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MLB 2014 Financial Preview

MLB 2014 Financial Preview
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2014 MLB Financial Preview

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Spring training games will commence this weekend, meaning baseball is back. We've put together an early preview at each MLB team's Offseason Spending, Key Adds/Losses, and projected 2014 payroll.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona brought in plenty of talent this offseason, and lost only mid-level prospects and some cash to do so. The additions of Mark Trumbo, Bronson Arroyo, and Addison Reed will all make the Diamondbacks better in 2014 - but it may not be enough to make a dent in their insanely rich and talented division.

Atlanta BRAVES

The Braves started off the 2014 offseason by letting their franchise catcher (Brian McCann), and long-time ace (Hudson) walk away into big money. They responded by locking down their talented youth, extending 1B Freddie Freeman, SS Andrelton Simmons, closer Craig Kimbrel, SP Julio Teheran, and OF Jason Heyward. In doing so, they have a core locked in well through 2016, and were able to keep their 2014 payroll under $100 million as of now.The $306M they spent on new contracts is the 3rd most in MLB this offseason.

Baltimore ORIOLES

Baltimore had a fairly quiet offseason until recently, when they agreed to terms with Nelson Cruz (OF), and Ubaldo Jimenez (SP). Add in the signing of Bud Norris and the Orioles will bring a completely new look to their rotation in 2014. Baltimore signed over $114M in new contracts thus far, and they may not be done.


The Red Sox have been EXTREMELY quiet in terms of new signings this offseason, seemingly pleased with the core they have intact. The loss of OF Jacoby Ellsbury to the rival Yankees have many stirring, but Boston seems content to fill that void with in-house talent this year. The Red Sox have signed just $76.6M in new contracts, but hold the 5th highest current payroll at $152.7M.


Only two teams spent less than the Cubs this offseason, who have signed just $40.6 milllion in contracts. The only notable addition might be SP Jason Hammel from the Orioles, a nice veteran arm to add to the rotation. This might be a make or break season for many in Wrigley.


The White Sox spent a little less than $97M this offseason in new deals, but made no real "splashes" in terms of power bats or arms. Chicago appears primed to re-stock their system while attempting to stay competitive with the team in hand. Their $84M payroll ranks 21st in MLB.


The Reds raised plenty of eye-brows this offseason, firing manager Dusty Baker after a 90-win season, then letting notable players walk in free agency before capping their campaign with the questionable $105 million extension with SP Homer Bailey. The Reds' 2014 may not be strong enough to compete, and it appears that's exactly what they wanted.


Cleveland may be the team to watch in 2014, with plenty of young talent, a winning coach, and plenty of veteran-depth signings this offseason to solidify their chances. The loss of Ubaldo Jimenez in free agency may be a big one, as none of their acquired arms near his potential. That being said, the small-market Indians still hold the 22nd highest payroll in MLB.


Colorado made three big splashes this offseason, signing 1B Justin Morneau, SP Brett Anderson, and RP Boone Logan. All three should immediately contribute to an already strong roster. The Rockies spent just $57.3M this offseason, 9th lowest of any MLB team.


Don't let the $73M in new contracts deceive you, as the Tigers also added $67M in remaining money by acquiring 2B Ian Kinsler from the Rangers. The no-question blockbuster deal of the offseason seems to be a win for both franchises. Detroit also patched up losses in their rotation with Joba Chamberlain and Joe Nathan - an area of concern for 2014. Their $157M payroll ranks 4th in MLB.


Only three teams spent less than the Astros this offseason, and $30M of the $47.5M spent accounts for SP Scott Feldman's 3 year contract. Houston did make an effort to obtain major-league talent this offseason though, acquiring Dexter Fowler by trade from Colorado, and signing Jesse Crain away from the Rays. They'll be better, but not by much.

Kansas City RoyALS

The Royals have a lot of young talent under team-control that they did well to keep this offseason. Combine that with $62M in contracts for SP Jason Vargas, and 2B Omar Infante, and the Royals appear to be all in for 2014. They were one of the best teams in baseball for half of 2013, and carry an $86.1M payroll into 2014.

