Thursday, May 19, 2016

Player Salaries Released

The MLS Players' Union today came out with their yearly release of player salaries. For Sporting Kansas City their salaries went up by about $1 million from the 2015 season. Included in the raises were the likes of Tim Melia getting a decent pay bump, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza and Benny Feilhaber both getting $50,000. The biggest bump looks like it went to Dom Dwyer, whose base salary jumped $100,000 from 2015 when he made $400,000 to 2016 where he's making $500,000. Here is the full list; the first number is the base salary while the second is the player's guaranteed compensation for 2016.

Abdul-Salaam, Saad - $63,000 - $76,750
Anor, Bernardo - 132,624 - $132,624
Besler, Matt - $700,000 - $732,624
Coelho, Nuno - $275,000 - $375,000
Davis, Brad - $355,000 - $355,000
Dia, Amadou - $51,500 - $51,500
Dwyer, Dom - $500,000 - $618,750
Ellis, Kevin - $72,000 - $75,150
Espinoza, Roger - $800,000 - $800,000
Feilhaber, Benny - $400,000 - $412,187.50
Hallisey, Connor - $63,000 - $76,750
Kann, Alec - $63,000 - $63,000
Kempin, Jon - $82,750 - $82,750
Mapp, Justin - $224,070 - $239,070
Medranda, Jimmy - $63,000 - $63,000
Melia, Tim - $150,000 - $152,500
Mustivar, Soni - $200,000 - $200,000
Myers, Chance - $200,000 - $225,000
Nagamura, Paulo - $225,000 - $225,000
Olum, Lawrence - $105,000 - $115,000
Opara, Ike - $125,000 - $131,250
Palmer-Brown, Erik - $65,000 - $65,500
Peterson, Jacob - $137,750 - $144,625
Quintilla, Jordi - $100,000 - $109,525
Rubio, Diego - $300,000 - $333,000
Salloi, Daniel - $51,500 - $51,500
Sinovic, Seth - $105,000 - $112,666.67
Zusi, Graham - $700,000 - $732,102.27

In base salary Kansas City tops out at $6,309,194 and in guaranteed compensation $6,751,824.44, around $3 million above the $3,660,000 salary cap for MLS. That puts Kansas City with the seventh highest payroll in all of MLS, although they have the highest payroll of any team that does not have a player making $1,000,000 or more. To be fair, $485,000 of that difference between the cap and Kansas City’s payroll is made up in the salaries of KC's three DPs base salaries, Besler, Zusi and Diego Rubio. But the rest of the salary difference comes from all the extra "stuff" that MLS has to allow teams to spend over the salary cap. For example, Kansas City technically has two players on their roster, Dwyer and Espinoza, who would qualify as designated players based on their salary, but neither player is recognized as such by the team or the league. If these numbers are correct (and has been discussed year after year you do have to take these numbers with some grain of salt), KC would be using the newer "targeted allocation money" to likely pay down the cap hit by Dwyer and Espinoza so that they do not count as designated players. That extra almost $400,000 gets closer to the cap, but not quite. There are other methods that KC is also likely using to pay down players, including maybe Espinoza or Dwyer if KC didn't want to use all their TAM. The team could be utilizing their general allocation money to assist in paying down the salaries of certain players on the team to keep them under the cap. The other possibility has to do with Brad Davis. Davis was acquired by KC in a trade with Houston, at the time most people expected Davis to take a pay cut (he took a $45,000 one from his salary last year), people also expected that the Dynamo were likely going to be covering at least a portion of Davis' contract, which would have also helped Kansas City to have some cap relief.

Looking at the list there are certainly a few numbers that stand out in terms of over paying/under paying. Amadou Dia continues to be a bargain at the price Kansas City is paying him at. At the same time, Seth Sinovic took a pay cut to come back to Kansas City, a good bit of business there by the team to get a deal done for less money that allowed Sinovic to stay in KC and KC to keep a good starting left back. Jimmy Medranda so far has been the brightest spark in KC's offense, but since this is the first time he's really shown it, his price isn't that surprising, now if he could just continue his breakthrough and get some goals/assists. KC's two free agent signings though have been disappointing to this point, Justin Mapp and Paulo Nagamura both are making north of $200,000 and have played a combined nine minutes so far this season. Certainly not the level of play that you want from players you're paying that much for. You're also likely going to see plenty of comments about Zusi's price tag along with Dwyer and Myers. The best bit of business KC may have done was with Nuno Andre Coelho who has been a rock in defense for Kansas City this season. While a $275,000 base isn't cheap, he's certainly proving so far to be worth every penny.

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