Spring training is a week away, and there probably won’t be many additional players signed, and according to Yahoo sports, the Orioles will be an average team this year.
The Orioles’ Opening Day payroll is estimated to be about $92 million, an increase of about $13 million from last year. That would rank them 15th in the major leagues, right in the middle.
Major league payrolls are estimated to exceed $3 billion this season, and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ $213 million should replace the New York Yankees as baseball’s biggest spenders.
In the American League East, the Yankees, who vowed to cut their payroll after this season, have an estimated $210 million tab. Boston has a $150 million payroll and the Toronto Blue Jays, who made several pricey acquisitions have increased their spending by more than 50 percent to an estimated $115 million. Only the Tampa Bay Rays, who have about a $60 million roster, are spending less than the Orioles.
Adam Jones’ six-year contract with a hefty raise, begins this year. Matt Wieters got a hefty increase, and so will Jason Hammel and Jim Johnson whose cases will go to arbitration this month if they can’t come to an agreement with the team.
Mark Reynolds, who made $7.5 million last year, is the team’s most expensive player not to return.
The Orioles have a number of young players just beginning to enter their prime earning years, but not many veterans whose salaries can be cut. Brian Roberts, who is in the final year of a four-year, $40 million contract, is unlikely to return in 2014. That’s likely to increase some of the team’s payroll flexibility.