In today’s Post Dispatch, there was a Derrick Goold article about the Cardinals and their arbitration eligible players, Yadier Molina, Todd Wellemeyer, and Rick Ankiel. In it, he explains the uniqueness of the Ankiel case, and reports that a long term contract for Molina may be in the works. View the article, in its entirety, here.
I decided to roughly estimate what those players’ salaries for ’08 might be, and put them together with the rest of the ballclub to see approximately where the Cards currently stand with payroll. To start last season, it was around $90 million. Remember earlier in the offseason, Dewitt said they’d be willing to increase team payroll to somewhere between $110 and $115 million.
Currently, a starting rotation of Wainwright, Looper, Clement, Pineiro, and Reyes, would cost about $12.9 million. Add in the later additions of Mulder and Carpenter for $17 million, and Clement’s incentives ($5.25 million if he were to pitch 200 innings), and we have $35.15 million.
Next, a starting infield of Molina, Pujols, Kennedy, Izturis, and Rolen would cost around $35.55 million. Couple that with only $1.85 million for an outfield of Duncan, Schumaker, and Ankiel to get $37.4 million.
Then, figure about $5.5 million for a bench of Larue, Miles, Spiezio, Ludwick, and Barton.
Now, a possible bullpen of Isringhausen, Springer, Franklin, Flores, Johnson, Thompson, and Wellemeyer would cost close to $16.5 million.
Finally, add $6.5 million for Encarnacion, and leave out Ryan, Kinney, and other fringe players.
This puts the Cardinals payroll (by my estimates) at just over $101 million, which gives Dewitt some wiggle room for another acquisition or possibly to use in a trade near the deadline. So, even after getting out from under most of the Edmonds contract, there’s not a lot left to spend. Barring another deal sometime between now and the end of Spring Training, it looks like this might be the team we see on Opening Day. You can view each individual players’ salary here.