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MLB Payrolls/Salaries

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Posted: 10/23/2013 11:26 PM

MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


Consider this the natural extension of the tangent Katoy and I have gone down on the Choo thread.

Houston isn't going to keep it's payroll this low forever. Their market could easily support a payroll of 125 million. The Astros could easily adsorb 100 million dollars in payroll next season. I realize the Astros are in no position to add that talent this year, but who knows in 2015-2016. When the Astros are in the bidding for FA with the other heavy hitters salaries will rise.

Miami has the perception that they'll be cheap for years to come, but there payroll will rise with Stanton and Fernandez in arbitration. Their arbitration cases should break records if they stay on the superstar career path. Since arbitration cases are based off other players salaries in relation to how a player produces their cases will raise salary for the next batch of players. Mike Trout is going to break whatever record Giancarlo Stanton sets, and so on, and so on.

Now of course there will be teams that shed salary. The question is by how much and for how long. There are 14 teams with 100 million plus payrolls currently. The Yankees have about 95-100 million guaranteed for next year and could keep there payroll low with cheap replacements for Granderson, Kuroda, Hughes, Rivera, Youkilis, Petite, and potentially Jeter. The Yanks not only get around 30 million for Soriano and Wells, but also don't have to pay any money on AJ Burnett's salary. They'll have money to spend and still stay under the 189 mark, especially if A-Rod's suspension is held up. Some of their longer term deals are approaching the end

A-Rod 4 years 86 million
Sabathia 3 years 76 million
Teixara 3 years 67.5 Million

Those are the only deals with more than 2 years left. The Yankees could raise the payroll they shed for 2014 as soon as 2015. The Yankees can be major players this offseason and still keep payroll under 189 million.

People keep saying the Dodgers are tapped out, but they gave Alexander Guererro 7 Million per over the next 4 years despite a 7 million dollar raise for Zack Greinke and at least 8 million more they'll have to pay Kershaw in his last year of arbitration. The long term deals they took from Boston don't look that bad considering what's left on them.

Gonzalez 5 years 106 Million Age 32-36
Crawford 4 years 82.5 Million Age 32-35
Beckett 1 year 15.75 Million Age 34

The Red Sox are paying about 8 million over the next 2 years as part of the trade. The Dodgers could probably move Crawford with a solid 2014. Some of the other "bad" deals won't be on the books forever.

Ethier 4 years 71.5 million Age 32-35
League 2 years 15 million Age 31-32

If the Dodgers eat money they can trade away one of these players. I'm sure paying Either to play against them won't be what they want to do, but it's an option if they need salary room. 

The Dodgers are about to pay Hanley Ramirez and Clayton Kershaw a lot of money. If they don't some other team will pay them more than you think will be appropriate barring injury. Kershaw is going to break the record for biggest pitching contract, and Ramirez will get AT LEAST 100 million over 5 years. 

I'm going to keep going through the teams to explain just how much money is available to these teams. You'll see that combined with an increasingly scarce talent pool reaching free agency salaries will continue much higher in the future. We'll get a preview of that this offseason with the domestic FA's and some of the imports like Tanaka.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 12:07 AM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


To continue

Philly will shed 25 million between Halladay and Ruiz, but they might end up bringing those two back. Amaro is calling his plan a reload not a rebuild, so you don't know what's going to happen. With a new TV deal coming before next season, the Phillies can be players in FA every year. If they shed payroll there's no reason they can't add to it as the current deals run their course.

Remaining guarantees
Hamels 5 yrs 112.5 million (Age 30-34)
Howard 3 yrs 85 million (Age 34-36)
Lee 2 yrs 62.5 million (Age 35-36)
Papelbon 2 years 26 million (Age 33-34)
Utley 2 years 25 million (Age 35-36)
Rollins 1 yr 11 million (Age 35)
Adams 1 yr 7 million (Age 35)

Even if there are no options on the free agent market worth paying the extra money to, the Phillies are in a position to do a trade that adds a lot of salary. Philly will be bidding up talent with the Dodgers, Yankees, and other "empires".

Of the next tier of 100 million dollar payrolls the only teams I see shedding payroll are the White Sox and the Cubs. All the other teams should stay at the level they are if not go higher. I doubt any team outside the Chicago teams dips below 100 million, and the Chicago teams won't have payrolls down for long.

