Colorado Rockies open season with record payroll
The big expectations for the Rockies come with a price.
The Rockies will open the season with the highest payroll in franchise history, according to figures obtained by InsideTheRockies.com.
The Rockies will have a payroll of $85,360,682 based on the based salary plus pro-rated signing bonuses for 25 players on the active roster and four on the disabled list. That is $7,876,682 higher than the previous franchise record of $77,484,000 in 2001.
The payroll also represents an $8,157,833 increase over last season when the Rockies established a franchise record with 92 wins, and claimed the NL wild-card for the second time in three years and third time in franchise history.
The 10.6 percent payroll increase from a year ago marks the fourth consecutive year in which the Rockies Opening Day payroll has increased. The 2010 payroll is a 107 percent increase from the Opening Day payroll of $41,233,000 in 2006, which was the lowest Rockies payroll since 1996, the teams’ four year of existent.
The increases, however, are in line with the long-term plan the Rockies adopted eight years ago, which came under attack from many members of the media, who were unable to come to grips with the idea that in rebuilding the franchise by using the farm system the Rockies did not feel a need to sign middle line free agents who would not impact the performance on the field but would increase the payroll.
And there is a definite home-grown flair to the Rockies roster. Sixteen of the 25 players on the active roster originally signed with the organization, including the entire starting infield – first baseman, second baseman , third baseman and shortstop .
Helton, whose base salary and prorated signing bonus comes to $17,018,182 for the fourth year in a row is the team’s highest paid player for the fifth consecutive year. Larry Walker had the highest salary on the team in nine seasons, including eight in a row.