Before everyone starts slamming the Padres for paying players who aren’t on their roster, please remember that nothing they do salary-wise matters for the foreseeable future. From the San Diego Union Tribune:
The sum is the Padres’ lowest since they opened with a $55 million payroll in 2012. The $34.5 million* San Diego owes to players on the active roster and the disabled list includes 21 salaries under $1 million — an indication of the club’s overall youth. (Seven of the players are 23 or younger, while many of the others are also short on big-league service time.)
Amid their course reversal last summer, the Padres ate a significant amount of cash in trading such veterans as James Shields, Matt Kemp, Melvin Upton Jr. and Andrew Cashner. This year, they will pay a total of $31.5 million for Upton, Shields, Kemp and Hector Olivera, who was released after being swapped for Kemp.
Obviously, this is super funny to think about. It’s like if Google were to let their employees go work at Apple but still paid them as Google employees. Every time one of the players San Diego is paying to play baseball for someone else gets a hit or throws a strike against them the Padres are basically bending over and saying “thank you sir may I have another?”
Half of the Padres’ Opening Day payroll going to players who are no longer on the team is more reflective of their $67 million total payroll. If you asked me before spring training if I could fill in a depth chart for the Padres there was absolutely no chance I’d be able to. There would be a better chance of Pete Rose sounding lucid on television. The team is bad and in rebuilding mode, so wherever the players are that they’re paying doesn’t really matter.