There are 10 teams currently between 75-100 million, and I don't think it's a stretch that we'll see Seatlle, Baltimore, Atlanta, New York-N raise payroll and get above the 100 million mark by 2015. The other 6 teams are likely to see payrolls stay about the same with natural increases offset by players leaving. Maybe Minnesota takes a good dip, but it won't be down to the 40 million mark. 

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Posted: 10/24/2013 12:12 AM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


So I guess this is a bunch of words that explain why I think paying Shin Soo Choo 100 million over the next 5 years wouldn't be that crazy.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 7:58 AM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


Excellent posts, fishmong.  Good work.

What do you think that Tim Lincecum's new 2 year, $35 million deal says about where the market is headed?

To me, that's seems like a huge amount for a bad pitcher.

___________

 

  

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Posted: 10/24/2013 8:38 AM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 



fishmong wrote: So I guess this is a bunch of words that explain why I think paying Shin Soo Choo 100 million over the next 5 years wouldn't be that crazy.
This is a bad deal for the Pirates... not a bad deal in general.  I thinks a tad too high, I believe 5 for $80 is more reasonable.  Again though... just not for the Pirates.
#fringeprospect
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Posted: 10/24/2013 10:04 AM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


The Lincecum deal was a shocker for me. Everybody's been assuming Lincecum cost himself money when he did the 3 year extension instead of the 5, but he didn't cost himself that much money. It's a good deal for the Giants if he returns to form, but not a long term burden if he doesn't. Contracts like this and the Hunter Pence deal will help define the markets for guys this year. It's the way contracts are negotiated.  

The Indians have no chance of bringing back Ubaldo Jimenez after a deal like that. Jimenez had a good year at the exact right time. He'll get at least 45-50 million over 3 years and the Indians probably can't do that and extend Justin Masterson. Hell even Kazmir can make a case to make 8-10 million in the open market. 

It's the logical result of multiple teams having spending money and a talent pool that isn't that deep. Draft pick compensation will dampen some guys, but we don't know who gets tagged yet so we can adjust expectations when that part is over. If I'm Ubaldo, Ervin Santana, or Matt Garza, I'd go into this offseason expecting an Edwin Jackson contract at the minimum. There will be some bargains if you take some extra risk with a guy like Halladay or Josh Johnson, but I don't know how cheap those guys will be. We'll know very soon...
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Posted: 10/24/2013 10:18 AM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 



TBayXXXVII wrote:
fishmong wrote: So I guess this is a bunch of words that explain why I think paying Shin Soo Choo 100 million over the next 5 years wouldn't be that crazy.
This is a bad deal for the Pirates... not a bad deal in general.  I thinks a tad too high, I believe 5 for $80 is more reasonable.  Again though... just not for the Pirates.
It's certainly a risky move for the Pirates, who don't have the financial wherewithal to have a deal like this blow up in their face. I don't view Choo as big a risk as others, so this is what my opinion is based on. I may be wrong or right, but that's what I think.

Salaries are going to continue to rise, 3 million used to get you a pretty good set up guy, now they go for more on the FA market. There are more and more joining the 20 million a year AAV club than there are guys leaving it. I understand the argument that says Choo isn't a 20 million a year player, but he's going to have a big market for his services in my opinion. All it takes is one team to think it's a fair price to pay, I think there will be multiple teams. Choo will get at least what Pence got probably more.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 10:52 AM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


Much as I agree with you, fishmong, on the wisdom of doing a moderate free agent overpay or three at just the right time (such as Russell Martin) to add veteran production and leadership to a team that is otherwise largely homegrown, there is no way I would do a five year deal for Choo.  As was noted elsewhere, it appears that his previously better-than-average speed is on the wane, which knocks some of the luster off of him.  And he is 32 years old, albeit also a very disciplined hitter who I think would fit well in Pittsburgh's current lineup.  I'd go 3 years and $40 million but that's it.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 11:11 AM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


Here is why I think you're wrong.

While the Phillies will have money to spend in the future, the question becomes who do you spend it on? 

