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The 2005 Dodger Payroll: Spending Room
2004-11-06 15:54
by Jon Weisman

Frank McCourt and Paul DePodesta both said this week that the 2005 Dodger payroll could easily approach $100 million. If that turns out to be the case, the natural question is, how much of that money is currently free to spend?

The following outlines my best salary estimate for the players the Dodgers are currently committed to for 2005. I have made educated guesses for salaries of arbitration-eligible players - those might be off, particularly in the case of Eric Gagne, but Id say that the total margin for error is fairly negligible. (For more information, go to The 2004-05 Offseason: A Preview.)

Catchers (2)
Ross: $315,000
Vacant
Total to date: $315,000

Infielders (6)
Choi: $325,000
Cora: $2,000,000
Izturis: $500,000
Perez: $300,000
Vacant
Vacant
Total to date: $3,125,000

Outfielders (6)
Bradley: $2,250,000
Grabowski: $320,000
Green: $16,000,000
Werth: $340,000
Vacant
Vacant
Total to date: $18,910,000

Starting pitchers (5)
Ishii: $3,230,000
Jackson: $310,000
Penny: $4,000,000
Weaver: $7,750,000
Vacant
Total to date: $15,290,000

Relief pitchers (6)
Brazoban: $325,000
Carrara: $450,000
Gagne: $7,500,000
Sanchez: $325,000
Vacant
Vacant
Total to date: $8,600,000

Disabled List (1)
Dreifort: $13,000,000

Team Total (26)
18 players, 8 vacancies: $59,240,000
Cash remaining: approximately $40 million
Cash per vacancy: $5 million

Just to start to play with these figures: if you assume that the Dodgers will fill two of the position-player vacancies and one bullpen vacancy with minimum-wage minor leaguers or low-salaried free agents, say at a total of $2 million for the trio, that leaves about $38 million for five slots.

Commit a healthy $13 million to Adrian Beltre for the first year of his new contract (the hope here is actually that Beltre will come in for less), and that still leaves $25 million for four slots: a catcher, outfielder and two pitchers. (Only one starting pitcher vacancy is listed, though realistically, there are question marks surrounding Ishii, Jackson and Penny.)

You could have four $6 million players, or two $10 million players, a $4 million player and a $1 million player, or ...

Okay, folks. Go to town.

P.S. Did I read the Green-Sosa article? Yes. Felt like a hot stove starved for something to cook.

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