During this morning’s edition of Hot Stove on the MLB Network, MLB.com columnist Phil Rogers said that the St. Louis Cardinals will be the first team since the 1999 San Diego Padres to have a lower payroll following a World Series loss.
At the start of the 2013 baseball season, the Cardinals had a payroll of $116,505,000. They are expected to start the 2014 season with a payroll of $101,815,000 according to Baseball Prospectus. The average 2014 payroll in Major League Baseball is $101,909,053 at the moment.
Bernie offers his concerns for the 2014 baseball season. I’m not too concerned right now with what to expect during the upcoming season. I want to wait and see how some of these players do during the spring exhibition games. With no World Baseball Classic in 2014, Yadier Molina will be able to work with all of those pitchers during the entire camp rather than be away from the club due to the games.
While I have no doubt that the Cardinals will control the NL Central, there is reason to be concerned about the Pittsburgh Pirates. I expect them to contend this season even without veteran pitcher A.J. Burnett. Gerrit Cole will be in his second season in the rotation while pitching prospect Jameson Taillon will be a factor down the line. Not only that but Gregory Polanco will join Andrew McCutchen in the outfield at some point this year. To be honest, I am more concerned about the Pirates than the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, and Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have Javier Baez and Kris Bryant arriving in the near future–Baez is more likely to play this season than Bryant, who I expect will make his MLB debut in September.