When I'm feeling bored I have a habit of looking around at salary commitments of different sports teams and windows of opportunity for certain organizations. It just so happened that I came across a great graph of future salary obligations on MLB Trade Rumors today that would definitely be classified as "Payroll Porn". The article is linked here, but if you'd just like to see the visual representation then here it is:
As you can see above, the Blue Jays have the 5th highest payroll obligation for 2015, while they only place 14th when the next decade of salary commitments are considered. This summarizes quite clearly that a cliff is coming and it's approximately 720 days before the team could potentially fall off of it. While this shouldn't create any immediate panic in the fan base it's a little disconcerting to know that there's a possibility this team goes into a rebuilding mode in 2016. By clearing out a large portion of the farm system last winter, the team is heavily in a win-now approach. This commitment to making the team an immediate contender is a 360° turn from what Alex Anthopoulos originally planned to do when he was hired as the General Manager of the team, but the process was accelerated by a perceived opportunity in the division.
A large portion of Toronto's prospects have ETA's that are beyond 2015 and there's a chance that a few off-seasons of relative inactivity result in an all too familiar rebuild for the only baseball team north of the border. It seems like a good time to take stock of where this team is going to stand in the next few years to highlight what type of task the front office has in front of them.
- R.A. Dickey: Signed through 2015 with a 2016 club option ($12 million).
- Mark Buehrle: Signed through 2015.
- Brandon Morrow: Signed through 2014 with a 2015 club option ($10 million).
- Ricky Romero: Signed through 2015 with a 2016 club option ($13.1 million).
- J.A. Happ: Signed through 2014 with a 2015 club option ($6.7 million).
- Esmil Rogers: Arbitration 2014 through 2016.
- Brett Lawrie: Arbitration 2015 through 2017.
- Jose Reyes: Signed through 2017 with a 2018 club option ($22 million).
- Ryan Goins: No significant service time.
- Maicer Izturis: Signed through 2015 with a 2016 club option ($3 million).
- Edwin Encarnacion: Signed through 2015 with a 2016 club option ($10 million).
- Adam Lind: Club options in 2015 ($7.5 million) and 2016 ($8 million).
- J.P. Arencibia: Arbitration 2014 through 2016.
- Josh Thole: Signed through 2014 with a 2015 club option.
- Jose Bautista: Signed through 2015 with 2016 club option ($14 million).
- Colby Rasmus: Arbitration for 2014.
- Anthony Gose: Pre-arbitration.
- Melky Cabrera: Signed through 2014.