What is the Colorado Rockies payroll this season?

The Rockies payroll may not make you happy now, but things may change
Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies
Los Angeles Dodgers v Colorado Rockies / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

The Rockies have never been one of the big spenders in free agency. They compete in a division with some of the highest payrolls in all of baseball, making it very hard to compete. Teams like the Giants and Padres regularly top $200M payrolls, while the Dodgers continue to sign whoever they want, deferring seemingly every dollar they add.

While the Rockies don't compete with the big spenders in free agency, they are also rarely in the bottom of the league. For a team that has struggled to actually compete, they are willing to spend. They have a sort of mix, unlike teams like A's, Pirates, and Marlins who have struggled for a while to compete and have some of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

Dick Monfort and his brother aren't afraid to hand out big contracts (as we have seen them to a couple of times), but it seems like instant regret follows. Either they trade the player away, or the player is so bad, that you are stuck eating that contract.

Rockies Payroll 2024

The Colorado Rockies have an active payroll of $142,285,285, according to Spotrac. The active number that Spotrac uses, factors in the active payroll, the injured list, and any retained money. The figure previously presented includes the $5M in retained money owed to the St. Louis Cardinals for part of the Nolan Arenado deal.

With the Rockies in a rebuild, they surprisingly have the 17th highest payroll in baseball. While many fans will be upset about that number, wanting Dick Monfort to commit to winning and spend; that just won't happen.

What is the Luxury Tax Threshold in MLB?

Basically, baseball doesn't have a hard cap like other sports, however, they implemented the Luxury Tax to penalize teams that completely disregard a payroll and just buy talent (I am looking at the Dodgers here). The teams that exceed these thresholds are subject to taxes and contribute additional revenue sharing money that gets spread out to the lower spending teams in baseball.

The MLBPA put the following thresholds in place when they put together the 2022-26 CBA.

  • 2024: $237 Million
  • 2025: $241 Million
  • 2026: $244 Million

MLB.com states, "A club that exceeds the Competitive Balance Tax threshold is subject to an increasing tax rate depending on how many consecutive years it has done so." They also state that in the first year over that threshold, they get taxed at 20%, it then increases to 30% in their second consecutive year. If a team exceeds it for three straight years, they get taxed at 50%.

Who are the most expensive Rockies players?

The obvious one here is Kris Bryant. In one of the most surprising moves in free agency, in quite a while, the Rockies gave Bryant a seven-year, $182 million contract, paying him $27 million this year and $26 million through 2028. It already seems like both parties may be regretting this deal.

Kyle Freeland is priced at a fairly decent number for a solid left-handed pitcher. At the beginning of the 2022 season, Freeland signed a five-year, $64.5 million extension, through the 2027 season.

The Rockies don't have a lot of long-term money committed, however. Ryan McMahon signed a six-year, $70 million contract, that is looking like a solid investment. The Rockies just extended young shortstop, Ezequiel Tovar, to a seven-year, $63.5 million extension and hopefully the Rockies can do this with some of their other youngsters like Nolan Jones and Brenton Doyle in the near future.

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