Brewers 2022 Payroll Outlook
The Brewers finished the 2021 season with an estimated $103MM payroll, slightly higher than the non-prorated 2020 payroll was slated to be. Despite coming off a season with no fans, the Brewers did add some payroll. Free agent additions Kolten Wong and Jackie Bradley Jr.played a key role in that.
Will the payroll continue to increase for the Brewers in 2022? If so, by how much? The Brewers are going to have those discussions over the coming weeks and owner Mark Attanasio will get a sense of how much money is available for David Stearns to spend this winter.
Currently, Fangraphs projects the Brewers to have a $112MM payroll for next season and that’s without any free agent or trade additions. That large arbitration class of core players and relatively few big salaries falling off the books in free agency is going to cut into the Brewers wiggle room with the payroll. Also, Christian Yelich’s extension kicks in next year and he’ll earn $26MM in 2022.
The Brewers set a record payroll of $134MM in 2019, and it’s unlikely they would push past that in 2022 given their financial circumstances from the past two seasons.
This year, the Brewers did have fans back and were Top 10 in the league in attendance. With the return of revenue streams, even if not at 100% for the entirety of the season, the Brewers were able to recover at least some financial losses.
With the team seemingly inching ever closer to having a World Series caliber roster, dropping payroll doesn’t appear to be an option. Staying stagnant isn’t an option either. They have to add to the payroll, at least a little bit.
At this point, and this is still early, I would expect a Brewers 2022 payroll somewhere in the $120MM-$130MM range.
This gives them the room to add to the payroll a little from the current projection of $112MM before any additions, whether with a free agent signing or two, or a potential trade. They don’t appear likely to push to $135MM+, which would be a new franchise record, and they have to add, leading to my belief that they’ll be in the $120-130MM range.
Attanasio always has room in the payroll for midseason acquisitions and he’ll do so again in 2022, but I’d expect the payroll to start out in that range.
This offseason is sure going to be interesting, and we could see some big changes to this Brewers roster and to the game of baseball itself. Let’s get going.