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Royals’ projected 2011 payroll is $33 million (or $2 million more than Alex Rodriguez’s salary)

Feb 2, 2011, 12:19 PM EDT

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Gil Meche turning down $12 million by retiring and Billy Butler signing a backloaded long-term contract leaves the Royals with very little in terms of 2011 commitments.

In fact, according to Craig Brown of Royals Authority their projected payroll barring any last-minute additions is right around $33 million. To put that in some context, consider that only the Padres and Pirates had an Opening Day payroll under $50 million last season. Oh, and Alex Rodriguez will earn $31 million from the Yankees in 2011.

Kansas City’s payroll last season was $71 million and the Royals haven’t had a payroll under $33 million since 2000. Back then their young building blocks included a 23-year-old Carlos Beltran and 26-year-olds Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye, and Mike Sweeney.

Brown hopes that the Royals will use all the money they aren’t spending on big-league players to “be even more aggressive in Latin America,” where top prospects typically sign for around $1 million and even elite talents go for around $3 million. Right now the highest-paid Royal is closer Joakim Soria at $4 million.

  1. uyf1950 - Feb 2, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    I’ll question your exact numbers on ARod since the 3 sources I checked: Cot’s has his 2011 salary at $32M, USA Today Salary DataBase has it at $33 and Baseball Reference has it $31M. But what’s a couple of million dollars among friends.
    One thing I will say I be willing to bet ARod has a better year then the Royals team in 2011 and more fans come to the stadium to see ARod and all the fans go to see the Royals.

  2. BC - Feb 2, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    Place your bets: Who will be worse this year, Kansas City, Pittsburgh or Arizona?

    • uyf1950 - Feb 2, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      Worst (stinkiest) – KC
      Next – Pittsburg
      Then – Arizona

  3. yankeesfanlen - Feb 2, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Save money. Live better.

  4. BC - Feb 2, 2011 at 12:57 PM

    You do have to laugh at the fact that the Yankees four infielders combined will make more than about 7 MLB teams next year. Crazy.
    But at least they’re GOOD. The Mets have about $85 mil tied up in four players for next year (Beltran, Bay, Santana, K-Rod and Reyes), and will be lucky if Santana pitches by June, have no idea what they’re getting out of Bay or Beltran healthwise, have Reyes one hamstring pull away from missing 4 months, and K-Rod, well, that’s been documented. And an ownership group that is the worst in sports that is not named Donald Sterling or Drayton McLane.
    Oops. Sorry. I was spiraling there for a minute. My apologies.

    • BC - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:16 PM

      OK. That’s five players. I do very goodly in math stuff.

  5. kcfanatic - Feb 2, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    I don’t mean to yell, but…PLEASE DAVID GLASS, PLEASE SELL THE ROYALS! GIVE US A CHANCE TO BE THE PROUD FRANCHISE WE ONCE WERE. PLEASE SELL THE ROYALS.

    Mark Cuban, You have to call David Glass right now and buy the team away from him

    • clydeserra - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:54 PM

      Not directed at you per se, but can we call a moratorium on “Mark Cuban to the rescue” talk. I mean, MLB is never going to apporve him as an owner and I am not sure his style of ownership is conducive to baseball.

    • BC - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:15 PM

      Maybe Cuban can just buy Major League Baseball and declare himself Commissioner and Grand Poobah Of All Things Baseball?
      (Either that, or he needs to buy the Mets – we need his help. Badly. Please. Mommy.)

  6. kcfanatic - Feb 2, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    Could harballtalk.com please do some investigation work and a piece on David Glass. This guy is worthless. Please look up how he ran the club before he owned it, and ran it into the ground, so that it will be cheap. Then he bought it at a discount, just the way a Walmart CEO would. How much has he actually spent on the club? They said that the club spent around $70 million last year, but is that before we traded everyone away? Then look into him getting 1/4 billion dollars from the taxpayers and stole our money from us. He takes money from MLB and it appears he never reinvests it. When he bought the team, he promised that he would move to KC, but he stayed in Arkansas and moved his minor league team there instead. He watches more of their games live, then he does the Royals. There needs to be investigation into this man and a piece wrote on this Piece of Sh**.

    • Jeremiah Graves - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:04 PM

      Look on the bright side, the farm system is stocked and any big money the Royals would have spent would have been pissed down the toilet on another ill-fate signing of the Jose Guillen or Gil Meche.

      The Royals aren’t in a place to lieu top-tier free agents right now, so why blow the money by overpaying for middling free agents who don’t figure to be a part of the next winning era of Kansas City baseball?

      The Nats are in the same situation. They’ve got some good, young building blocks and they’ve got money. They blew the whole thing up, however, by dropping a metric crap-ton of cash in Jayson Werth’s lap. They made a splash, but at what cost?! They’re out a ton of money and Werth figures to be a vastly overpaid non-entity in the roster by the time the team is ready to compete.