Los Angeles Angels

An astromonical 2013 offseason was followed up with an EXTREMELY, who spent just $34.4M in new contracts - second only to Toronto. That didn't stop them from making moves, as they acquired 3B David Freese from STL, OF Raul Ibanez, and RP Joe Smith - all who are expected to contribue, if not start, in 2014. The additions came with major subtractions though, as the Angels sent Peter Bourjos to the Cardinals, Mark Trumbo to the Diamondbacks, and lost Jason Vargas to the Royals. Their $146.7M payroll is 6th highest in MLB.

Los Angles Dodgers

The Dodgers added to MLB's highest payroll with $339.7M in new contracts this offseason, none more important than the $215M deal to SP Clayton Kershaw. Key additions include SPs Paul Maholm, and Dan Haren (who may not even crack the rotation), and RP Chris Perez. Their $235M payroll in 2014 is $38 million more than any team right now.


As per usual in Miami, plenty of strong players were shipped out of town this offseaso, including OF Justin Ruggiano, 1B Logan Morrison, and RP Ryan Webb. The Marlins seem content to take a flyer on veterans nobody else wanted, including SS Rafael Furcal, 1B Garrett Jones, and RP Carlos Marmol. C Jarod Saltalamacchia's 3 year contract might be the best move of their winter. This being said, their $36.1M payroll for 2014 is the lowest in baseball.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers will be an interesting team in 2014, as their quiet moves actually do make them better. Milwaukee lost Corey Hart to the Mariners, but quickly replaced him with Mark Reynolds at 3B. A relatively fair 4 year $50 million contract for SP Matt Garza makes their rotation better immediately. They seem to have done what they wanted, spending roughly $60M in new deals, and keeping their payroll under $100M.

Minnesota twins

Much like the Brewers, Minnesota gave up very little and added a few nice pieces this offseason by way of SP Phil Hughes, SP Ricky Nolasco and C Kurt Suzuki (to replace the departure of Ryan Doumit).Minnesota is still very much a small-market team, carrying a payroll of just $76M in 2014.

New York Mets

After a 2013 where money simply wasn't available to be spent, the Mets pumped $110M into new deals this offseason. Veteran outfielders Curtis Granderson and Chris Young are both upgrades, though may struggle in terms of power in the massive Citi Field. The Mets also took a 2 year flier on rebirthed SP Bartolo Colon, who'll be asked to fill the 3rd or 4th slot in the rotation in 2014. The Mets' $88.5M payroll is $110M less than the cross-town Yankees'.

New York Yankees

And then their were the Yankees. The $544M in new contracts is $209M more than any other team spent this offseason, and more than the bottom 10 teams spent COMBINED. The additions of Ellsbury, Beltran, McCann, and Tanaka make certainly make the Yankees better on paper, but may take a year to "gel" with the current locker room. Their $197.2M payroll is second only to the Dodgers, and leads all AL teams by $40 million.

Oakland Athletics

The Billy Beane philsophy held true this offseason, as the A's dumped plenty of great talent before letting it get too expensive. SPs Brett Anderson, and Bartolo Colon, and OF Chris Young were among the casualties. Oakland countered by bringing in adequate talen in 3B Nick Punto and RP Eric O'Flaherty, and made a bit of a splash by acquiring closer Jim Johnson from the rival Orioles. Despite the cuts, the Athletics did end up spending $95.5M in offseason contracts, mostly in terms of young players under team-control. Their $76.6M payroll for 2014 is 24th in MLB - right on par for Oakland.

Philadelphia Phillies

Many saw this offseason as a time to sell for the Phillies. They responded with new contracts for OF Marlon Byrd, and SP A.J. Burnett, who should improve a sporadic outfield and rotation from 2013. A better Cole Hamels and ANY sort of better Ryan Howard might give the Phillies a wild card shot in 2014. Plenty of bloated veteran contracts have their 2014 up to $170.7M, 3rd most in MLB.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Many figured the Pirates to be "all-in" for 2013, and their offseason moves appear in-line with that. SP A.J. Burnett, OF Marlon Byrd, and 1B Justin Morneau all walked away, leaving the Pirates once again "good not great". Pittsburgh spent just $52.5M in new deals, countering the 3rd lowest payroll in MLB ($66M).

San Diego Padres

San Diego appears primed to be better in 2014, signing SP Josh Johnson away from the Blue Jays, Joquan Benoit from the Tigers, and Seth Smith from the A's. With no notable losses this offseason, and a middle of the pack payroll $76.6M, look for the Padres to turn into big sellers this trade deadline if their place in the standings forces their hand.

