Last year, the Rays payroll went from $71.9 million in 2010 to $41.1 million this past season, a drop of more than 40 percent.

If the season started today, the 2012 payroll would be approximately $56.9 million, an increase of 38.4 percent over last season. This is based on raises already built into existing contracts, and projected salaries for arbitration-eligible players and players in their first three seasons.

Here is the breakdown of the projected payroll. Notes on the table, and additional thoughts can be found below…

Notes on the projected 40-man roster and payroll…

  • The Rays currently have 40 players on the 40-man roster. However, Justin Ruggiano is out of minor league options and we don’t see spots for him on the opening day roster unless somebody gets hurt.
  • Other key players out of minor league options who will be fighting for roster spots include Elliot Johnson and Jose Lobaton. However, we project both of those players to make the opening day roster.
  • Unless somebody is traded, the payroll will most likely go up with the addition of a first baseman.
(1) 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.
(2) 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.
(3) 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 $480K in ’12. Minor leaguers on the 40-man make $78,250. 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. Don says:

    I wonder if Scott will show his pay check to Zobrist, Longoria, & Farnsworth because the Rays "feel" he is certainly worth more to our underpayed team...then they are...? Then along comes Upton.with his paystub..and Longo/Zobrist just go nuts? Farnsworth beats him up and steals his lunch money....

  2. J 2.0 says:

    Rays sign Price 1/yr $4.35 mil. Quite a discount compared to this chart. Need a long term deal here.

  3. Doug Milhoan says:

    Major league minimum for 2012 is $480,000 under new CBA. Not a huge difference but it adds up for the Rays.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      ahh yes. thanks! Also, minor league minimum now appears to be $78,250 for players on the 40-man roster. What I haven't seen is if there is still a tiered-league minimum based on service time, or if it is just one flat rate for all players not yet arb-eligible.

      • Doug Milhoan says:

        Yep, 78,250 is right for minor leaguers on the 40-man. Used to be 50% plus rounding for guys in their 1st year on the 40-man, but nothing I've seen written so far about the new CBA mentions it. Guess we'll have to wait until the pdf of the actual CBA is released.


Leave a Comment