, we think there is a good chance the Rays keep all 6 starting pitchers. If somebody is traded, look for either James Shields or Matt Garza to be moved.
  • The last three names on the list (Aneury Rodriguez, Matt Sweeney, Alex Cobb) are projected to be additions to the 40-man roster to avoid the Rule 5 draft. Anybody you think we overlooked?

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. Sarah says:

    So, they will be paying Kelly Shoppach just a little less than David Price and Evan Longoria combined?

    Baseball's a funny game.

  2. Joe says:

    Dan Johnson?

  3. Charles says:

    This might be an unpopular opinion, but I think it's worth considering bringing Randy Choate back. I think his coronary-inducing April has colored him all season, but from May on he's been pretty effective - I mean .604 OPS allowed effective. He hasn't allowed a homer since April 16th. He should be cheap and can clearly get the job done when used in the right situations. He needs to work on his walks, but I see him as a guy that fills a need on the cheap.

  4. Joe D. says:

    I'm thinking that Dan Johnson is at least in Spring Training next year with the Rays of not the starting 1st Baseman, at least until Anderson proves himself at AAA.

  5. Chris says:

    Editorial tweak? Projected 2011 Payroll, not 2010 payroll

  6. Don says:

    Easy dump fo $12mIL...Upton(5m), Wheeler (3.5M), Sonn&Comier (3mil)
    Shopp. the Rays are stuck aga. with $3mil baggage like Burrell last two years..
    Let the young players move up to majors can it hurt?.... to replace these dogs with cheap labor....I'm for it!

  7. Joe D. says:

    Why would you want to get rid of wheels and sonny?

  8. Gus says:

    Does the $4M Wheeler option include father-in-law's Duane Statts' contract and hair care per diem?

    He's pitched well this season, but $4M for this team for a 7th inning set-up guy might be better spent towards a 9th inning man from where I sit. Or a RH batter who can make contact.

  9. Joe D. says:

    Without Benoit, and/or Soriano; Wheeler probably is the 8th inning guy if not closer, or part of a 'closer platoon/by committee'...

    • Gus says:

      2009 would be pretty good evidence that Wheeler is best not used in the 9th. I like him, and his wife should be able to get him to take a hometown discount of sorts. But $4M for Dan is too much if we have no closer.

      Then again, they are way under this year's payroll and should have increases season ticket subscriptions, so maybe management will be okay with signing a closer and Wheeler.

  10. Joe D. says:

    I think that sonny is as good of a long man as their is and I think Wheeler is one if the more consistent arms out of the 'pen, his inherited runners/inherited tigers scored is ridiculously good this station, I don't jane the number infront of me, but it was like 20+/3.... I'm not site where the Rays replace that...

  11. Bill says:


  12. Cork,

    Maybe you have said elsewhere, but would it not be feasible to trade BJ Upton (even for a box of baseballs and a few mismatched socks) and not resign Pena and with those savings re-sign CC?

    Seems like CC/Desmond/Platoon at RF/1b is better than Desmond/Upton/Joyce and Zorilla at 1b and it would cost about the same.

    I know this can't be right, but help me see where it doesn't work.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Check out the 2011 40man/payroll projection in the sidebar...

      But to answer your question, yes it is possible. Even with payroll cut, the Rays could still afford Crawford, but I doubt they even want to re-sign CC. The problem is, he is going to want 6 or 7 years in his next contract. And there is little chance he will still be worth $15M 4-5 years from now.

      As for Pena, he has probably played his way into the Rays price range and I wouldn't be surprised to see him back next season.


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