Rays News

Just How Cheap are the Tampa Bay Rays?

By Seth Carter
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 1: Manager Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays watches the action during the first inning of the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field on October 1, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images)
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - OCTOBER 1: Manager Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays watches the action during the first inning of the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field on October 1, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) /
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ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 08: A general view prior to game four of the American League Division Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on October 08, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 08: A general view prior to game four of the American League Division Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Astros at Tropicana Field on October 08, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

How much room to spend in 2020?

The Rays paid just over $60 million in year-end Major League payroll. To get to a 50% ratio in 2020 they need to increase player spending by about $30 million from last season. Does anyone think that’s going to happen?

The Rays need to spend about $20 million more just to get back to 2017 levels. The Rays could use a catcher and a couple of big bats to put their offense more on par with their dominant pitching. They appear to have the money to make some splashy moves. I mean, you know what $20-30 million can bring you? Ask the Atlanta Braves how Josh Donaldson worked out for them at $23 million in 2019.

Between the contracts already on the books (including $2 million owed to Evan Longoria) and the projected arbitration values (excluding Zunino and Duffy) the Rays should be sitting at $67 million in payroll right now. Be sure and check out Austin’s article (below) astutely breaking down the Rays’ current payroll heading into the 2020 season.

Rays 2020 Salaries, Roster. light. Related Story

Yes, $67 million is more than they ended the season with last year, but do not be fooled. They have room to spare, like over $20 million. Coming off of a 96-win season is the time to strike for the Rays. If the Rays added $23 million to the payroll to make it a nice round $90 million, that would make the ratio between 50-53% of projected revenue. $90 million would have been good for 21st-place in the league in spending last season.

Stu, we aren’t asking for $23 million. Seriously, we’ll take ten. Anything. Please?

The numbers say they have room to spend. Do you think there is any chance of the Rays increasing their payroll in 2020? Will they draw the ire of the Players’ Union if they don’t? Are they using their “inability to spend” as leverage for a new stadium? How in the world did they win 96 games?

Next. Good-Bye Zunino?. dark

Get down to the comment section and share your thoughts on how the Rays should handle their payroll in 2020.

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