SAN DIEGO -- We already knew that the Dodgers have the highest Opening Day payroll in baseball, as the Associated Press reported last week. But I have been tracking the Dodgers payroll for five years, using actual money paid out that year, and the Dodgers top $269 million this season, an 11.6 percent increase over 2013.
The AP accounting methods are a little different, a hybrid of actual money paid out each season and spreading out signing bonuses over the life of long-term contracts.
If a signing bonus gets paid this year, such as the $7.5 million bonus for Erisbel Arruebarrena for instance, I count it all for 2014 rather than spread it over his five-year contract. So in addition to his $1.5 million base salary, I have Arruebarrena earning $9 million in 2014.
I am also counting both Arruebarrena and Alex Guerrero since they are signed to major league deals, even though both begin the season in the minors.
The Australia trip with its three extra roster spots make this difficult to compare apples and apples in previous years. For purposes of counting Opening Day payroll, I'm ignoring the two days of service time from the Australia trip earned by Jose Dominguez and Seth Rosin, though those negligible details are included on our payroll worksheet. I'm using Sunday in San Diego as the 2014 Opening Day.
|1B/OF||Scott Van Slyke||$507,500|
|Total Active Roster||$172,541,600||(2013 was $185,293,500; down 6.9%)|
Total Disabled List
||$71,825,000||(2013 was $40,505,000; up 77.3%)|
Total Active Roster + DL
||$244,366,600||(2013 was $225,798,500; up 8.2%)|
|Dead Money / Other
|Alex Guerero||$14,000,000||in Triple-A|
|Erisbel Arruebarrena||$9,000,000||in Double-A|
|Andruw Jones||$3,375,000||deferred 2009 salary|
|Chris Capuano||$1,000,000||option buyout|
|Mark Ellis||$1,000,000||option buyout|
|Matt Guerrier||$1,000,000||option buyout|
|Money from Boston||($3,900,000)||part of Punto trade|
Total Dead Money
||$25,475,000||(2013 was $15,968,716; up 59.6%)|
Total 2014 Dodgers Payroll
||$269,841,600||(2013 was $241,767,216; up 11.6%)|