Here are all the numbers on Braves’ opening-day payroll

Opening day at SunTrust Park.

Credit: Curtis Compton

caption arrowCaption
Opening day at SunTrust Park.

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

So let’s crunch the numbers on the Braves’ opening-day payroll.

The total salaries of the players on the Braves’ 25-man active roster come to $79.752 million, undeniably low by current MLB standards.

Add the $33 million the Braves will pay Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Kazmir not to play for them and the $3.295 million in combined salaries of five players who opened the season on the disabled list, and that brings the Braves’ total major-league payroll to $116.047 million, which preliminarily appears to rank 21st among the 30 MLB teams.

The Boston Red Sox opened this season with baseball’s highest payroll of about $223 million, followed by the San Francisco Giants at around $203 million, according to an Associated Press report earlier this week.

A December trade with the Dodgers was the Braves’ major offseason expenditure, essentially consolidating  what they would have owed Matt Kemp in 2018 and 2019 into what they will pay Gonzalez, Kazmir and Brandon McCarthy this season alone. That move was designed to free up room for a possible spending spree next winter. Even with the salaries added in that trade, however, the Braves’ payroll is about $10 million lower now than at the start of last season, because a year ago they were paying Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey and Jaime Garcia a combined $32.5 million.

The Braves' payroll declined this season despite a $124-million increase in revenue last year, their first at SunTrust Park. Asked about that disconnect earlier this week, Braves Chairman Terry McGuirk said the revenue surge was largely offset by debt service and increased costs associated with the new stadium and mixed-use development. He also said it's not yet the "appropriate" time for a higher payroll because the Braves want to give opportunity to their young (inexpensive) players. But he vowed that higher payrolls will come in future seasons. (See full story on McGuirk's comments about the payroll.)

Here’s how the Braves line up financially at the start of this season:

OPENING DAY ACTIVE ROSTER

Freddie Freeman, 1B, $21.36 million

Nick Markakis, RF, $11 million

Brandon McCarthy, SP, $10 million

Julio Teheran, SP, $8.167 million

Ender Inciarte, CF, $4.7 million

Tyler Flowers, C, $4 million

Kurt Suzuki, C, $3.5 million

Arodys Vizcanio, RP, $3.4 million

Mike Foltynewicz, SP, $2.2 million

Peter Moylan, RP, $1.25 million

Rex Brothers, RP, $1.1 million

Sam Freeman, RP, $1.075 million

Peter Bourjos, OF, $1 million

Ryan Flaherty, IF, $750,000

Dan Winkler, RP, $610,000

Lane Adams, OF, $575,000

Charlie Culberson, IF, $575,000

Chris Stewart, C, $575,000

Jose Ramirez, RP, $565,000

Dansby Swanson, SS, $565,000

Preston Tucker, OF, $565,000

Ozzie Albies, 2B, $555,000

Shane Carle, RP, $555,000

A.J. Minter, RP, $555,000

Sean Newcomb, SP, $555,000

Active roster total: $79.752 million 

RELEASED PLAYERS

Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, $21.5 million

Scott Kazmir, P, $16 million

"Dead money" total: $33 million (after adjusting for $4.5 million the Braves received from Dodgers to offset Gonzalez and Kazmir salaries)

DISABLED LIST 

Jacob Lindgren, RP, $820,000

Chase Whitley, RP, $800,000

Grant Dayton, RP, $565,000

Johan Camargo, IF, $555,000

Luiz Gohara, SP, $555,000

DL total: $3.295 million

OVERALL TOTAL: $116.047 million 

(The fine print: The above figures include 2018 base salaries and prorated portions of any signing bonuses paid by the Braves, but do not include any portion of signing bonuses paid by other teams before players were traded to the Braves. Incentive bonuses and benefits are not included.)

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