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The Ultimate MLB Opening Day Financial Guide

The Ultimate MLB Opening Day Financial Guide
Untitled Document
After an offseason that slowly but surely found its way to nearly $1.5 billion in free agent signings, the 2018 MLB regular season is upon on us. We've broken down the financial figures for the upcoming season by team & position, highlighting how the opening day 25-man payrolls break down. Additionally we've laid out how the 25-man rosters are compiled in terms of Veterans, Arbitration Eligibles, and Pre-Arbs, while also breaking down the offseason spending patterns for each team.
2018 MLB Total Roster Payrolls

The following table breaks down the opening day payrolls for each 2018 MLB team. The Total Payroll column includes all team allocations, including active roster, disabled list, buried, retained, or suspended salaries. The 25-Man Roster payroll includes just the 25 players who have been selected for opening day.

 

Notable Notes

  • The Boston Red Sox lead all teams with a $234M payroll, in large part to nearly $30M allocated to the disabled list already.
  • The World Series Champ Houston Astros find their $159.5M payroll 9th after a few sizeable arbitration salaries, & an overdue extension to Jose Altuve.
  • The Cubs, Red Sox, Angels, Giants, & Nationals enter the season 25-Man payrolls north of $160M. While 10 teams start the year under $100M, led by the Marlins, who boast just $50M to their active roster.
  • The Cleveland Indians are just $700,000 off the league average in terms of payroll, likely exactly where they want to be.
  • Even with the addition of Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees find themselves 7th in terms of total payroll & 10th when looking at the 25-Man roster.

Related:
Top MLB Salaries of 2018
2018 MLB Team Payrolls

Total Payroll 25-Man Roster Disabled List Buried, Retained
Arizona Diamondbacks $131,952,116 $107,437,600 $10,700,000 $13,814,516
Atlanta Braves $118,887,707 $80,971,041 $3,295,000 $34,621,666
Baltimore Orioles $143,074,615 $109,525,615 $23,549,000 $16,500,000
Boston Red Sox $234,600,428 $172,670,000 $29,604,000 $31,226,428
Chicago Cubs $182,951,139 $179,418,881 $3,000,000 $532,258
Chicago White Sox $71,657,000 $68,357,000 $2,300,000 $1,000,000
Cincinnati Reds $98,847,499 $95,552,499 $3,840,000 $0
Cleveland Indians $137,348,865 $116,713,065 $18,639,100 $2,000,000
Colorado Rockies $143,001,500 $137,756,500 $1,095,000 $4,150,000
Detroit Tigers $131,614,600 $105,271,000 $6,548,600 $19,795,000
Houston Astros $159,507,370 $144,324,800 $13,501,400 $1,136,170
Kansas City Royals $128,141,717 $109,660,817 $1,119,000 $16,800,000
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim $174,018,499 $165,301,999 $1,351,500 $7,365,000
Los Angeles Dodgers $186,135,711 $140,914,045 $14,550,000 $30,671,666
Miami Marlins $95,335,142 $50,720,142 $31,410,000 $13,000,000
Milwaukee Brewers $92,780,700 $81,140,700 $11,140,000 $500,000
Minnesota Twins $131,318,226 $110,990,000 $16,150,000 $3,603,226
New York Mets $155,150,844 $122,832,654 $27,719,190 $2,800,000
New York Yankees $165,803,032 $137,518,975 $22,284,057 $6,000,000
Oakland Athletics $67,480,833 $58,878,333 $3,102,500 $5,500,000
Philadelphia Phillies $96,821,301 $80,157,833 $10,117,500 $6,545,968
Pittsburgh Pirates $87,332,499 $78,170,499 $1,112,000 $5,050,000
San Diego Padres $94,920,533 $69,400,933 $4,369,600 $21,150,000
San Francisco Giants $206,909,777 $165,109,777 $34,300,000 $7,500,000
Seattle Mariners $160,797,942 $147,489,842 $10,308,100 $3,000,000
St. Louis Cardinals $145,850,666 $114,805,066 $25,045,600 $6,000,000
Tampa Bay Rays $77,674,329 $68,709,132 $1,090,600 $8,874,597
Texas Rangers $141,464,916 $114,803,916 $10,136,000 $16,525,000
Toronto Blue Jays $161,653,652 $140,302,200 $20,000,000 $806,452
Washington Nationals $181,349,058 $161,229,458 $19,619,600 $500,000
AVERAGES: $136,819,267 $114,588,944 $12,697,155 $9,565,598

 

2018 MLB Positional Spending

The following table breaks down the opening day payrolls for each 2018 MLB team. The Total Payroll column includes all team allocations, including active roster, disabled list, buried, retained, or suspended salaries. The 25-Man Roster payroll includes just the 25 players who have been selected for opening day.

