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Eyeballing 2012 Payroll: $151 Million?

With the news that we avoided arbitration with Alberto Callaspo to the tune of $3.15 million, that leaves just one arb-eligible player left, Erick Aybar. Using Baseball Reference, we can begin to estimate the 2012 payroll now. And for the first time, I see that B-Ref has been overestimating it. BR lists four Angels at being arb-eligible, instead of the two, for a combined estimated total of $18 million (which gets them to a projected 2011 payroll of $159.9 million). But two of those four are Reggie Willits and Jeff Mathis, who will not be offered arbitration by the Angels this year. Now that Callaspo is off the table, we can use the MLB Trade Rumors estimate of Aybar's 2012 salary at $4.7 million to conclude that the arb-total will be around $8 million, not $18. We then adjust the "Additional Players Needed to Fill 25-man" from 5 to 7, and at the estimated rate there of $724,000 per warm body, that gives us $5.07 million instead of the current $3.62. So all in all, let's say the B-Ref estimated of $159.2 million overshoots the mark by around $8.5 million. Or $8.2 million if you prefer nice round numbers. LONG STORY SHORT: We are on the verge of adding Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, replacing Jeff Mathis with Chris Ianetta, and signing our DP combo to extensions, all while increasing payroll over 2011 by around $8 million. That's astonishing.

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