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2005-payroll-right-at-80m | January | 2005 Articles

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2005 Payroll Right at $80M

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After big names like JD Drew, Jaret Wright, and Russ Ortiz left the greener pastures of Turner Field (Ed Mangan and crew do a great job!) for greener wallets elsewhere, the big question on Braves fans' minds this offseason is obvious: will this year's payroll cuts be the beginning of the end of Atlanta's division championship streak? Maybe, but there is also the flipside of that coin: no one dares question John Schuerholz anymore, and people are beginning to wonder if that man even knows how to lose. But until the season begins, we may only speculate about what this year's team might be able to do given less money to work with.
PlayerSalary
3B Chipper Jones15.00
OF Andruw Jones12.50
SP John Smoltz12.00
SP Mike Hampton8.00
SP Tim Hudson6.75
SS Rafael Furcal5.60
RP Danny Kolb3.40
SP John Thomson2.50
2B Marcus Giles2.35
RP Chris Reitsma1.65
1B Julio Franco1.00
OF Raul Mondesi1.00
RP Tom Martin.95
RP Kevin Gryboski.88
  C Eddie Perez.75
OF Brian Jordan.60
RP Gabe White.60
SP Horacio Ramirez.50
  C Johnny Estrada.50
1B Adam LaRoche.50
 IF Nick Green.35
 IF Wilson Betemit.35
RP Roman Colon.30
OF Ryan Langerhans.30
 ?? Andy Marte.30
TOTAL78.53
According to recent reports and the data I have gathered, the Braves 2005 payroll should come in at just under $80 million, not counting the few million paid to Mike Hampton and others by other teams (due to trades, etc.). To the right is a table of the 25-man roster as it might look if nothing changed between now and the beginning of Spring Training; salaries listed are in millions of dollars. As for the outfield: I have listed Billy McCarthy, Andy Marte, and Ryan Langerhans -- three league-minimum rookies if they make the team, to fill the void. Former Brave Brian Jordan has been making headlines as a cost-efficient veteran who could play left field for Atlanta, and Ben Grieve and Magglio Ordoñez have also been mentioned as potentials. It isn't out of the question that the Braves might go for Jordan and Grieve, but I get the impression that Ordoñez is a no-go or else would be a huge surprise, and Grieve is unlikely to be signed unless Bobby Cox and John Schuerholz agree that the team needs another left-handed batter. Other things of note:
  • After reworking his contract last month, John Smoltz's $12M in 2005 includes $6M for pitching and a $6M signing bonus.
  • Mike Hampton will make $12.5M in 2005, with $4.5M to be paid by the Florida Marlins and $8.0M to be paid by the Braves. Hampton has six years left on his contract, and the Braves have decided to pay one-sixth of their $48.5M share over each of the next six seasons.
  • Tom Martin will make $1.9M in 2005, with half ($950K) to be paid by the Los Angeles Dodgers and the other half to be paid by the Braves.
  • Sam McConnell or Jorge Vazquez could make the bullpen as well. This roster isn't final by any means; just a reasonable idea of what it could look like on opening day.
You can see the 25 names as well as I can, so I leave you with a question: do you think the Braves' 2005 roster as it looks now represents $80M well spent, or has their luck run out? Let us know -- leave a comment! . . . Jon Richardson, David Norman, and Colin William (among others) of the alt.sports.baseball.atlanta-braves newsgroup helped gather the salary data -- actually, they did most of the work, and one or more of them actually settled on the 25 and I just agreed after the fact. I just knew where to go for the best help. Thanks guys! (And correct me if I'm wrong or left anything/anyone out!)
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