Imagine a baseball organization that went out and spent money just because they could? Wouldn’t that be some cool shit? Imagine being a fan of a team that doesn’t give a shit about the luxury tax? Wouldn’t that be some cooler shit? Imagine the two best 26-year-old free agents not being signed by the time Spring Training started? Now, that’s just crazy shit, right?
Well, for all you Jays fans out there, who have been howling the sign-Bryce-Harper-you-cowards tune all winter, this little piece of Blue Jays payroll news just came in thanks to a Ben Nicholson-Smith tweet (not like you didn’t already know this):
As spring training begins, the #BlueJays have a projected 2019 payroll of $108.5 million via Cot's Contracts.
Jays aren't done adding (would expect they sign another pitcher), but payroll will be dropping considerably from the $167.1 million they spent in 2018 (per the AP).
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) February 13, 2019
So, that means that the Jays could offer Bryce Harper $40 million in the first year of his contract, and they would still be 18.6 million under last year’s payroll – cool stuff.
I am not writing this piece to bang the Bryce drum, I’m just sayin’ for the sake of sayin’. I mean, it still blows my mind that there are some Jays fans out there who actually think that signing Bryce Harper doesn’t make sense, but whatever. That narrative seems like many winter moons ago. We’re all past that stuff now and ready for Spring Training, but seriously how could any logical Jays fan think that signing Bryce Harper doesn’t make sense? Moving on…
The Jays have cash and they have a lot of it. And there’s no reason that they can’t spend a bit of it. I know that the Jays have had a pretty reasonable payroll over the years, and I’m not reaching for the low hanging ‘Rogers is cheap’ fruit from the dodo tree. It’s just the organization has some cash to spend this year, and they really should’ve tried to take advantage of the market in its current Bryce-Harper-and-Manny-Machado-are-still-free-agents state.
Like imagine a world where Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Dallas Keuchel, Craig Kimbrel, and like 96 other free agents haven’t signed by Spring Training?
100 or so free agents left unsigned. System is broken. They blame “rebuilding” but that’s BS. You’re telling me you couldn’t sign Bryce or Manny for 10 years and go from there? Seems like a good place to start a rebuild to me. 26-36 is a great performance window too.
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) February 11, 2019
And it’s kind of crazy because the Jays, who have the payroll flexibility to accelerate the rebuild process by diving into their pockets aren’t going to because they are ‘rebuilding’ and are going to wait another year or so until they make their financial move, which, I guess, is fine – sort of.
I can understand why the front office probably isn’t comfortable handing out a ten-year contract to a player like Bryce Harper, but I don’t get why the organization isn’t trying to take advantage of the current market and sign someone, who they could flip at the trade deadline.
So the Jays have a payroll of $108.5 million. I guess it’s okay to think that is okay. It’s nice to know that the money will be there in the future, even though it is there right now in the present.
It really doesn’t matter anyway because when the CBA expires in 2021, the baseball strike of 2022 will be real dirty and every baseball fan out there, who was wailing that the players make too much money, will wish that billionaire owners just paid them what they are actually worth. I know it’s the battle of the 1%, but I’m all in on the guys who play the game.
So there you have it Jays fans,especially the fans out there who care about Rogers’ bottom line, the Toronto Blue Jays have dramatically cut their salary. Now, just imagine what it will be when the organization unloads some players at the trade deadline.