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Milwaukee Brewers 2017 Payroll Projection: Update 3

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We’re back up over $60 million.

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

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
Andrew Susac $535,000
$21,505,000 $9,735,000 $20,495,000 $10,915,000

Total: $62,650,000

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.

Contract information courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts
Arbitration projections courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors