Last season according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, the Milwaukee Brewers opened the year with the league’s lowest payroll at just a shade under $64 mil. That figure was the lowest that the Brewers have seen since 2007 and was the first time the Opening Day payroll was below $80 mil since 2008.
There have been several changes to the roster since our last update that have affected the payroll. Martin Maldonado was dealt, taking with him his $1.6 mil projected arbitration salary. Carlos Torres and Wily Peralta both signed contracts for 2017 rather than go to arbitration with the Brewers. On the other hand, Chase Anderson and the team have not yet been able to agree on a deal and could be headed for a hearing. And finally, the Brewers signed Neftali Feliz to a one-year deal, presumably to come in and serve as closer. With those transactions officially complete, here is where things currently stand heading into 2017:
|Ryan Braun||$19,000,000||Eric Thames||$4,000,000||Matt Garza||$12,500,000||Neftali Feliz||$5,350,000|
|Kirk Nieuwenhuis||$900,000||Scooter Gennett||$2,525,000||Wily Peralta||$4,275,000||Carlos Torres||$2,175,000|
|Keon Broxton||$535,000||Jett Bandy||$535,000||Chase Anderson||$2,650,000||Tommy Milone||$1,250,000|
|Domingo Santana||$535,000||Orlando Arcia||$535,000||Junior Guerra||$535,000||Jimmy Nelson||$535,000|
|Michael Reed||$535,000||Jonathan Villar||$535,000||Zach Davies||$535,000||Jhan Marinez||$535,000|
|Hernan Perez||$535,000||Corey Knebel||$535,000|
|Travis Shaw||$535,000||Jacob Barnes||$535,000|
There are a few caveats to this chart, of course:
- Ryan Braun ($4 mil) and Matt Garza ($2 mil) both have deferred money in their contract which will be paid out at a later date. Neftali Feliz also has up to $1.5 mil in incentives that he can earn with his deal.
- Chase Anderson filed for a salary of $2,850,000 while the Brewers countered with a $2,450,000 filing. For this exercise, the midpoint of those two values has been used. The Brewers and Anderson have a couple more weeks to continue negotiating and hopefully settle on a contract before arbitration hearings start in February.
- The MLB league minimum has been raised to $535,000 and has been assigned to all pre-arbitration eligible players, though ultimately many of those players will make a small amount over the league minimum (for example, last season Jonathan Villar made $512,900 with the league minimum at $507,500).
- Pre-arb roster spots aren't set in stone, but they don't really affect the main topic of this post. So if you don't like Michael Reed or Jacob Barnes or whoever being on this list, swap them out for another pre-arb player in your head. It won't affect the payroll projection.
Carlos Torres’ deal was for a bit more than his original projection from MLB Trade Rumors ($2.175 mil vs. $2 mil), while Wily Peralta’s was a tad lower ($4.275 mil vs. $4.4 mil). Chase Anderson’s filing figure was $250K lower than what MLB Trade Rumors projected his salary at, as well. Swapping Maldonado for Jett Bandy saved the club roughly $1 mil, and the free agent signing of Neftali Feliz pushed them back over the $60 mil threshold. The Brewers have added about $4 mil to the payroll since our last update, and as things stand now the club is probably about finished making adjustments to the major league roster. I’d anticipate this projection will be pretty close to what the payroll looks like on Opening Day.