 

Notable Notes

  • The Boston Red Sox lead all teams with a $234M payroll, in large part to nearly $30M allocated to the disabled list already.
  • The World Series Champ Houston Astros find their $159.5M payroll 9th after a few sizeable arbitration salaries, & an overdue extension to Jose Altuve.
  • The Cubs, Red Sox, Angels, Giants, & Nationals enter the season 25-Man payrolls north of $160M. While 10 teams start the year under $100M, led by the Marlins, who boast just $50M to their active roster.
  • The Cleveland Indians are just $700,000 off the league average in terms of payroll, likely exactly where they want to be.
  • Even with the addition of Giancarlo Stanton, the Yankees find themselves 7th in terms of total payroll & 10th when looking at the 25-Man roster.

Related:
Top MLB Salaries of 2018
2018 MLB Team Payrolls

C INF OF DH SP RP
Atlanta Braves $7,500,000 $24,349,375 $17,840,000 - $22,421,666 $10,205,000
Baltimore Orioles $1,796,500 $51,168,782 $22,336,333 - $16,740,000 $29,484,000
Boston Red Sox $3,938,500 $43,089,500 $17,220,500 $23,750,000 $76,695,000 $22,001,500
Chicago Cubs $1,149,500 $39,442,714 $29,925,667 - $81,025,000 $30,876,000
Chicago White Sox $7,810,000 $18,040,000 $8,980,000 - $18,705,000 $15,656,000
Cincinnati Reds $17,562,500 $35,850,714 $6,915,000 - $25,172,500 $13,891,785
Cleveland Indians $7,658,333 $24,666,266 $11,203,500 $18,666,666 $33,783,500 $26,825,600
Colorado Rockies $4,145,000 $27,902,000 $54,547,000 - $4,210,000 $48,047,500
Detroit Tigers $2,926,300 $37,376,900 $9,999,800 $18,000,000 $36,337,200 $7,175,800
Houston Astros $12,057,100 $11,149,100 $32,579,400 $6,700,000 $49,400,000 $34,085,600
Kansas City Royals $11,000,000 $12,069,500 $28,235,167 $573,500 $41,503,250 $16,308,400
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim $6,700,000 $43,225,666 $60,583,333 $27,000,000 $17,096,500 $12,048,000
Los Angeles Dodgers $8,455,000 $11,765,000 $31,964,285 - $69,196,427 $22,083,333
Miami Marlins $545,000 $20,517,142 $4,885,000 - $18,310,000 $21,474,500
Milwaukee Brewers $1,110,800 $33,609,200 $20,572,400 - $21,378,600 $12,544,700
Minnesota Twins $8,547,500 $38,452,500 $4,305,000 $5,500,000 $38,570,000 $31,765,000
New York Mets $4,032,471 $23,288,940 $47,058,968 - $23,141,000 $33,661,300
New York Yankees $1,720,400 $14,288,700 $14,947,300 $25,000,000 $39,685,425 $41,877,150
Oakland Athletics $7,050,000 $10,770,000 $8,655,833 $10,500,000 $5,652,500 $17,902,500
Philadelphia Phillies $1,095,000 $28,528,833 $5,016,500 - $33,350,500 $22,284,500
Pittsburgh Pirates $11,059,000 $28,693,500 $17,883,333 - $11,448,666 $10,198,000
San Diego Padres $553,100 $43,623,600 $7,668,100 - $6,425,300 $12,749,033
San Francisco Giants $24,677,777 $48,955,000 $35,311,500 - $47,507,442 $23,224,600
Seattle Mariners $3,520,700 $55,299,900 $12,892,200 $14,250,000 $55,667,500 $34,798,000
St. Louis Cardinals $20,545,000 $26,531,266 $26,630,500 - $45,345,800 $20,798,100
Tampa Bay Rays $11,425,000 $14,723,300 $10,764,666 $11,000,000 $10,074,866 $11,811,900
Texas Rangers $2,850,000 $38,193,333 $3,088,050 $20,000,000 $46,833,333 $13,975,200
Toronto Blue Jays $20,558,400 $34,700,000 $17,300,000 $11,000,000 $43,200,000 $14,088,800
Washington Nationals $11,800,000 $34,435,100 $30,703,900 - $60,074,390 $26,335,668
AVERAGES: $7,677,796 $29,957,244 $20,493,775 $14,764,628 $34,993,519 $22,185,146

