MoneyBased on data they were able to gather, the Associated Press has published their projected Opening Day payrolls for each of the 30 MLB teams, including projected figures for players they are anticipating will make teams out of Spring Training (for example, I’d guess they’re projecting Emilio Bonifacio to make the Cubs, which will come with a $2.5 million salary).

At present, the AP projects the Cubs to break camp with a payroll in the $89 million range, which would put them right around 23rd in baseball. As I recently explored in depth, the Cubs could support a higher payroll right now, despite certain financial limitations, but adding pieces just to add payroll right now isn’t the most prudent course.

Among the interesting bits in the payroll figures: the median payroll is right around $105 to $110 million, which used to be a pretty solid payroll. Now, to be in the top five, you’ve got to be over $160 million (imagine what the Cubs could add if they tacked on $70 million in payroll – someday … someday … ). The Reds are the highest in the NL Central at just $112 million, and the Cardinals are just behind at $111 million. The Pirates are all the way down at $78 million. In time, the Cubs will almost certainly be able to wield a considerable financial advantage over their fellow NL Central competitors, though having the home-grown talent – regardless of the cost – is going to continue to be the real key.

The Dodgers’ payroll is nearly three times the Cubs’ payroll. The difference between the two payrolls would be enough to fund an entirely separate top ten payroll. That’s neat.

The projected payroll list:

1. L.A. Dodgers – $235,295,219

2. N.Y. Yankees – $203,812,506

3. Philadelphia – $180,052,723

4. Boston – $162,817,411

5. Detroit – $162,228,527

6. L.A. Angels – $155,692,000

7. San Francisco – $154,185,878

8. Texas – $136,036,172

9. Washington – $134,704,437

10. Toronto – $132,628,700

11. Arizona – $112,688,666

12. Cincinnati – $112,390,772

13. St. Louis – $111,020,360

14. Atlanta – $110,897,341

15. Baltimore – $107,406,623

16. Milwaukee – $103,844,806

17. Colorado – $95,832,071

18. Seattle – $92,081,943

19. Kansas City – $92,034,345

20. Chicago White Sox – $91,159,254

21. San Diego – $90,094,196

22. N.Y. Mets – $89,051,758

23. Chicago Cubs – $89,007,857

24. Minnesota – $85,776,500

25. Oakland – $83,401,400

26. Cleveland – $82,534,800

27. Pittsburgh – $78,111,667

28. Tampa Bay – $77,062,891

29. Miami – $47,565,400

30. Houston – $44,544,174



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