I would say 90% of the marquee players get resigned or extended till their 30's.  Every once in a while you'll get a Zach Greinke but in free agency you are pretty much always going to be signing players now who's best years are behind.

The only two free agents of any significance under 30 besides import players are Jarrod Saltalamachia and Phil Hughes.  They can have all the money they want but free agent contracts fail at an extremely high rate.

The Lincecum contract is not really a market reflection.  In a way it's similar to the Derek Jeter contract of a few years ago.  Lincecum is the face of the Giants franchise.  The same way Jeter was before.  The Jeter contract was very hostile.  Jeter was coming off his worst season with a .710 OPS and at age 36. The thing is though he was Derek Jeter, the face of the franchise and he was just coming off a contract that paid him 22 million a season.  He ended up signing a 3 year, 51 million dollar deal.  At an average of 17 million a year this was a giant overpay but the Yankees realized it's Derek Jeter.  His true salary might of been 10 million a year but this is a legacy contract.  Other teams understand this.  It didn't alter the market for other players.  Jimmy Rollins signed his deal at a younger age and was more productive than Jeter at the time of his deal.  He got 11 million dollars a year.

When you look at contracts it's about term more than AAV.  No free agent pitcher is going to say give me 2 years and 35 million when they can get 4 or 5 years on the open market even if it's only at 13 million a year.  If players want to go short years, they will get more money per year.  Teams have no problem doing this.  They save a tremendous amount of risk.  Teams would much rather give a 35 year old 2 years and 40 million than 4 years and 70 million.  Most guys in free agency want term because this is likely their last shot at a big extension.  Teams wan't financial flexibility.  The chances of a contract turning bad are much smaller on a 3 year deal then they are on a 5 year deal.  Way smaller than a 7 year deal.  Teams would have no problem giving Robinson Cano 5 years and 150.  8 years and 200 then a lot of teams back off.

Teams are happy to pay their star players more per year for less time.  The reason they are fine with this is because they get it back on the other players.  Instead of going 7 years and 18 million per year, they would rather go 4 years and 21.  The other guy on the team who used to get 15 in the old market, they just cut it off him and give him 12.  Swisher and Bourn would of been 16 and 17 million dollar players in the old system.   Now they're 14 and 13 million dollar players.

It's the same amount of money really it's just distributed differently.

Payroll is going to go up year to year like it always does.  That is inflationary.

There is not going to be this big blow out in salaries because there is nobody to spend the money on.  10 teams can have money to spend in free agency.  Who are you going to spend it on?  There is one or two guys a year now that reach free agency that can be game changing players.  This year it's Cano.  Other than that, no player is going to change your franchise.  Sure you have a good player in Jacoby Ellsbury.  However just like Michael Bourn his skill set is based on speed and defense.  Those are the things that go first in your 30's usually.  Without speed and defense what does Ellsbury give you?  Some team will sign him for 6 or 7 years and be stuck with him.  I think it will be the Mariners.

The money isn't infinite though so eventually you feel the squeeze.  The Reds thought it was a good idea to sign Jonathan Broxton to a 3 year, 21 million dollar deal to be their setup man.  Now they're stuck with that contract and have to watch Choo leave to another team because they don't have that money available.  Or trade away Brandon Phillips.

The other thing is roster spots.  You can have all the money in the World but you only have 25 roster spots.  The Dodgers have 23 roster spots filled for next year once they get arbitration players taken care of.  If they want to add people they need to get rid of guaranteed contracts.  They won't be in on any big free agents.  The only thing they might do is try and resign Nolasco and Wilson. 

You're going to see the same thing as last year.  A couple of guys will get bigger contracts then they should and a bunch of guys will get smaller contracts then they should.  Anybody that gets tied down to draft pick compensation will have a hard time finding a market.  Cano and Ellsbury will be fine.  But if the Indians were to put a compensation tag on Jiminez that will hurt his market.  The big teams won't want to lose the draft pick because they are so important now so his bet option if he wants a multi year deal might be with a team with a protected draft pick like the Cubs for 4 years and 50 million.   Or resign with the Indians for a similar amount.  No contending teams are going to give up a draft pick and give up a draft pick that's for sure and pay him 3 years and 50 million.

