To follow up on the article in today's Times, the Rays' projected opening day payroll of about $24-million looks like it will be the lowest in the majors, pending how the Marlins come out on a few arbitration cases and what moves either team makes over the next 10 weeks.
The Rays are guaranteeing about $16-million to 11 players, only five of whom make more than $1-million - Carl Crawford ($4-million), Ty Wigginton ($2.7-million), Casey Fossum ($2.7-million, after a salary escalator based on his number of 2006 starts), Akinori Iwamura ($1.8-million) and Jae Seo ($1.2-million).
Got a number of e-mails this morning from people asking about Rocco Baldelli, and why he wasn't on the list since he had a long-term deal similar to Crawford. Baldelli's contract, though, includes much less guaranteed money. In 2007, for example, his salary is only $750,000, but he can earn an additional $1.75-million through plate-appearance incentives.
The others players with set salaries include Greg Norton ($800,000), Seth McClung ($750,000), Dan Miceli ($650,000), Josh Paul (either $625,000 or $940,000 through arbitration), and Delmon Young ($600,000). The Rays also have to pay guaranteed salaries to Jeff Niemann and Shinji Mori.