 

Comparing 2018 to 2017
Here's a quick look at how teams compare to last year's opening day in terms of payroll. In total, 14 teams shed payroll from 2017 to 2018, most notably the Tigers, Dodgers, & Yankees, the latter two of which carried a massive amount of retained salary due to trades, releases, etc, and have now cleaned up their books. The Diamondbacks led all teams in added payroll with nearly $39M, while the Astros and Red Sox round out the Top 3.

  2017 2018 Change
Arizona Diamondbacks $93,257,600 $131,952,116 $38,694,516
Atlanta Braves $112,437,541 $118,917,707 -$-6,480,166
Baltimore Orioles $163,676,616 $143,074,615 -$20,602,001
Boston Red Sox $199,805,178 $234,600,428 $34,795,250
Chicago Cubs $172,189,880 $182,951,139 $10,761,259
Chicago White Sox $99,096,770 $71,657,000 -$27,439,770
Cincinnati Reds $93,768,785 $98,847,499 $5,078,714
Cleveland Indians $124,861,165 $137,348,865 $12,487,700
Colorado Rockies $130,963,571 $143,001,500 $12,037,929
Detroit Tigers $199,750,600 $131,611,000 -$68,139,600
Houston Astros $124,343,900 $159,507,370 $35,163,470
Kansas City Royals $140,925,250 $128,141,717 -$12,783,533
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim $160,375,333 $174,018,499 $13,643,166
Los Angeles Dodgers $242,065,828 $186,135,711 -$55,930,117
Miami Marlins $111,881,100 $95,676,642 -$16,204,458
Milwaukee Brewers $63,061,300 $92,780,700 $29,719,400
Minnesota Twins $108,077,500 $131,318,226 $23,240,726
New York Mets $155,187,460 $155,143,844 -$43,616
New York Yankees $201,539,699 $165,803,032 -$35,736,667
Oakland Athletics $81,738,333 $67,480,833 -$14,257,500
Philadelphia Phillies $111,378,000 $96,821,301 -$14,556,699
Pittsburgh Pirates $100,575,946 $87,332,499 -$13,243,447
San Diego Padres $71,624,400 $94,924,033 $23,299,633
San Francisco Giants $172,354,611 $206,909,777 $34,555,166
Seattle Mariners $154,268,842 $160,797,942 $6,529,100
St. Louis Cardinals $151,680,000 $145,850,666 -$5,829,334
Tampa Bay Rays $69,962,532 $77,674,329 $7,711,797
Texas Rangers $175,909,063 $141,464,916 -$34,444,147
Toronto Blue Jays $177,795,368 $161,653,652 -$16,141,716
Washington Nationals $167,846,918 $181,349,058 $13,502,140
AVERAGE: $137,746,636 $136,824,887 -$1,176,988

 

Experience Breakdown per Team
For the most part, teams carry a balanced mix of young players vs. veterans, with a few exceptions.
  • 4 teams (SF, KC, WAS, TOR) are carrying more than 10 veterans.
  • Subsequently at just north of 30, the Blue Jays and Giants are the oldest rosters in the league.
  • Almost 70% of the Phillies players are Pre-Arbitration.
  • The Astros 12 arbitration eligible players accounted for a big jump in their payroll.

