Will $50M Be Enough?

June 24, 2010 | John West

Today, we will be talking about Oriole payroll with an eye towards the 2011 season. I just can’t think about this season anymore…

First lets take a look at our payroll over the last 4 years:

2010                                  $73 million

2009                                  $67 million

2008                                  $67 million

2007                                  $93 million

Let’s assume that the Orioles can afford a payroll of $90 to $95 million dollars.  They had a payroll at that level 4 years ago and they have added MASN to their revenue stream.  I know they can operate with a payroll within this level.

Now, the 2010 payroll has a lot coming off of it going into next year.  Below is a list of the players the Orioles are paying in 2010 that they do not have to pay in 2011:

Melvin Mora – $1 million (I cannot believe we are paying him to play somewhere else, but this is the ugly truth)

Kevin Millwood – $7 million

Miguel Tejada – $6 million

Koji the Disabled – $5 million

Atkins – $4.5 million

Ty Wigginton – $3.5 million

Cesar Isturis – $2.5 million

Mark Hendrickson – $1.4 million

Will Ohman – $1.3 million

Matt Albers – $.7 million

Julio Lugo – $.4 million

That’s a total of $33.3 million dollars coming off of payroll.  In terms of players, it’s: 1 starter, 4 relief pitchers, and 5 infielders.  In terms of money, there is $40 million locked into next years payroll.  With salary arbitration, that number will be closer to $45 million dollars in payroll for the 2011 season.  That means, the Orioles have $45 to $50 million dollars to spend on free agents. Let us also assume that they will not be buying a front line starter.  They may get a journeyman 5th starter type and try to sell us that they believe he has one more good year left, but this team won’t spend money on starting pitching.

So, the Orioles have needs in the bullpen and at every infield position except second base, and they have 1 prospect who they are hoping can contribute next year, Josh Bell (3rd Base).  What will the Orioles do?  Well, tune in tomorrow.

I do know this, the Orioles will have to over pay to get free agents to come here.  I am not sure if they know this.  My experience tells me that this team sets the number in their head about what a player is worth, and then offers that contract.  They seem to be oblivious to the fact that they are bidding against other teams, and that they are known throughout baseball as one of the worst franchises in sports.  Actually, let’s let that sink in for a moment… I actually think they would be shocked that people, and I mean everybody except them and some of the orange cool-aid bloggers, think they are close to or at the bottom of all sports franchises.  I think that might be the largest problem they have, and unrealistically rosie picture of who they are.  LOOK IN THE MIRROR, IT’S HORRIBLE AND YOU ARE NOT CLOSE!!!!!

Also, I am so thankful we are not the Cleveland Indians, sitting there with a 26-45 record.  That record, with this brain trust, and they would be thinking they are much closer to respectful and competitive than they actually are.  It is really a blessing being this horrible.  To quote C3-PO, they would be “harboring delusions of grandeur.”