Blue Jays Payroll in 2008 & Beyond : Part 1

Blue Jays Payroll in 2008 & Beyond Part 1

In past articles I’ve indentified a group that I call the Big 5 (Glaus, Halladay, Burnett, Thomas, & Ryan) which can be read here – Blue Jays Payroll. We’ve also discussed the backloaded contracts of Burnett & Ryan. Below is a quote from an article pertaining to the Jays 2007 payroll & the backloading issue:

… due to structure of BJ Ryan and AJ Burnett’s contracts, as Ryan only counts for $4 million against this years team salary, and AJ accounts for only $2.2 million. Starting next year and heading into the future, both players salaries will increase significantly, with both players making over $10 million a season by 2008.

With the resigning of Vernon in 2007, he will now be added to the list, thus creating the big six in Toronto. I haven’t covered the structure of Vernon’s contract yet, so here’s a quick overview:

March 1st 2008 calls for the first of three $8.5 million signing bonus installments, with a base salary of $500,000, for a total cost of $9 million. (For those interested, the total cost for Wells in 2009 will be $10 million, with the his contract being $20+ million a year from 2010 and on).

With the backload of Ryan & Burnett now in play, the Big Six (Glaus, Halladay, Burnett, Thomas, Wells & Ryan) will make $61.5 million between salary and bonus’ in 2008.

Other payroll factors

Zaun will make $3.75 million in 2008.

Overbay will take in $5.8 million as well in 2008, with $7 million due in both 2009 & 2010.

Add in Eckstein’s $4.5 million and the top nine salaries will be combine to total over $75 million.

Additional, arbitration is due to Scutaro ($3+million) and an possibly expensive case with Alex Rios ($5 – $7 million).

It’s pretty clear that the Jays are headed towards a $100 million payroll in 2008 after factoring in arbitration & the other 15 roster members. This shouldn’t be too much of a problem for ownership however, as the revenue streams that the Jays profit from by having essentially a 30 million populated market nation wide leads to high TV rights (estimated $10+ million). Steady attendance (up 52,000 from 2006) is also a plus.

The payoff naturally would be a playoff appearance. This would bring in extra revenue during the 2008 season & in 2009 walk-up and season ticket sales. Now that’s a tall order for a club competing with the Yankees & Red Sox.

Looking forward to 2009, the collection of Thomas (who only needs 376 PA to automatically kick in his 2009 option), Wells, Halladay, Glaus, & Ryan will equal $55.5 million. I’d assume that Burnett will opt out of his contract barring an injury (which is no sure thing), freeing up the $12 million for the Jays.

In part two we’ll look at the bottom line question for the Jays, operating profitability and the trade off between the $$$ & on-field success.

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