Cardinals Future Payroll - 2019 and Beyond, Pre-Offseason

Hi everyone,

I'd like to start by saying that this is my first FanPost here, so hopefully it turns out alright.

Anyway, back when Craig Edwards was site manager, he'd occasionally post a neat graphic that presented the Cardinal's future payroll considerations in an incredibly convenient and easy to digest manner, and ever since his departure, these posts have more or less been absent. My hope is that this post can alleviate some of the grumbling here about that particular state of affairs and hopefully be of some use to everyone. In any case, this little exercise allowed me to satiate my spreadsheet "fetish" a bit, so... there's that, too.

For this, I took a lot of inspiration from Craig's version; I tried to keep the same layout and a similar color scheme so that it echoed familiarity. As for the content itself: I used a combination of payroll information from Spotrac, B-Ref, and Baseball Prospectus to fill out the table. I will say here that some of the information was a bit spotty and/or outright contradictory between sources. In those cases, if the other two agreed on something, then I assumed that they were correct and thus used that information. I have a few other notes and assumptions listed following the table.

cardinals_payroll 2019+

  • For Waino, we don't actually know the terms of the deal yet, but we do know that it's not for a whole lot of guaranteed money and is heavily incentive-based. Simply for the purpose of the table, I assumed a guaranteed value of $5 MM and a further $10 MM in incentives (provided every incentive was given). These are likely entirely bogus numbers, but sounded somewhat reasonable and were easy to work with.
  • I'm not gonna lie: I'm not the person to be asking to estimate arbitration values. I did my best though. For 2019, I used MLB Trade Rumor's arbitration estimates for Ozuna, Shreve, Leone, Garcia, and Wacha. For the others, I essentially used Craig's estimates from his 2017 offseason payroll tracker. I took a guess at some, but for the most part, just filled the spots in using that player's figures from Craig's table or guessed at which set of values a particular player was likely to receive during arbitration. I'll likely use B-Refs handy figures going forward.
  • Yup - the Cards still owe Leake $9.0 MM, though it's really just $4.0 MM as the Padres are, as far as I could tell, paying $5.0 MM of Gyorko's salary this year.
  • Cecil and Fowler have full no-trade clauses.
  • I'm not sure if the 4th Arbitration year on O'Neill is correct or if it was a mistake I forgot to fix before uploading.
  • Gregerson's 2020 option is a Club option, that vests at 60 games in 2019 or 13 games between 2018-19, according to Spotrac.
  • Every player under team-control is assumed to be making ~$0.5 MM, as per Craig's tracker. The actual numbers will be quite a bit higher than that, particularly past 2019, but were easy to work with for now. I'll update the tracker with newer numbers from B-Ref soon; I was just lazy this time.
  • To be honest, my totals don't quite match any of the sources' totals (but then again, they don't really match each other anyway). In particular, my valuation of 2019's payroll with arbitration is like, $20 MM higher than any of my sources estimated it. I did my best, though, and the table is easily updatable should I have made a mistake somewhere.
  • The table should include everyone currently on the 40-man roster, and should be correct regarding contractual information, but please, if there's anything I missed or screwed up, don't hesitate to tell me so I can fix it.
So there you have it - one Cardinals payroll tracker. And again, please let me know if I made a mistake somewhere or if you have a suggestion/constructive criticism for me - I want to learn. Thanks for reading!