With the draft budget now if you lose that pick and you're picking in the middle of the draft you lose that budget.  Plus you lose the 10% overage.  That is massive.  If you're picking say 15th and you have 5 million to spend on your draft, the first round pick is worth 2.5 million of that.  You also lose the other 250K for a bonus though.  You can't make it up anymore by spending late in the draft on tough signs like the Yankees and Red Sox used to do where they would throw around million dollar offers to Pedro Alvarez in the 14th round.  Sometimes the guys would take it and sometimes they wouldn't.  Can't do that anymore and that's why the Yankees farm system is deteriorated.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 11:31 AM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 



fishmong wrote:
TBayXXXVII wrote:
fishmong wrote: So I guess this is a bunch of words that explain why I think paying Shin Soo Choo 100 million over the next 5 years wouldn't be that crazy.
This is a bad deal for the Pirates... not a bad deal in general.  I thinks a tad too high, I believe 5 for $80 is more reasonable.  Again though... just not for the Pirates.
It's certainly a risky move for the Pirates, who don't have the financial wherewithal to have a deal like this blow up in their face. I don't view Choo as big a risk as others, so this is what my opinion is based on. I may be wrong or right, but that's what I think.

Salaries are going to continue to rise, 3 million used to get you a pretty good set up guy, now they go for more on the FA market. There are more and more joining the 20 million a year AAV club than there are guys leaving it. I understand the argument that says Choo isn't a 20 million a year player, but he's going to have a big market for his services in my opinion. All it takes is one team to think it's a fair price to pay, I think there will be multiple teams. Choo will get at least what Pence got probably more.

Yes but not in free agency though, which is the real only way to alter the market

Take a look at this year.

Guys leaving the 20 million dollar AAV market

Johan Santana
Tim Lincecum
Barry Zito
Roy Halladay

Guys guaranteed to join the 20 million dollar AAV market

Robinson Cano

Of the 30 highest salaries in baseball last year, 8 of them are up.

Johan Santana - 24.6 million
Tim Lincecum - 22.5 million
Barry Zito - 20 million
Roy Halladay - 20 million
Michael Young - 18.3 million
Derek Jeter - 16.7 million
AJ Burnett - 16.5 million
Bronson Arroyo - 16.5 million

All these guys will make less next year.  The raises are coming from extensions and not free agency.  In order for the market to change in free agency you need to have 10 or 15 guys to blow it out of the water.  The Giants had so much money coming off the books that they were ok to overpay for shorter term deals.

The lesson still remains though.  Not many of these contracts really worked out that well for the teams that signed them.  It's not going to change.  You sign these guys at 30 they don't usually last.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 1:04 PM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


I think you have such an idealized expectation of how "good teams are run", that you forget what reality is. No one expected the Tigers to pay Prince what they did. No one expected the Angels to be in on Hamilton. I sure as hell didn't expect these deals the Giants have made. When the unexpected keeps happening it's time to start expecting it. 

The best part of this disagreement is that we are months away from seeing what guys get on the open market. You listed some guys and what you expect they'll get. Here's a different take

Cano 9 years 250 million
Choo 5 years 97.5 million
Ellsbury 6 years 110 million
Beltran 2 years 32 million
McCann 5 years 82.5 million
Granderson 3 years 48 million
Jimenez 4 years 60 million
Garza 5 years 85 million
Napoli 3 years 45 million
Cruz 3 years 47.5 million
E. Santana 5 years 90 million


We can now easily look back and see who's estimates were closer!
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Posted: 10/24/2013 1:07 PM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


katoy2j wrote: 
fishmong wrote: Robinson Cano - 8 years, 200 million (Yankees)
Jacoby Ellsbury - 7 years, 110 million (Red Sox or Cubs)
Matt Garza - 5 years, 85 million (Baltimore)
Shin-Soo Choo - 5 years, 75 million (Seattle)
Brian McCann - 4 years, 60 million (Boston or Toronto)
Ervin Santana - 4 years, 50 million (Kansas City)
Ubaldo Jiminez - 4 years, 50 million (Cubs)
Ricky Nolasco - 4 years, 44 million (Dodgers)
Mike Napoli - 3 years, 40 million (Boston)
Stephen Drew - 4 years, 40 million (Cardinals)
Jarrod Saltalamachia - 4 years, 38 million (Phillies)
Carlos Beltran - 2 years, 28 million (Texas)

From another thread these are the predictions Katoy has made on contracts.... If he doesn't care to change any let's see if he's right.

