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Wednesday Rockpile: Will the Rockies See the Other Side of .500 Again This Season?

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Behind a strong performance from Jhoulys Chacin, the Rockies moved above .500 on the season for the first time with last night's 3-0 victory. With the easy schedule that Colorado possesses in April, the Opening Day loss to the Diamondbacks just might also be the last time we see the Rockies' record at or under .500.

So maybe I'm getting a little ahead of myself (okay, a lot ahead), but seriously, have you seen Colorado's schedule in April? I really like what I've seen from the team thus far in terms of run prevention -- not that you can draw any real conclusions from 3 games (though the sample size is 50% larger than it was yesterday). I predicted a NL West title by 3+ games for the Rockies and a season in which they produced at least 93 wins, so I guess you could say that I'm a believer in this team.

Yes, certainly there are clouds in the sky (Ubaldo Jimenez's situation is something the Rockies are taking seriously), but at this point in time I really like the Rockies' chances. Shocking, I know.

After the jump, I'll break down the Colorado Rockies' 2011 Opening Day Payroll.


2011 Opening Day Payroll

Five short months ago, I projected an Opening Day Payroll of around $83 million for the Rockies, but the end result was just a little bit over $85 million, partially due to Aaron Cook being on the DL to start the year. The numbers below include everyone on the 25 man roster and 15 day DL, as well as the players we are paying to not play for us. Signing bonuses are included in the first year of the deal in full, not spread out over the life of the contract.

For each player, I've included their name, approximate ML service time, 2011 salary, and minimum future salary obligations (assuming that all option years are declined). Buyouts are denoted by italics and players that were arbitration-eligible this off-season were denoted by asterisks, and players still under team control after this season are denoted by the pound sign..

Player Name Service Time 2011 Salary Additional Min. Obligation Years After 2011
Todd Helton 13.059 $10,600,000 $9,900,000 2
Jorge De La Rosa 6.015 $10,500,000 $11,000,000 1
Aaron Cook 8.02 $9,250,000 $500,000 0
Huston Street 6 $7,300,000 $8,000,000 1
Troy Tulowitzki 4.033 $5,500,000 $152,250,000 9
Carlos Gonzalez 2.059 $4,000,000 $76,500,000 6
Rafael Betancourt 7.079 $3,775,000 $4,250,000 1
Jose Lopez* 5.14 $3,600,000 $0 0
Ty Wigginton 7.169 $3,500,000 $4,500,000 1
Jason Hammel* 3.153 $3,000,000 $4,750,000 1
Ubaldo Jimenez 3.087 $2,800,000 $5,200,000 1
Matt Lindstrom* 4 $2,800,000 $3,800,000 1
Chris Iannetta 4.013 $2,550,000 $3,800,000 1
Matt Belisle* 5.019 $2,350,000 $3,775,000 1
Ian Stewart* 2.154 $2,287,500 $0 0
Ryan Spilborghs# 4.072 $1,950,000 $0 0
Jason Giambi 15.082 $1,000,000 $0 0
Felipe Paulino* 2.163 $790,000 $0 0
Seth Smith# 2.119 $429,000 $0 0
Franklin Morales# 2.01 $424,000 $0 0
Dexter Fowler# 2.007 $424,000 $0 0
Jose Morales# 1.052 $420,000 $0 0
Jhoulys Chacin# 1.012 $419,000 $0 0
Jonathan Herrera# 1.001 $419,000 $0 0
Esmil Rogers# 0.135 $417,000 $0 0
Matt Reynolds# 0.046 $415,000 $0 0
Manuel Corpas 4.076 $3,500,000 $250,000 0
Brad Hawpe 6.054 $500,000 $0 0
Octavio Dotel 11.113 $125,000 $0 0
Grand Total 131.162 $85,044,500 $288,475,000

As you can see, the Rockies have quite a bit of money committed over the next few years (plus $13.1 million to Todd Helton spread over the ten years after his current contract/after he retires), but they also have quite a few players who don't have cost certainty beyond this year (though many will be under team control).

In case you were wondering, the average salary of players that will be actually contributing to the Rockies in 2011 is a little over $3.11 million, while the median salary is $2.45 million.

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