The Atlanta Braves jumped into the top 10 payrolls in baseball by extending their core, but filling remaining needs isn’t as easy as many fans believe.
Atlanta Braves President Terry McGuirk woke sleeping fans up when he told AJC’s Justin Tuscano he wanted the Braves to have one of baseball’s top-five payrolls.
I saw tweets that said, in various ways, it was about time the Braves spent some money. Fun fact, the Braves have spent money.
Show me the money!
All amounts are estimates and, as such, will vary slightly. The variance treats all teams the same, which is why all have (or had) the Atlanta Braves’ payroll ranked ninth in baseball. The last time COTS had the Braves in the top-ten on opening-day was 2006.
COTS hasn’t posted an estimate of the Braves’ year-end payroll, but Spotrac shows the Braves ended the season with a $200,067,952 payroll when the season ended, which makes them sixth in MLB.
The tax-man cometh?
Using only 40-man end-of-year payroll, Cot’s shows the Braves had the 10th ranked competitive balance tax payroll in 2014 and 2020. Cot’s estimate ranks the Braves ninth this year.
Spotrac estimates the payroll lower but puts the competitive balance tax payroll at $233,898,638, making the Braves a payor for the first time. FanGraphs puts the number at $217,281,677 but lowers the other payrolls as well.
|Braves Cash Payroll Totals|
|Buried Minor Salaries||$5,483,192|
|Active Total Payroll||$200,067,952|
|Competitive Balance Tax Threshold||$230,000,000|
|Braves Luxury Tax Payroll|
|Total AAV Tax Payroll||$210,743,780|
|Est. Minor Salaries||$5,483,192|
|Total Tax Allocations||$233,893,638|
Spotrac shows the Braves finished the season with baseball’s eighth highest active payroll behind the Mets, Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, Padres, Red Sox, and White Sox, and sixth-highest CBT payroll.
All that to say, joining the top five next year isn’t as dramatic a change as you might have thought, but doing it while improving the roster is a complicated task.