San Francisco Giants

A down year for the Giants sets them up to reclaim their position in the NL West - no small task. San Francisco spent $182M in new contracts, most notably by way of SP Tim Hudson, and OF Mike Morse. Their once-winning roster nearly all returns for the 2014 campaign, where the Giants hold a $146M payroll.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners gave Robinson Cano 240 million reasons to move to Seattle, then backed it up with strong small pieces to fill in additional voids. Cano accounts for 86% of their offseason signings and will be asked to carry the lineup day in and out. All signings withstanding, Seattle's current payroll for 2014 stands at just $76M.

St. Louis Cardinals

The offseason for St. Louis was pretty matter of fact: Lose SS Rafael Furcal, sign SS/3B Jhonny Peralta. Lose Carlos Beltran, acquire Peter Bourjos. What they didn't do is address a bullpen that was trimmed down this winter. They spent $64M in new deals, and hold a surprisingly high payroll of $102M.

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay, much like the Brewers, seem to have gotten better by doing very little of notable action. They let RP Fernando Rodney walk, but added Heath Bell and Grant Balfour to seal that hole. Erik Bedard may be late-season insurance should they find a need to shop David Price at the deadline. The Rays spent nearly $100 million this offseason, but maintaiined a small market payroll of $73M.

Texas Rangers

Welcome Prince Fielder. It can be argued that the combination of Fielder, Choo, and Arencibia is the best three-pack acquisition in baseball this offseason. The rotation will be the question mark to watch in Texas in 2014. Not including Fielder's $168M in remaining contract, the Rangers spent $164M in new deals. Their $128.4M payroll is 9th in MLB, and 6th in the AL.

Toronto Blue Jays

If we told you the Toronto Blue Jays hav the 8th highest payroll in MLB, would you believe us? Toronto spent just $29.9M this offseason, by far the lowest in baseball. They also trimmed their lineup, letting Arencibia, Josh Johnson, and Rajai Davis all walk in free agency. It remains to be seen what $129M in 2014 salaries can do in a stacked AL East.

Washington Nationals

The Nationals did most of their damage with the trade to acquire SP Doug Fister from the Tigers - an underrated move. Most of the $80M in offseason signings were done with young players under team control, and the loss of Dan Haren to free agency shouldn't hurt a deep rotation too much in 2014. The National's payroll continues to creep up the rankings though, standing at $122M in 2014 - 10th highest.

Here's our complete, sortable look at each MLB teams' 2014 outlook, including the total sum of new contracts signed this offseason, key roster additions and losses, the current projected payroll, and the number of players with Top 50 salaries for 2014.

