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Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt: We expect 'significant' payroll increase

St. Louis Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt said he projects "significant increases" in the team's payroll in the coming years.
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St. Louis Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt said he projects "significant increases" in the team's payroll in the coming years.

DeWitt indicated in an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the payroll spike will accommodate expected expenditures on the team's younger players. DeWitt did not provide specifics on the value of "significant," saying it would be determined by market and revenue.

The paper notes that the Cardinals' payroll at the end of the 2014 regular season was approximately $115 million. According to a USA TODAY Sports database, St. Louis' payroll, listed at $108,020,360, ranks 13th in the league.

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“We have forecasted increases over the next three to five years that will accommodate what we need to do with the young players we have,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt told The Post-Dispatch this past week. “We knew as younger players matured at the major-league level they would get to arbitration and into free agency. We wouldn’t be able to retain them at the current payroll level, so we’re forecasting fairly significant increases in the next three to five years.” [...]

“It’s always fluid,” DeWitt said. “You’re never 100 percent sure what the revenues are going to be. It’s also based on performance. You can forecast the players’ performance to a certain degree but there are other levels there when it comes to arbitration and free agency. Injuries are a factor. You also never know what young player will be next to come up and earn a spot. … It’s always good to have something in reserve when you may need to make a move.

“I expect it will be higher next year and beyond.”

The Cardinals went 90-72 and finished in first place in the National League Central this season before falling to the San Francisco Giants in the NLCS. St. Louis has qualified for the playoffs in five of the last six seasons and won two World Series over the last nine seasons.

- Chris Johnson