I would change a few now for sure.  I think Ellsbury will get significantly more.  7 years and 130.  I have a hard time seeing Choo as a 100 million dollar player so I would move him to 5 years and 90 million.  I think the Mariners will really do something foolish with one of those players that's the main reason I'm bumping them up.  Drew I think might be able to get 3 and 36 now.  The rest I'm pretty happy with.  The more I think about it, the more I actually think 200 million might be enough to get Cano.  It's not just the money it's the term.  When you look at the options that are available both Phillips and Kendrick are likely available in trade.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 1:27 PM

RE: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


Curious who you think would be willing to give up a draft pick and sign Ervin Santana for that much money?

I personally think his market will get crushed based on the draft pick compensation. On that one we have a 40 million dollar difference on the same term.

The rest are fairly similar.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 1:44 PM

RE: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


I'm not saying that it will happen, but don't be shocked to see the Phillies go nuts on Ellsbury.  I can see them giving him a 7 year / $175M deal.  Rueben Amaro is stupid and spends money.  He overpays to ensure acquisition.  The Phillies are not like other teams.  The Philadelphia fan base has a VERY big insecurity complex.  They demand championships and nothing less.  That stadium WILL NOT fill up unless the fans think their team has a shot at the World Series.  Bank on it.  The Phillies can and probably will spend and spend unwisely.

I can easily see them going after Garza, Elsbury, and McCann and overpaying each and everyone of them.

#fringeprospect
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Posted: 10/24/2013 2:10 PM

RE: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 



katoy2j wrote: Curious who you think would be willing to give up a draft pick and sign Ervin Santana for that much money?

I personally think his market will get crushed based on the draft pick compensation. On that one we have a 40 million dollar difference on the same term.

The rest are fairly similar.
Correct me if I'm wrong, aren't you putting the top of your range out there in your estimates? I'll be shocked if guys get less than what I put out there. I expect salaries to be higher than even my guesses.

Ervin Santana will have a market. The Mets, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies, Cubs, and White Sox could all sign Santana without surrendering a 1st round pick. The Braves pick at the back of the 1st Round and might add Santana. Rangers could too.
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Last edited 10/24/2013 2:14 PM by fishmong

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Posted: 10/24/2013 2:21 PM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


I don't see the Phillies doing much in free agency.  I don't think Amaro has that much confidence from ownership and I don't think they will let him do a 100 million dollar contract to burden the next GM.

I think they will sign a few players mostly to one year deals with low salaries.  Could see them in on guys like Kevin Youklis and maybe resign Halladay.

I think they will go after a catcher. I have a feeling they land Saltalamachia.

I don't see them signing Ellsbury with Revere on the roster.  They gave up a lot for him and playing both won't help the offense.

Dom Brown is a pretty solid player but the problem is he has to be a first baseman and he can't play there with Howard signed on the roster.

The roster has way too many problems as they are probably the worst defensive team in baseball.

To put in perspective how bad things are in Philly, they are the worst defensive team in the NL, scored the lowest amount of runs in the NL outside the Cubs and Marlins and allowed the most runs in the NL with the exception of Colorado.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 2:38 PM

RE: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 



fishmong wrote:
katoy2j wrote: Curious who you think would be willing to give up a draft pick and sign Ervin Santana for that much money?

I personally think his market will get crushed based on the draft pick compensation. On that one we have a 40 million dollar difference on the same term.

The rest are fairly similar.
Correct me if I'm wrong, aren't you putting the top of your range out there in your estimates? I'll be shocked if guys get less than what I put out there. I expect salaries to be higher than even my guesses.

Ervin Santana will have a market. The Mets, Mariners, Phillies, Rockies, Cubs, and White Sox could all sign Santana without surrendering a 1st round pick. The Braves pick at the back of the 1st Round and might add Santana. Rangers could too.

No I put the contract I think they will end up signing.  I wouldn't be shocked if guys traded years for dollars.  For example if Jiminez signed for 3 years and 45 million I wouldn't consider that a massive difference.  Or if he signed for 4 years and 55 million instead of 4 years and 50 million I certainly wouldn't think that was any kind of radical change in the market.

