Estimating cost of arbitration-eligibles

October, 30, 2012
10/30/12
9:30
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BOSTON -- The Red Sox go into this offseason with just more than $45 million in guaranteed salaries, after having an Opening Day payroll of around $175 million in 2012.

That commitment could grow by roughly $29 million to $30 million if the Sox retain all 11 of their arbitration-eligible players this winter, according to a formula devised by Matt Swartz of MLBtraderumors.com. Last year, Swartz came within $1 million of all but four of 156 arbitration-eligible players, so he has a track record.

Here are the salaries projected by Swatrz for Boston’s arbitration-eligible players, a class that is led by Jacoby Ellsbury, who figured to cross the $10 million threshold in his final year of arbitration eligibility if he hadn’t lost so much time to injury. Swartz is projecting just a slight bump for Ellsbury from $8.05 million to $8.1 million, which might be on the light side, especially since Ellsbury’s agent is Scott Boras.

Injury also will play a role in tamping down Andrew Bailey’s 2013 salary. Bailey was paid $3.9 million in 2012 and should expect around the same, Swartz contends, given the time he missed and his subpar performance when he returned.

The complete list:

Jacoby Ellsbury -- $8.1 million
Andrew Bailey -- $3.9 million
Jarrod Saltalamacchia -- $3.9 million
Alfredo Aceves -- $2.6 million
Craig Breslow -- $2.4 million
Ryan Sweeney -- $1.8 million
Daniel Bard -- $1.6 million
Andrew Miller -- $1.4 million
Franklin Morales -- $1.4 million
Scott Atchison -- $800,000.

Swartz did not list Junichi Tazawa, who was paid $920,000 last season and is in his first season of arbitration eligibility.

It is unlikely that all 11 players will return. Some could be traded, others may be nontendered.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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