The high-profile acquisitions of Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller, Jean Segura and Tyler Clippard have put the Diamondbacks among this offseason’s most improved teams. These moves have undoubtedly moved the team north in the pundits’ projected standings this March.
These moves have also moved the team’s payroll to near-unprecedented lengths. The Diamondbacks’ current payroll is $89.2 million, according to Sportrac.
Adding Shelby Miller’s projected arbitration salary of about $5 million to the mix, along with several other pre-arbitration players who have not yet agreed to set salaries should put the final payroll at about $100 million. Baseball Reference has projected the Diamondbacks’ payroll to be around $101.5 million, with Pollock’s newly-signed extension.
This will be just the third time the Diamondbacks have ever had a payroll north of $100 million. They also had payrolls above $100 million in 2002 and 2014. They made the playoffs in 2002 with a 98-64 record and $102 million payroll, but finished with an inverted 64-98 record in 2014 with a $112 million payroll– the worst record in baseball.
The average league payroll this season according to Baseball Prospectus is $125 million, so the Diamondbacks are still considerably beneath the league average. Arizona has not had a payroll above the league average since the 2003 season. However, the team has committed more to the payroll in recent years. This year’s payroll is nearly double the $55.8 million it was in 2011.
Arizona also has a lot tied up in commitments beyond this season. They have $70 million in commitments next season, $58 million in 2018 and $64.5 million in 2019. They stand to have the 12th-highest payroll in baseball in 2019.
About a third of their payroll this season will be committed to Zack Greinke. In fact, about half of their future commitments are to Greinke as well.