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10 for 10: #10 MLB Contracts, MLB Agent, Player Service Time, and Historical Salaries

Posted by Sean Forman on July 30, 2010

This post is the tenth in our series of ten new features for our tenth anniversary.

Around the trading deadline, player contract info becomes a highly valued commodity, so we are very delighted to announce the addition of new financial information to the site.

Player Contracts -- Working with Paul Riker of, we have added contract information for nearly every active player in the major leagues. Roy Oswalt, Adrian Gonzalez and J.A. Happ, for example, now have information at the top of the page below their bio information like 2011 contract status, service time (through end of 2009), contract summaries with options included, earliest FA and Arb-eligibility, and their agents.

This data also appears stretched out on the Player Salaries section at the bottom of each player's front page. So you can now see just how much Ryan Howard has coming to him in 2015.

On the Team Payroll and Roster Pages (NYY, PHI, ARI) we show the current contract status of most of the players with the team, especially those signed to long-term deals. At the bottom of these tables, we have tried out best to summarize the team's financial situation in future years, and using our "SHARE" tool (which appears above every table on the site--just click it to start) you can generate tables like this to add to your blog, newsgroup, forum, etc.

2011 ▾ 2012
Ryan Howard $20M $20M
Roy Halladay $20M $20M
Roy Oswalt $16M $2M [FA-*]
Chase Utley $15M $15M
Raul Ibanez $11.5M FA
Brad Lidge $11.5M $1.5M [FA-*]
Cole Hamels $9.5M Arb
Joe Blanton $8.5M $8.5M
Jimmy Rollins $8.5M FA
Shane Victorino $7.5M $9.5M
Placido Polanco $5.25M $6.25M
J.C. Romero $250k [FA-*]
Ryan Madson $4.5M FA
Carlos Ruiz $2.75M $3.7M
Danys Baez $2.75M FA
Ross Gload $1.6M FA
Brian Schneider $1.5M FA
Juan Castro $50k [FA-*]
Greg Dobbs Arb-3 FA
Ben Francisco Arb-1 Arb-2
Signed 16 7
Dollars Committed $139.7M $86.5M
Contract Options 2 2
Option Values $5.25M $28.5M
Arb Eligible 1-0-1-0 1-1-1-0
Arb Costs $7.33M $11.08M
Other Players 7 15
Other Costs $3.5M $7.5M
Payroll (no options) $150.5M $105M
Payroll (options) $154.7M $132.5M
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 7/30/2010.

This data is extremely hard to structure, compile, and build into db form, so we don't yet have performance incentives and other items in the db, but will be working on doing so. Sources for this include Paul Riker, MLB's Joint Exhibit One, media sources, and Cot's Contracts. If you are looking for detailed player contact history, you really need to check out Cot's Contracts. We are going to keep this as up to date as possible just as we have done with the transaction data this summer. All of this data is unofficial, so please help us keep it up to date if you notice errors.

Agent Data -- We attempt to show current representation along with past agents whenever possible. Sources for this include Will Young, media sources, Cot's Contracts, and the agents themselves. Please send along any corrections you find.

Historical Salary Data -- As part of our agreement with SABR, we now have access to historical salary data previous to 1985. This adds 6,268 salaries to our mostly complete salaries from 1985 on. For example, we now have Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams salaries for most of their careers. This data also appears on the team roster pages whenever we have data for at least one player on the team. This data was gathered primarily by the late Doug Pappas whose work is still tremendous fruit for people interested in baseball's finances.

As always feedback and corrections are appreciated.

This wraps up our 10 for 10 anniversary celebration, but don't worry, I'm not taking the rest of the year off. Lots of additional improvements are on the way as well. Thank you for your support of

This entry was posted on Friday, July 30th, 2010 at 4:17 pm and is filed under 10 for 10, Announcements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

23 Responses to “10 for 10: #10 MLB Contracts, MLB Agent, Player Service Time, and Historical Salaries”

  1. DoubleDiamond Says:

    I know that a lot of people who use this site from mobile devices are going to be disappointed that #10 was not something to make their life easier, but as someone who uses the Internet only from desktop computers (not even laptops most of the time), I'm glad that it's another content-related feature. Thanks for all that you provide here.

