Last week we looked at the 2011 25-man roster, now let’s gander at the 2011 40-man 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 a couple of free agents will be re-signed.
  • 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.
  • 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 ~$47 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.
  • We still think there is a good chance the Rays keep all 6 starting pitchers unless another team blows them away with an offer. 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.

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. Greg says:


    Did you include Bartlett and Navarro in the $45.9M projection? Or is that without them? I don't feel like adding it up myself.

  2. Political_Man says:

    Minor correction... Wade Davis is listed as a relief pitcher.

  3. leningan says:

    it's amazing how thin we are in the outfield. Though, we probably should just consider him an OF from now on.

    and is there another molina brother out there? apparently that's what puts you over the top.

  4. Max says:

    Matt Sweeney added to the 40 man roster? You have got to be kidding, right?

  5. hellrayser says:

    PLEASE lord let it be Benoit over Pena if they have to choose between those two.

  6. phil says:

    Agreed with hellrayser bring back Benoit...Bullpen of Benoit, Howell, Balfour,Qualls, Mcgee/Choate, Ekstrom and Sonnenstine is solid and the rotation of Price, garza, davis, niemman and Shields/Hellikson is solid too!

  7. phil says:

    Cork - Is Alex Torres a future starter or reliever?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      The best answer might be "either."

      They are going to keep him a starter for the time being because he gives the Rays depth and they love starting pitcher depth. But from what I understand, they would be very comfortable moving him to the bullpen if/when needed.

      • phil says:

        good then you have Sonnanstine and Torres as your go to options if one of the 5 starters go down...So you can trade shields for a bat

  8. Chris says:

    Are we really going to spend $2.2M on Aybar and $1.5M on Sonnanstine? That seems like a lot of money for minimal return.

    • phil says:

      Chris - I agree with you on Aybar but not Sonnanstine he can be a valuable long reliever/spot starter in case a starter gets hurt. Over the course of a year that can be important.

      Regarding Aybar save the $2.2m and go after a free agent hitter in the $6 millon dollar range that can put up better numbers like Ty Winngton

      • Beth says:

        I've got to agree with Phil. An Andy Sonnanstine plays a valuable role -- long relief, spot starts, and performs all that with what seems to be a minimum of whining. To find a cheaper replacement for him means, almost by definition, that you are trying to fill that role with someone in his first few years of MLB service (otherwise he wouldn't be cheaper), but you don't want to stick a rookie or near rookie in that role -- he would lack the experience to handle the uncertainty, and the irregular playing time means you'd never know whether he has a bigger upside. So I'm happy to devote $1.5 million for Sonnanstine, but would indeed like to find a cheaper version of Aybar.

  9. hellrayser says:

    I wonder if anyone's done any statistical work that shows what the Rays' estimated record for the 2010 season would have been if you replaced all the games Pena played with Johnson.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Well, Pena was worth about 1 win to the Rays this season. By comparison, he was worth more than 6 wins in 2007 when he had his monster season. In only 40 games, Johnson was worth 0.1 Wins. But it is hard to tell how that would project over a full season if given regular playing time.

      The problem is, Maddon would probably never give Johnson a shot to play everyday. So that means only 100 starts at most.

      • hellrayser says:

        Interesting. So with latter-day Carlos, you basically get one out-of-the-blue game-winning homer in exchange for 161 games of suckitude.

        (I know, I know, that's not how WARP works...)

  10. Billy Ray says:

    Chad QUalls for $2.5 million? Pass.

  11. phil says:

    To compete in AL east you need top pay Qualls $2.5 and Aybar $2.2 and a sixth starter Sheilds $4.5M ..that's $9.2M which could be used towards Beniot ($5.5M?) and another $3.7 on a bat. I know you won't get a quality bat for $3.7 but add some another $3M and you might get a good hitter that the lineup will need


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