Birchall and Arrieta combine to make over $300,000 from the Crew this year.
The MLS Players Association released (PDF) the latest 2012 budget figures. There are a couple additions to the Crew's list. Midseason acquisitions Jairo Arrieta and Chris Birchall make the list and the recently released Shaun Francis, Aubrey Perry, and Korey Veeder fall off.
Arrieta becomes one of the highest players on the team with a guaranteed compensation of $225,375. His base salary is $216,000. The $9,300 difference is likely related to any signing bonus money he is receiving, amortized over the term of the contract.
Chris Birchall is taking in a more modest $102,000 base salary, with a guaranteed compensation figure of $109,000. This puts him just above the average team salary of $99,000. The team appears to be getting good value from this contract so far.
These salary are not the exact "Budget Numbers" for Arrieta and Birchall. The budget numbers are set by the league office and are based off of the base salary, bonus compensation, and other salary compensation. Often the budget number is around the player's guaranteed salary number, but there can be even drastic differences.
Between Birchall, Arrieta and the recent arrival of Designated Player Federico Higuain, this is a significant increase in payroll and likely pushes the team up against the league's salary cap with some very tough choices coming up in the offseason. The combined base salary numbers for the Crew is just shy of $3,000,000. Any way it's sliced, Bliss, McCullers, and Warzycha didn't leave much money on the table for the team's budget this year.