An Early Glimpse at 2019 Baltimore Orioles Payroll

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 24: Executive Vice-President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter
BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 24: Executive Vice-President of Baseball Operations Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter /

The Baltimore Orioles are rebuilding for the future, which makes looking at their future roster and payroll an interesting exercise.

If you are like me, you have made your peace with the 2018 Baltimore Orioles.

The rebuild is underway, and the team is going to let players audition to be on the team in 2019.

Which is what I want to discuss, because 2019 could be an interesting season.

Dan Duquette has mentioned that the Orioles will not be spending as much on major league salaries in 2019, so don’t expect the Orioles to be paying $140M to major leaguers. My guess would be that the Orioles major league roster is about $110-115M in 2019.

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Where will that money be spent?

Let’s look at guys who are currently paid as major leaguers who will be with the team in 2019, with data provided by Spotrac.

Catcher – Caleb Joseph is making $1.25M, and since he is arbitration eligible, that will likely go up slightly. Chance Sisco and Austin Wynns are still under team control, so their going to make around $550k. Andrew Susac is also arbitration-eligible for the first time next year, but I don’t see him getting a big bump. Total – $3.2M approx.

Infield – Chris Davis and his onerous contract will cost the team a little over $21.1M. The gift that keeps on giving… Jace Peterson is arbitration-eligible, so he might get a modest increase from the major league minimum, but I wouldn’t expect it to be above $750K. Breyvic Valera, Engelb Vielma, and Steve Wilkerson are under team control, so they will be at the minimum around $550K.

Luis Sardinas is arbitration-eligible, but he likely won’t get a raise. That leaves Jonathan Villar and Tim Beckham. Beckham is making $3.35M in 2018, and I would argue he doesn’t deserve a raise. Villar is making $2.55M, and I don’t anticipate that going up much either. Total – $30.5M approx.

Outfield – Trey Mancini, Anthony Santander and Renato Nunez are all under team control. At around $550K, that’s $1.65M. Joey Rickard will be in his first year of arbitration, but I can’t see him getting a major raise. We will lump in Mark Trumbo here, he will make $11M. Total – $13.4M

Starting Pitching – Alex Cobb will make $14M, Andrew Cashner will make $9.5M. Dylan Bundy will be arbitration-eligible for the first time, and should see a nice bump from the $1.64M he is making in 2016. Gabriel Ynoa, Yefry Ramirez, David Hess and Hunter Harvey will all make the minimum. Total – $30M

Relief Pitching – This is where the major savings will come. Gone are the Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Darren O’Day contracts, which cost over $16M. Mike Wright, Donnie Hart, Pedro Araujo, Tanner Scott, Paul Fry, Cody Carroll and Ryan Meisinger, who are all on the 40-man, are all under team control.

That is approximately $4M for those seven relievers. Mychal Givens will be arbitration-eligible for the first time and will see a raise. Jhan Marinez is also arbitration-eligible, but considering his big league performance, could be released. For these purposes, he will stay at the minimum. Total – $6M That adds up to a total of approximately $83.1 million dollars.

Now, added to that list should be current internal options such as Drew Dosch for infielders, Cedric Mullins and DJ Stewart among outfielders, and Luis Gonzalez and Evan Phillips among relievers. Let’s add a few more players as well, which will get us to $4.4M in new players to the 40-man.

That’s a final number of about $87.5M that the Orioles would be paying to the 37 players (and a few more, as indicated in the above paragraph) listed above, which would be their 40-man roster.

I also firmly believe that Mark Trumbo will not be on the roster, which will save $11M. This would give the Orioles a lot more financial and roster flexibility. Jhan Marinez is another potential option to remove.

Without Trumbo, and potentially several other fringe players, the Orioles payroll for 2019 would likely be around $75 million dollars.

However, if you look at the above roster, which we will do in the near future, it isn’t very competitive, rebuilding or not.