2012 Payroll Early Estimate

Its that time again, folks. Thus far here's what we know:

  • The Brewers are presumably going to need go with Mat Gamel a starting at 1B.
  • The Brewers are presumably going to need a upgraded starting SS with Alex Gonzalez.
  • Francisco Rodriguez, Takashi Saito, LaTroy Hawkins are all free agents, opening up three two holes in the bullpen, one of which was filled by Jose Veras, the other presumably will be filled by Zach Braddock.
  • Francisco Rodriguez accepted the Brewers arbitration offer. I think Doug will try to keep him on the team for the entire year.

As a point of reference, my arb estimates will be in bold, MLBTR's will be italicized. The payroll total with MLBTR's estimates will also be italicized at the bottom. EDIT 1/8/12: I'll put the running total as accurate figures come out to the far left at the bottom of the article. Immediately to the right will be my original estimate, and to the far right the MLBTR estimate total.

So, without further ado, here's how things currently sit:

C - Jonathan Lucroy - $480k
C - George Kottaras - $700k ($750k / $800k)
1B - Mat Gamel - $480k
2B - Rickie Weeks - $11.0M
SS - Alex Gonzalez - $4.25M
3B - Aramis Ramirez - $6M
IF - Taylor Green - $480k
IF -
LF - Ryan Braun - $7M
CF - Nyjer Morgan - $2.35M ($2M / $1.9M)
RF - Corey Hart - $9.33M
OF - Carlos Gomez - $1.9625M ($2M / $1.8M)
OF - Norichika Aoki -

SP - Zack Greinke - $13.5M
SP - Yovani Gallardo - $5.75M
SP - Shaun Marcum - $6M (arb 3) $6.8M (Filing: $6.75/$8)
SP - Randy Wolf - $9.5M
SP - Chris Narveson - $480k

LR - Manny Parra - $1.2M ($1.5M / $1.2M)

RP - John Axford - $480k

RP - Kameron Loe - $2.175M ($1.75M/$2.8M)

RP - Marco Estrada - $480k
RP - Jose Veras - $2.5M (arb1)
RP - Zach Braddock - $480k
RP - Francisco Rodriguez - $8M ($11M was estimate)

2012 commitments to others:

Francisco Rodriguez option: $500k (negotiated deal to remove vesting clause, Mets paying initial $3.5M)

Yuniesky Betancourt buyout: $2M

Total 2012 Payroll commitments:

$94.5775 $97.19 $98.49

As always, click RIGHT HERE to get to the Google Docs spreadsheet I keep running. More assumptions and discussion after the jump!

Ok, so here are the assumptions:

  • I personally think that Gamel will be on the team next year, in some capacity, due to Melvin's comments among other things. At the very least, he can be a PH and provide relief at 3B, 1B and possibly corner OF. play 1B next year, with Green backing him up as well as providing relief to Ramirez.
  • I think Josh Wilson will be was cut.
  • I do not think Melvin will did the right thing and didn't pick up Betancourt's option.
  • I think that, today, McGehee has an inside line on starting at 3B. That may change with Green in the mix. Welcome to Milwaukee, Aramis Ramirez.
  • I don't think that Jerry Hairston Jr. will didn't want to come back as a super-sub for what the Brewers were offering--he will want a larger role. I don't know if that will be with the Brewers or not.
  • I did not include Mike McClendon in the bullpen because I'm not sure if the K-Rod trade is finalized, and whether he would be in it. (EDIT: Thanks Cheeseandcorn for knowing what's up with the K-Rod trade.) but he might make it. Although I tend to think that Melvin will try to sign at least 1 reliever in free agency, and then fill in around that. With Veras in the fold, and K-Rod accepting arbitration, I don't think McClendon will be on the opening day roster.
  • I did not include Zach Braddock because who knows? It looks like Zach is going to be on the opening day roster.
  • I did not include Brandon Kintzler because I don't know the recovery time on his surgery, and how he will pitch coming back.
  • I did not include Eulogio de la Cruz he really going to be one of the top options to fill out a bullpen?

So, some points of reference here:

  • If the Brewers fill every open position on the 25-man roster internally, at a pay rate of $414k, the total payroll would be roughly $83.142M. For reference, opening day 2011 payroll was $83.59M.
  • In 2010, Brewers opening day payroll was $90.408M, which is the highest the franchise has ever seen.
  • After a little digging, I see that BP has something of a recap from 2009, that notes the team spent $90.3M at year-end in 2008, up from $80.94M to begin the year. I cannot see the payroll exceeding $95M at end-of-season under any circumstances.