TEAM New 2014
Key 2014 Additions Key 2014 Losses Current 2014 Payroll Top 50
ARI $52,500,000 Mark Trumbo (LAA, trade), Bronson Arroyo (CIN), Addison Reed (CWS, trade) Heath Bell (TB, trade) $104,675,000 0
ATL $306,005,000 Gavin Floyd (CWS) Brian McCann (NYY), Paul Maholm (LAD), Tim Hudson (SF) $92,042,961 0
BAL $114,200,000 Nelson Cruz (TEX), Ubaldo Jimenez (CLE), Scott Feldman (HOU), Jim Johnson(OAK, trade) $98,575,333 1
BOS $76,615,000 A.J. Pierzynski (TEX), Edward Mujica (STL), Jacoby Ellsbury (NYY), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (MIA) $152,689,000 3
CHC $40,580,000 Jason Hammel (BAL)   $85,089,523 0
CWS $96,525,000 Scott Downs (LAA), Addison Reed (ARI, trade), Gavin Floyd (ATL), $84,441,666 2
CIN $136,600,000 Skip Schumaker (STL), Bronson Arroyo (ARI), Shin-Soo Choo (TEX), Ryan Hanigan (TB, trade) $102,026,666 0
CLE $60,407,500 John Axford (STL), David Murphy (TEX) Ubaldo Jimenez (BAL), Scott Kazmir (OAK), Chris Perez (LAD), Drew Stubbs (COL, trade), $77,015,834 1
COL $57,287,500 Justin Morneau (MIN), Boone Logan (NYY), Brett Anderson (OAK, trade), Dexter Fowler (HOU, trade), $87,566,071 1
DET $73,887,500 Ian Kinsler (TEX, trade), Joba Chamberlain (NYY), Rajai Davis (TOR), Joe Nathan (TEX), Prince Fielder (TEX, trade), Joaquin Benoit (SD), Omar Infante (KC), Doug Fister (WAS, trade), Jhonny Peralta (STL), $157,637,500 5
HOU $47,550,000 Scott Feldman (HOU), Dexter Fowler (COL, trade), Jesse Crain (CWS), Chad Qualls (MIA) Erik Bedard (TB), Bud Norris (BAL, trade) $40,937,500 0
KC $97,775,000 Omar Infante (DET), Jason Vargas (LAA), George Kottaras (CHC, trade) $86,101,500 0
LAA $34,432,500 David Freese (STL, trade), Raul Ibanez (SEA), Joe Smith (CLE), Mark Trumbo (ARI, trade), Jason Vargas (KC), Tommy Hanson (TEX), Peter Bourjos (STL) $146,682,500 4
LAD $339,675,000 Dan Haren (WAS), Paul Maholm (ATL), Chris Perez (CLE), Ricky Nolasco (MIN), Mark Ellis (STL) $234,958,330 7
MIA $51,700,000 Jarrod Saltalamacchia (BOS), Carlos Marmol (LAD), Garrett Jones (PIT), Rafael Furcal (STL) Justin Ruggiano (CHC, trade), Logan Morrison (SEA, trade), Chad Qualls (HOU), Ryan Webb (BAL) $36,100,000 0
MIL $61,425,000 Matt Garza (TEX), Mark Reynolds (NYY) Corey Hart (SEA), $95,975,000 1
MIN $95,035,000 Kurt Suzuki (OAK), Phil Hughes (NYY), Ricky Nolasco (LAD), Ryan Doumit (ATL, trade), $76,035,000 1
NYM $110,587,500 Bartolo Colon (OAK), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Chris Young (OAK), LaTroy Hawkins (COL) $88,498,605 1
NYY $544,080,000 Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS), Carlos Beltran (STL), Brian McCann (ATL), Masahiro Tanaka (INT), Robinson Cano (SEA), Joba Chamberlain (DET), Boone Logan (COL) $197,190,709 6
OAK $95,460,000 Jim Johnson (BAL, trade), Nick Punto (BOS), Eric O'Flaherty (ATL) Kurt Suzuki (MIN), Bartolo Colon (NYM), Brett Anderson (COL, trade), Chris Young (NYM) $76,585,000 0
PHI $79,287,500 A.J. Burnett (PIT), Marlon Byrd (PIT) Roy Halladay (Retired), $170,737,500 3
PIT $52,545,000 Edinson Volquez (MIA) A.J. Burnett (PHI), Marlon Byrd (PHI), Justin Morneau (COL) $65,920,000 0
SD $57,217,500 Josh Johnson (TOR), Joaquin Benoit (DET), Seth Smith (OAK)   $76,585,000 0
SF $182,615,000 Tim Hudson (ATL), Mike Morse (BAL),   $145,692,777 3
SEA $277,880,000 Robinson Cano (NYY), Fernando Rodney (TB), Logan Morrison (MIA, trade), Corey Hart (MIL) Raul Ibanez (LAA), Brendan Ryan (NYY), $75,494,642 2
STL $63,990,000 Peter Bourjos (LAA, trade), Jhonny Peralta (DET) Rafael Furcal (MIA), Edward Mujica (BOS), David Freese (LAA, trade), Carlos Beltran (NYY), John Axford (CLE) $102,815,000 4
TB $98,400,000 Erik Bedard (HOU), Grant Balfour (OAK), Ryan Hanigan (CIN, trade), Heath Bell (ARI, trade) Fernando Rodney (SEA), Roberto Hernandez (PHI), Kelly Johnson (NYY) $73,321,416 0
TEX $164,325,000 Prince Fielder (DET, trade), Shin-Soo Choo (CIN), J.P. Arencibia (TOR) Ian Kinsler (DET, trade), Matt Garza (MIL), David Murphy (CLE), Joe Nathan (DET), A.J. Pierzynski (BOS) $128,400,000 2
TOR $29,900,000 Dioner Navarro (CHC) J.P. Arencibia (TEX), Josh Johnson (SD), Rajai Davis (DET)Dioner Navarro $128,492,857 2
WAS $80,095,000 Doug Fister (DET, trade), Nate McLouth (BAL) Dan Haren (LAD) $122,128,928 1

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