Pay Cut or What?

Much was made of Giants' executives stating, not long after J.T. Snow was tagged out at home plate by Pudge-Rod, that the team payroll would shrink in 2004 down to the mid-$70 million range.

According to Peter Magowan, interviewed on KNBR a couple days ago, the Giants' payroll stands at $78.4 million. He also said that going into spring training last year it stood at $81 million. (Thanks to Steve Shelby for the reportage.) According to my calculations, the projected opening day roster is just north of $75 million. My estimated figure includes signing bonuses, which many people don't consider part of payroll. So I thought my figure was high. Where in the hell does P-Mag get $78.4 mil?

While we're on the subject, does payroll include the 40-man roster? Does it include estimated per-diems for 25 players over the course of a season? I assume deferred money isn't included, but what about contract buyouts, such as the few hundred thou they paid Jose Cruz, Jr. to go away? Was that counted against 2003 payroll or 2004? When a team says "We need to get payroll down to X," there ought to be a standard definition of what that means.

My best guess as to the $3 mil difference between my estimate and P-Mag's figure: $1.3 M owed to Eric Young and Cruz to buy out their options; Jesse Foppert's salary; an inflated number for Pierzynski; maybe a few other guys who have had ML service time but won't necessarily head north with the team...?

Any thoughts, ideas, etc, let me know.


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