  2. Let me assure folks that mobile is very big in our future plans. We just want to be able to do something that can be applied across all of our sites.

  3. Can't tell you how long I've wanted contract status info. Very nice surprise!

  4. 1) This is a great feature! It really makes looking at the salaries of teams easy to read. I know it's probably on Cot's but I like having it all in one place.

    2) I could do without the agents info. You could just make a list of Boras' clients because that's who most people are going to be looking for.

    3) How difficult would showing a player's movement between majors and minors be? I would imagine, beyond the few years at, very hard especially for the guys who bounce a lot.

  5. I give this addition an 8/10
    Although it's not totally statistical, it's fun and helpful. I would have given it more if I understood the salary stuff more (like arbitration...what is it and what does it mean...?)

  6. Great add. I'm stoked. Just another reason for me to get lost in bb-ref. Thanks, folks.

  7. AWESOME! This is a fantastic addition and much appreciated--especially the historical salaries. Suggestion for a future upgrade is to translate historical salaries into present-day dollars adjusted for inflation.

    Thanks for all the incredible work!

  8. Wow thats so cool. Thanks. Check out leave comments ask qs and follow me on Twitter at beatboston1995

  9. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    Sean, I don't think I've ever given you props for how quickly the site pages load here despite how much information and how many hyperlinks they contain. What made me think about this is how slowly MLBTradeRumors' pages load. I always hesitate to click links to that site because I know I'm in for a wait.

  10. Sean Forman Says:

    Thanks, I'm glad to hear that it is fast for you. There is occassionally an issue with ads slowing things down, but I hope to do some work on that later this summer.

  11. could I suggest a uniform number register in the future... that way we can see "Who was the last person to wear this number etc on this team etc"

    an example is this on the site for the Golden State Warriors:

  12. rootbeersoup Says:

    A great add indeed! A very useful addition for a site called Baseball-REFERENCE

  13. rootbeersoup Says:

    Also, I second Tuna's post. I love how fast the site loads due to its minimalist design... Hope this never changes

  14. Sean, the historcal salary add is terrific. Something I've wanted to see for a while. Terrific!

  15. Gordon Edes Says:


    The best baseball website ever just got even better. You are an absolutely indispensable tool for those of us in the business. If it was up to me, I'd have you pass "Go" and head directly into Cooperstown. Thank you for your tireless work.

  16. BTW, I have a friend who happens to be a friend of agent Dennis Gilbert. We had been trying to find a list of all the clients he used to represent. Now it's easy, using an advanced Google search restricted to B-R for his name. Sean, have you considered making actual agent pages so we can look them up directly that way?

    BTW Gilbert's name has been in the news lately as a lead investor for a group that tried to purchase the Texas Rangers and lately I think he's been mentioned in conjunction with the Dodgers.

  17. Can there be a link from the Team Encyclopedia to the salary list? Or how can I get to it throught the front page? Thanks!

  18. Thanks for all you do here, Sean!

    Congrats on 10 years, may you have 10 times 10 more!

  19. Regarding the load speed of the pages...You know the load speed is typically super-fast when I am upset that a flashing banner ad causes me to have to wait 7 seconds to see Tony Mullane's 1880's American Association stats. :)

  20. Love the contract and experience information. Any chance you can put the latter on the player pages, maybe right next to salary in the Player Value table?

  21. Oh wait, it's up in the bio section, eh?

  22. Mike Gaber Says:

    If I want to see for Example, the Dodgers Team Payroll on the Franchise Index Page for 2010.

    There is no problem as there is a Tab saying "Payroll, Roster & Uniforms"

    But if I want to see 2009 (or Prior), for example, the Tab only says "Roster & Uniforms"

    Clicking any other years "Roster & Uniforms Tab" doesn't get you that years Payroll data.

    So I must start at 2010 and then click my way back 1 year at a time.
    Any way to get the Tab to say "Payroll, Roster & Uniforms"?? and then get the Team Payroll data?

  23. Mike,

    We do have salaries on the 2009 roster pages, but do not have historical contract info, so we can't present the same grid as we do for 2010. We will have that going forward, but 2010 is the first year we are going to have.