There will be guys that get overpaid and guys that get underpaid.  If the last few years are any indication the guy willing to sign first will probably get more than he should.

I think this free agent market can really drag out for pitchers because I think teams will look to the trade market first.  David Price will be the game changer and I think most teams will look into him that want to add pitching.  Other pitchers I think will get traded will be Brett Anderson and Rick Porcello.  I think teams in need of pitching will go after the last two especially since the cost acquisition through trade would be relatively low.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 3:11 PM

RE: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


So what's your upper limit... What's the years/dollars on the main guys that you think are the absolute top of the range? My numbers are where I think things start.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 3:20 PM

RE: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 


Upper limit?

Ok I'll put it as such

Robinson Cano - 10 years, 275 million
Jacoby Ellsbury - 7 years, 130 million
Matt Garza - 6 years, 105 million
Shin-Soo Choo - 6 years, 110 million
Brian McCann - 5 years, 75 million
Ervin Santana - 5 years, 65 million
Ubaldo Jiminez - 5 years, 70 million
Ricky Nolasco - 4 years, 50 million
Mike Napoli - 3 years, 50 million
Stephen Drew - 4 years, 55 million
Jarrod Saltalamachia - 4 years, 44 million
Carlos Beltran - 2 years, 32 million

Those would be my top numbers. I don't think those contracts would get exceeded. I could see higher AAV for some if they sacrificed years.
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Posted: 10/24/2013 4:28 PM

Re: MLB Payrolls/Salaries 



fishmong wrote:
Now of course there will be teams that shed salary. The question is by how much and for how long. There are 14 teams with 100 million plus payrolls currently. The Yankees have about 95-100 million guaranteed for next year and could keep there payroll low with cheap replacements for Granderson, Kuroda, Hughes, Rivera, Youkilis, Petite, and potentially Jeter. The Yanks not only get around 30 million for Soriano and Wells, but also don't have to pay any money on AJ Burnett's salary. They'll have money to spend and still stay under the 189 mark, especially if A-Rod's suspension is held up. Some of their longer term deals are approaching the end

A-Rod 4 years 86 million
Sabathia 3 years 76 million
Teixara 3 years 67.5 Million

Those are the only deals with more than 2 years left. The Yankees could raise the payroll they shed for 2014 as soon as 2015. The Yankees can be major players this offseason and still keep payroll under 189 million.


All true however you also have to remember that they also have a tremendous amount of holes to fill.  It's great that they're losing all that salary but in losing said salary they also lost their closer and 3/5 of their starting rotation.

Their payroll sits at 89 million right now and that represents the following players.

Arod, Teixiera, Sabathia, Wells, Soriano, Ichiro and the buyout for Jeter.

Lets start with the easy part.  Unless Jeter decides he wants to retire his option will get picked up.  So add another 5 million so they owe the above players 94 million now.

That means to get under 189 they have to sign 18 players for under 95 million.

Ok lets start with arbitration.  Brett Gardner and David Robertson are locks to be tendered in their last year through arbitration.  That's 5 million each.  So they now need 16 players for 85 million.

Ivan Nova, Michael Pineda, Chris Stewart and Francisco Cervelli are all very good bets to be tendered.  Hard to tell individual salaries for all of them but lets say the four of them will combine to make 8 million.  4 for Nova, 1 for Pineda and 1.5 each for Cervelli and Stewart.  Maybe they cut Stewart and sign a free agent catcher but that would be tough to do and get under 189.  So now we sit at 12 players required for 78 million.

Minimum salary players will probably be Eduardo Nunez and David Phelps.  Combine that for 1 million or so.  10 players needed and 77 million to get it.

So lets see where the roster sits now.  You have an outfield of Wells. Soriano, Gardner and Ichiro.  It isn't very good and it's very old.  Lets just say they stick with it though.

The catchers are set with weak options.  You would need to spend some money to improve there.

The infield is set minus second base.  Jeter, Teixiera and Arod with Nunez as the main utility.

Starting pitching is a mess.  You have Sabathia and Nova and that's it.  Can you count on anything from Pinieda?  I don't know.  The bullpen has Phelps and Robertson in it.

