The State of the Rockies: Rosters and Options

This edition of Purple Row Academy will be short, simple, and sweet. When the Rockies signed Melvin Mora to a one year, $1.3 million deal to be their super-utilityman this past Sunday and failed in their pursuit of reliever Kevin Gregg, they more than likely ended their offseason wheeling and dealing--at least as it pertains to the 25 man roster.

Mora's addition filled up the Rockies' 40 man roster, meaning that if the Rockies wanted to sign another player to a major league contract they would have to remove a player from the 40 man roster. For the consequences of such a move, I refer you to these editions of PR Academy:

The 40 Man Roster and Option Years

Waivers and DFA

As I discussed two weeks ago, the result of Mora's signing will likely be that Eric Young Jr. will be optioned down to AAA. For that reason I have removed his salary from my projected 2010 Rockies roster.

This chart belows lists money that the Rockies have already committed to the 2010 roster. Note that this only includes players who are under contract with the Rockies (not just under team control), giving management concrete salary obligations to work around. I have also included Alan Embree and Yorvit Torrealba, who won't be on the 2010 squad but who have buyouts paid by the Rockies in 2010. This data, as well as much of the data for the rest of this study, was contributed by the incomparable Jeff Euston at Cot's Contracts.

For each player I'll give their name, approximate ML service time, 2010 salary, minimum future salary obligations, and number of minor league options remaining. This means that I assume that the Rockies decline every club option now and in the future, with the players' buyout included as an obligation. A * after a player's name indicates that they avoided salary arbitration. 

Here is the updated State of the Rockies (widescreen view recommended): 

Player Name MLB ST 2010 Salary Add. Min. Obligation Post-2010 Yrs Options
Todd Helton 12.059 $16,600,000 $23,700,000 1 0
Aaron Cook 7.02 $9,000,000 $9,750,000 1 0
Brad Hawpe 5.058 $7,500,000 $500,000 0 1
Huston Street* 5 $7,200,000 $15,300,000 2 1
Jeff Francis 5.04 $5,875,000 $0 0 1
Jorge De La Rosa* 5.015 $5,600,000 $0 0 0
Rafael Betancourt* 6.079 $3,775,000 $3,775,000 1 0
Troy Tulowitzki 3.033 $3,500,000 $25,750,000 3 3
Clint Barmes* 4.122 $3,225,000 $0 0 0
Manuel Corpas 3.076 $2,750,000 $3,750,000 1 2
Miguel Olivo 6.171 $2,000,000 $500,000 0 0
Chris Iannetta* 3.029 $2,000,000 $6,350,000 2 2
Jason Hammel* 2.153 $1,900,000 $0 0 0
Jason Giambi 14.082 $1,750,000 $0 0 0
Ubaldo Jimenez 2.087 $1,250,000 $8,000,000 2 2
Ryan Spilborghs* 3.082 $1,300,000 $1,925,000 1 0
Melvin Mora 10.088 $1,300,000 $0 0 0
Taylor Buchholz* 3.14 $1,055,000 $0 0 0
Matt Belisle* 4.019 $850,000 $0 0 0
Randy Flores* 5.025 $650,000 $0 0 0
Yorvit Torrealba 8.03 $500,000 $0 0 0
Alan Embree 15.059 $250,000 $0 0 0
Total $79,080,000 $99,300,000

And here are the six players under team control (and who will be on the 25 man roster, assuming that Buchholz starts the year on the DL) that I don't have concrete salary figures for because they have less than three years of major league service time and therefore are not eligible for salary arbitration. The Rockies have the option of keeping them under control for several more years and can do so cheaply in 2010 (for a price between $400,000 and $460,000). For the sake of simplicity I'm assuming a 3% raise over their 2009 salary. The pre-arbitration players:

Player Name MLB ST 2010 Salary Options
Ian Stewart 1.154 $416,120 1
Seth Smith 1.119 $415,090 2
Carlos Gonzalez 1.06 $415,090 1
Franklin Morales 1.051 $414,060 0
Dexter Fowler 1.027 $413,030 3
Matt Daley 0.166 $412,000 3
Total $2,485,390

With the caveat that the pre-arbitration player salaries are merely projections, the 2010 Rockies ODP as it stands today is $81,565,390--up about $6.3 million from last year (7.8% increase). As was indicated by Renck in their pursuit of Gregg, the Rockies appear to have about $2 million more in payroll flexibility going into 2010 should catastrophe or opportunity strike.

All in all the Rockies are in an excellent situation at this point in the year, with a deep roster and some payroll flexibility to work with during 2010.

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