2014 Jays: Go All In or Change Course?

With the 2013 season becoming nothing more than a write-off, it’s time to look ahead to 2014.

Clearly, the elephant in the room is the gigantic 2014 payroll:

2014 Payroll via Cots Contracts = $110 Million for 15 players


Player Salary Pct
 Mark Buehrle $19,000,000 17.20%
 Jose Reyes $16,000,000 14.48%
 Jose Bautista $14,000,000 12.67%
 R.A. Dickey $12,000,000 10.86%
 Edwin Encarnacion $9,000,000 8.15%
 Melky Cabrera $8,000,000 7.24%
 Brandon Morrow $8,000,000 7.24%
 Ricky Romero $7,750,000 7.02%
 J.A. Happ $5,200,000 4.71%
 Sergio Santos $3,750,000 3.39%
 Maicer Izturis $3,000,000 2.72%
 Adam Lind $2,000,000 1.81%
 Dustin McGowan $1,500,000 1.36%
 Josh Thole $1,250,000 1.13%
 Mark DeRosa $25,000 0.02%

The $110 million number (4th highest pre-existing 2014 payroll) doesn’t include costly arbitration raises for the likes of Rasmus, various bullpen arms and Arencibia. While it’s impossible to put the un-tradable tag on any player after the Vernon Wells dump, I have a hard time seeing AA shed higher contracts such as Buehrle & Romero.

To exasperate matters, the farm system is thin on legitimate MLB ready talent.

You know, it’s been a funny season. Imagine hearing the following–pre-marlins trade–about the upcoming 2013 season:

  • Rasmus & Arencibia may combine for 60 HR with solid D
  • Cecil & Delbar make the all-star team
  • Esmil Rogers emerges as a decent starting pitcher
  • Adam Lind stops sucking, posts .365 wOBA
  • Bautista & Encarncion play up to potential

Of course a multitude of things have gone wrong this year, but it’s hard to really pinpoint a reason why this team, well, sucks at winning ballgames.

With many 2013 ticket buyers feeling ‘cheated’ by the poor record, along with a Maple Leafs like negative sentiment about the club, I’d have to imagine optimism, and pre-season ticket/merch revenue will be down next season. But things are more complicated then that, aren’t they? Rogers uses the Jays to drive business & awareness across brands, and a few $$$ operating loss for the club may be more than offset by the media revenue driven to the parent company.

Looking ahead

Where does that leave the Jays? Are the powers that be willing to continue to shoulder high operating costs for the club in exchange for a winner? Or has the experiment been deemed a failure and will the club lower costs down to a more reasonable level?

What do you think will happen/and or what would you do?

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has written for mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

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