Avg. Age

# of Pre-Arb # of Arb # of Vet
Arizona Diamondbacks 29.12 7 10 8
Atlanta Braves 28.72 10 6 9
Baltimore Orioles 28.32 10 6 9
Boston Red Sox 27.8 9 8 8
Chicago Cubs 28.32 12 5 8
Chicago White Sox 27.68 13 6 6
Cincinnati Reds 27.4 14 6 5
Cleveland Indians 29.68 8 9 8
Colorado Rockies 28.52 11 5 9
Detroit Tigers 27.88 15 6 4
Houston Astros 28.88 6 12 6
Kansas City Royals 29.44 9 5 11
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 29.8 7 9 9
Los Angeles Dodgers 28.88 12 7 6
Miami Marlins 27.84 14 7 4
Milwaukee Brewers 28.24 12 7 6
Minnesota Twins 28.64 10 7 8
New York Mets 28.6 10 8 7
New York Yankees 28 10 8 6
Oakland Athletics 28.28 13 7 5
Philadelphia Phillies 26.7 18 5 3
Pittsburgh Pirates 27.52 16 4 5
San Diego Padres 26.68 13 6 6
San Francisco Giants 30.32 6 4 15
Seattle Mariners 29.52 11 6 8
St. Louis Cardinals 27.8 14 6 5
Tampa Bay Rays 27.72 13 7 5
Texas Rangers 28.76 12 5 8
Toronto Blue Jays 30.4 6 9 10
Washington Nationals 29.6 8 7 10
AVERAGE: 28.5 11 6.7 7

 

Offseason Spending per Team
  • 10 teams spent over $100 million during the offseason, while 3 (Philadelphia, Houston, & Chicago (Cubs)) went north of $200M.
  • The Atlanta Braves spent just $14.9M in new money this offseason, while the Marlins pumped in just $19M.
  • The Cubs ($215M), Phillies ($169M), and Padres ($149M) were the big free agent spenders this year.
  • Both the Orioles & Astros awarded over $50M in arbitration salaries for 2018.

Related: Track All Offseason Spending

Re-Sign,Extended Free Agent Signing Arbitration Signing Total Spending
Arizona Diamondbacks $26,294,300 $16,600,000 $42,870,000 $85,764,300
Atlanta Braves $5,045,000 $2,900,000 $6,985,000 $14,930,000
Baltimore Orioles $7,161,000 $76,000,000 $51,865,000 $135,026,000
Boston Red Sox $19,093,500 $131,000,000 $38,285,000 $188,378,500
Chicago Cubs $4,796,500 $215,545,000 $23,425,000 $243,766,500
Chicago White Sox $6,126,000 $19,750,000 $19,975,000 $45,851,000
Cincinnati Reds $74,402,500 $9,500,000 $6,772,500 $90,675,000
Cleveland Indians $7,546,100 $16,000,000 $25,737,500 $49,283,600
Colorado Rockies $7,219,000 $122,500,000 $25,787,500 $155,506,500
Detroit Tigers $7,750,600 $11,750,000 $19,370,000 $38,870,600
Houston Astros $157,051,200 $23,500,000 $50,690,000 $231,241,200
Kansas City Royals $8,064,900 $17,425,000 $10,062,500 $35,552,400
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim $108,210,000 $42,800,000 $27,600,000 $178,610,000
Los Angeles Dodgers $6,735,000 $4,000,000 $24,730,000 $35,465,000
Miami Marlins $12,589,500 $3,250,000 $4,080,000 $19,919,500
Milwaukee Brewers $7,805,700 $105,000,000 $16,690,000 $129,495,700
Minnesota Twins $6,235,000 $54,400,000 $10,100,000 $70,735,000
New York Mets $6,731,844 $88,545,000 $42,717,000 $137,993,844
New York Yankees $10,891,675 $14,000,000 $29,477,500 $54,369,175
Oakland Athletics $11,510,000 $18,000,000 $21,505,000 $51,015,000
Philadelphia Phillies $35,627,000 $169,200,000 $11,300,000 $216,127,000
Pittsburgh Pirates $10,097,500 $22,500,000 $16,225,000 $48,822,500
San Diego Padres $7,733,900 $149,500,000 $32,000,000 $189,233,900
San Francisco Giants $5,775,800 $17,750,000 $21,425,000 $44,950,800
Seattle Mariners $3,342,000 $17,500,000 $13,600,000 $34,442,000
St. Louis Cardinals $47,059,000 $14,000,000 $18,300,000 $79,359,000
Tampa Bay Rays $6,226,400 $6,500,000 $23,530,000 $36,256,400
Texas Rangers $6,690,750 $40,000,000 $5,832,500 $52,523,250
Toronto Blue Jays $3,694,700 $17,000,000 $35,197,500 $55,892,200
Washington Nationals $5,601,200 $23,300,000 $21,300,000 $50,201,200
AVERAGES: $21,103,586 $48,990,500 $23,247,817 $93,341,902