So you have 10 players and 77 million.

At the minimum Robinson Cano will get 25 million AAV.  For multi year deals they go by guaranteed AAV so even if you constructed a deal where you only pay Cano 12 million in the first year it will still count at 25.  25 is the bare minimum that Cano will sign for in my eyes.  It could be higher especially if the years are reduced.

So that is 9 players for 52 million.

Hiroko Kuroda has been the teams best pitcher.  He will be the teams top target.  For arguments sake lets just repeat his salary from last year.  1 year and 15 million. The team now needs 8 players for 37 million.

Even if you put 4 minimum salary players from your farm system as your reserve outfielder, infielder and 2 bullpen guys that puts you at 4 players needed for 35 million.

On a normal team like the Pirates that would be fantastic.  This is the Yankees though they need to get guys to try and win.  You need 2 starting pitchers, a strong reliever and an outfielder.

They will offer Granderson the qualifying offer.  That will be at 14 million.  There is no guarantee he will turn that down.  He's coming off the worst season in his career.  He will also have the draft pick attached to him.  If he picks it up suddenly the Yankees need 3 pitchers in which 2 of them should be starting pitchers and will have 21 million to spend on them.  Lets say they spend 5 million on a bullpen arm.  Someone like Brian Wilson.  That lets them buy 2, 8 million dollar starting pitchers.  So that will get you the Chris Capuano types of pitchers.  Even if Granderson declines I think they will allocate that money to someone like Carlos Beltran.

They certainly can get under 189 but it will come at a cost because the team will take some steps back.  Other than their own guys like Cano I don't see them being big on the other free agents.  Maybe Tanaka but it's a bidding system and other teams will bid too.


Now the problem becomes in future years as well.  In 2015 you have the same problems plus Cano.  You'll have four guys in Arod, Cano, Sabathia and Teixiera making up 93 million.  Gardner and Robertson are key pieces and will be free agents.  To keep them you will have to pay some serious cash.  All those arbitration guys will be making even more.  You have so many holes.  Look at the list of possible free agents for next year.  You'll need a replacement for Derek Jeter.  At the moment there are a couple of good options that will be available.  Asdrubal Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, JJ Hardy, Jed Lowrie and maybe Jimmy Rolins.  As with anything else though a lot will sign extensions.

Teams like the Yankees are not going to blow the doors off on free agents because they need the market to replace players.  Maybe in this year they go back up to 220 million but it's still going to be tough to fill out the roster.  You still need so much pitching.  Here are the guys available next year.

Brett Anderson (27) - $12MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Homer Bailey (29)
Josh Beckett (35)
Chad Billingsley (30) - $14MM club option with a $3MM buyout
Joe Blanton (34) - $8MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Wei-Yin Chen (29) - $4.75MM club option with a $372K buyout
Kevin Correia (34)
Johnny Cueto (29) - $10MM club option with an $800K buyout
Ryan Dempster (38)
Yovani Gallardo (29) - $13MM club option with a $600K buyout
J.A. Happ (32) - $6.7MM club option
Luke Hochevar (31)
Hisashi Iwakuma (34) - $7MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Kyle Kendrick (30)
Clayton Kershaw (27)
Justin Masterson (30)
Brandon McCarthy (31)
Brandon Morrow (30) - $10MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Charlie Morton (31)
Jeff Niemann (32)
Ross Ohlendorf (32)
Felipe Paulino (31)
Jake Peavy (34)
Clayton Richard (31)
Max Scherzer (30)
Carlos Villanueva (31)
Jon Lester (31)
Wandy Rodriguez (36)
James Shields (33)
Ryan Vogelsong (37)

Lets assume that Morrow, Cueto, Iwakuma, Gallardo and Anderson will have their options picked up.  Assuming Billingsley comes back healthy lets assume his gets picked up as well.

Chances are Kershaw and Lester will sign extensions with their current clubs.

Scherzer stands a good chance to be a free agent but if you plan for him to be on the market your plans could easily be foiled if he signs an extension.  So James Shields and Justin Masterson becomes the best pitchers on the market at age 33 and 30.  It will cost you 18 million each.  It's not like the Yankees will be the only one that want these guys though other teams will too.
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