And using salary estimates, the projected 2015 opening-day payroll of $112 million would be about $20 million higher than it was for 2014.
Here’s how we calculated the numbers. We took the opening day lineup from 2014, adding one relief pitcher and subtracting one bench player to give the Royals 12 pitchers and 13 position players.
The 2014 salaries from those 25 players add up to about $83 million. But the opening-day payroll also included other items, like money paid to pitcher Noel Arguelles, who is not on the 40-man roster but is on a major-league contract, and players on the disabled list, including Luke Hochevar and his $5 million-plus salary. So that bumped the 2014 opening-day payroll to about $92 million.
Again, this is just a guess at how the Royals will set their 25-man roster for opening day. The Royals might start Vargas or Ventura on opening day, for example.
Here’s the full side-by-side comparison:
*includes bonuses and salaries paid to players on disabled list, including $5.21 million to Luke Hochevar in 2014
**includes $2 million 2015 salary for RHP Kris Medlen, who is expected to open season on disabled list, and $1 million buyouts for former DH Billy Butler and LHP Bruce Chen