      Just because a team isn’t spending a bunch of money doesn’t mean they don’t have a game plan. I’m not a Dayton Moore or David Glass backer by any means, but I don’t think it’s all that bad for a likely last-place ballclub to have a low payroll, especially not when they’re going to need that money down the road to lock up their young studs and maybe sign that oft-elusive “missing piece” from free agency.

      • clydeserra - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:56 PM

        Dayton Moore has the 10 year plan. The only secret is whe the 10 years starts.

    • BC - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:36 PM

      Dude, it could be worse, you could be stuck with the Wilpons (or Whipped-Ons as I call them). Spend $150mil on payroll and choke away division titles and now ultimately just suck pond water (and stand to for the next 5 years).
      Hey, 18 days to the Daytona 500. Love me some Tony Stewart.

  7. indyralph - Feb 2, 2011 at 1:58 PM

    If I were a Royals fan (I’m not), I would be pretty excited about this. I’m assuming, of course, that ownership would again be ok with a roughly $70 million payroll from 2012-2014. But the options are virtually unlimited starting from $33 million. Save the bigger payroll for when Montgomery, Myers, Moustakas, Hosmer, et al, hit the big leagues, then sign one or two premium free agents – not more Guillens and Betancourts. This could be a great team in a couple years.

  8. sportsdrenched - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM

    I am a Royals fan. I knew as soon as Gil Meche retired the club would be taking some on the chin for their pay-roll. Let me ask you this: Who should they have signed AFTER Grienke and Meche left the team? If it’s a choice between having a stupid low payroll and spending money on guys like Farngascan, and Ankiel just to say you spent some money..I’m taking the lower payroll.

    Their farm teams is stacked. They got that way because they drafted players in later rounds that other teams passed on for signability issues. They are investing a lot in Latin America, and they have 7 farm teams. The team is spending money. Just not where ESPN looks. 2011 was going to suck with a $70 Million payroll anyway. Might as well bank that money. Because hopefully some the guys coming up will have earned some big contracts. Won’t that be nice if the Royals can afford to keep them around?

    I’m no defender of David Glass. But he has been a lot better since Dayton Moore took over.

    • cintiphil - Feb 2, 2011 at 5:27 PM

      sportsdrenched – Feb 2, 2011 at 2:23 PM

      Maybe they will have the money to sign Albert after all. Keep in mind that all of the great prospects you feel they have in the minors may or may not ever see the bigs. Not only that, but they are all prospects anyway. Not a clue if they will make it or not. You have to have some established players in order to compete. This will cost some cash (A bit over 30 MI.) If their plan is what you stated, good luck. They will need a lot.

  9. yankeesfanlen - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:34 PM

    A couple of people seem to have some confidence that the money they save now WILL be used later when the farm teams have competitors ready for prime time. Once this money is saved there is no evidence it will be used at a later date. This is not the Walmart way. What is more likely to happen is that the thought will come to David Glass:”If we can run a team for $32M in 2010, why can’t we run it for $26M next year?”.

    • BC - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:54 PM

      You’re 100% right. Just look at Tampa. They have a really good couple years then start killing payroll and will struggle to finish 3rd in their division this year, if not 4th.

      • indyralph - Feb 2, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        And they’re poised to have one of the 5 best teams in baseball for the foreseeable future. That’s a function of their division – not their organizational talent.

      • Jeremiah Graves - Feb 2, 2011 at 5:18 PM

        The Rays aren’t “killing payroll” for the sake of being cheap. They can’t draw flies in that town or in that crappy ballpark.

        In a fair and just world, they’d up and move the team to someplace where fans care enough to show up and support the team. Hell, I’d take another team in New York if it meant they could actually keep payroll up and stay competitive.

        They could use some new blood in Brooklyn, right?!

        …or *shudder* in Jersey.

    • indyralph - Feb 2, 2011 at 4:02 PM

      Again, I’m not really a Royal’s fan – more a Neyer and Joe Pos fan. So I’d call it some sort of sympathetic optimism rather than confidence. I agree that it is a concern. My optimism would be based on this: they have spent over $70M in payroll the past two years – ownership must have approved. They have been active (although without great success) in free agency in the past few years: Guillen, Meche, Farnsworth – ownership must have approved. Based on the track record, I would have the skepticism that ownership would take on a big contract on an impact player. But they are in great position to do so.

  10. xmatt0926x - Feb 2, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Yikes. I dont miss the days when my team lived in the poorhouse and then tried to spin it as if they would be using the money “elsewhere” in the organization. The only thing left for the Royals management to do now is the age old signing of a stiff pitcher (and the only your major signing of the year) and saying “well, he’ll take the ball every 5th day”.

  11. cintiphil - Feb 2, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Well, is this the same team who might sign Albert for $25-30 Mil for up to 10 years? I don’t know about this. I think they are on their way out of business at this rate.

  12. kiwicricket - Feb 2, 2011 at 9:56 PM

    LOCK UP FRENCHIE NOW DAM IT!! They have the money, there is no excuse!

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