FanPost

2008 Opening Day Bullpens by Salary

I'm cross-posting this from my blog, but the idea originated from a comment in yesterday's game thread so I figured I'd put it up here.

I've used the depth charts on mlb.com in combination with the active rosters on mlb.com to figure out each team's bullpen as best I can. Further, I've checked injury reports to include players that, if healthy, would be in their team's bullpen (B.J. Ryan, Mike Timlin, etc.).

For salaries, I used the excellent Cot's Baseball Contracts and assumed players without salary data (usually rookies or other young players) are making $400,000 this year. I know the major league minimum is actually $390k this season, but most teams kick in bonuses to their players, so $400k seems fair as a ballpark estimate.

2008 Opening Day Bullpens by Total Salary (in millions of dollars)

1. Milwaukee Brewers, 26.850
2. New York Yankees, 26.175
3. Los Angeles Angels, 22.100
4. New York Mets, 20.775
5. Philadelphia Phillies, 17.950
6. Chicago Cubs, 17.560
7. Minnesota Twins, 17.525
8. St. Louis Cardinals, 17.350
9. Cincinnati Reds, 16.375
10. Colorado Rockies, 15.774
11. Toronto Blue Jays, 15.615
12. Tampa Bay Rays, 13.858
13. Chicago White Sox, 13.175
14. Washington Nationals, 12.450
15. Detroit Tigers, 11.875
16. Houston Astros, 11.025
17. San Diego Padres, 10.970
18. Boston Red Sox, 10.936
19. Baltimore Orioles, 10.660
20. Cleveland Indians, 10.650
21. Oakland Athletics, 10.100
22. Kansas City Royals, 9.041
23. Arizona Diamondbacks, 7.975
24. Texas Rangers, 7.592
25. Los Angeles Dodgers, 6.240
26. Atlanta Braves, 6.000
27. Pittsburgh Pirates, 5.535
28. Seattle Mariners, 5.400
29. Florida Marlins, 5.228
30. San Francisco Giants, 5.188

Here are the members of the most expensive and least expensive bullpens:

Milwaukee: Eric Gagne ($10M), David Riske ($4M), Derrick Turnbow ($3.2M), Salomon Torres ($3.2M), Guillermo Mota ($3.2M), Brian Shouse ($2.0M), Seth McClung ($0.75M), Randy Choate (Disabled List - $0.5M)

San Francisco: Brad Hennessey ($1.6M), Vinnie Chulk (Disabled List - $0.8375M), Tyler Walker ($0.750M), Brian Wilson ($0.4M), Jack Taschner ($0.4M), Erick Threets ($0.4M), Merkin Valdez ($0.4M), Keiichi Yabu ($0.4M)

It's interesting that the Brewers' bullpen costs almost as much as the bottom six teams on the list combined. I was also surprised how highly Tampa Bay is on the list; I know they don't have the lowest payroll in the league anymore, but I didn't expect to see their bullpen in the upper half.

NOTE: I wasn't sure about including Choate, but I figured all of Yost's comments about wanting two lefties meant he probably had a spot if he didn't break his finger. It doesn't change the fact the Brewers' bullpen is the most expensive if you throw him out.