Washington Nationals Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner): & Jeff Kleiner (Org Depth + Payroll Expert – find his website here)

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The Washington Nationals have had an escalating salary structure for the last few years.  The truth is that their talent needs to be paid as time goes on.

In 2014, the Budget is looking to be around $130 MIL so far, after just being over $110 MIL.

The situation is more expensive next year, with 10 players under the Arbitration Eligible – highlighted by Stephen Strasburg for his 2nd year of it.

Among the others are:  Craig Stammen, Danny Espinosa, Tyler Clippard, Doug Fister, Drew Storen, Ross Detwiler, Wilson Ramos, Jerry Blevins, Jose Lobaton and Ryan Mattheus.

The Nationals will also have to make a decision on the Mutual Option for the $15 MIL salary that 1B Adam LaRoche could make in 2015.

The great news is that they will only lose 2 guys to Free Agency, and they are not vital to the success of the franchise.

Luis Ayala and Scott Hairston are off the books in 2015.

Denard Span also has a Team Option in 2015 for $9 MIL next year, but he will be hard pressed to be knocked out of the starting lineup by that timeframe.

Should span not have a good season in 2014, the club has 4th OF Nate McLouth for a $5 MIL in both this year and next to pick up the slack in CF,  and a $6.5 MIL Team Option in 2016, or a 750K Buyout.

The other interesting contract nugget is Rafael Soriano having a $14 MIL Vesting Option for 2015, based on if he can finish 120 games between 2013 and 2014.

Last year, the Closer had 58 Games Finished, and this campaign needs 62 to guarantee his salary.

This will be an interesting event if he doesn’t reach the mark, as the club still has Drew Storen under Team Control until the end of 2016.

Jayson Werth still makes $20.6 MIL for this season, and is in the 4th year out a 7 YR/$126 MIL contract.  This deal ends after the 2017 year.

2nd on the team is Ryan Zimmerman (who will make $14 MIL for each year between the 2014 and 2018 seasons.  His 2019 cash is for $18 MIL.

In 2020, there is a Team Option for $20 MIL or a $2 MIL Buyout.

There has been some though that Zimmerman may make the move across the diamond to man 1B past this year, play Anthony Rendon back at 3B – and have Danny Espinosa back at 2B.

This is all depending on Espinosa rebounding his career this year.

Gio Gonzalez will make $8.6 MIL this year, $11.1 MIL in 2015, $12.1 MIL in 2016, there is a Team Option in 2017 for $12 MIL, before the option reverts to the player at $12 MIL in 2018.

Gonzalez signed the deal early on into his Nats career, and it was a wise move.

The 3rd ace of the Starting Rotation, Jordan Zimmermann, makes $7.5 MIL this campaign, and makes $16.5 MIL before he hits Free Agency.

The case to extend Zimmermann may come at the peril of extending either Strasburg or Harper.  For a great write-up, please checkout an article that we posted recently.

Doug Fister makes $7.2 MIL this season. and has one more year left of Arbitration before he is Eligible for Free Agency in 2016.

SS Ian Desmond is slated for a salary of $6.5 MIL in 2014, before seeing a bump to $11 MIL next, he also will hit the open market in 2016.

Tyler Clippard led the NL in Holds least season. will probably do the same, earns $5.9 MIL this year, has one more year left of Arbitration – before being free and clear to sign anywhere in 2016.

Bryce Harper makes $4.4 MIL over the next 2 years – and then he will be Eligible for Arbitration.  He will be keeing a keen eye on Mike Trout for a potential extension.

Perhaps a more favorable comparison may be Freddie Freeman‘s recent extension.  The good news is that Harper is under Team Control til after the 2018 year.

Drew Storen earns $3.4 MIL this year, has 2 more years left of Arbitration before hitting Free Agency in 2017.

Wilson Ramos is set for a salary of $2.1 MIL in 2014, and has 2 years left of Arbitration before being free on the open market in 2017.

Anthony Rendon makes $1.8 MIL this upcoming season, and will be back to Pre-Arb for 2015 and 2016, then Arbitration Eligible through the 2017 – 2019 years and a Free Agent in 2020.

Craig Stammen earns $1.4 MIL this year, and has two more years of Arbitration before Free Agency in 2017.

As stated before Luis Ayala ($1.0 MIL salary this year) and Scott Hairston (at $2.5 MIL in 2014) both hit Free Agency once the World Series ends this fall.

Danny Espinosa can file for Arbitration for the years of 2015 – 2017, but will want to have a solid campaign in 2014 to line his pockets a little deeper than the $500K+ deal he has this year for salary.

Newly acquired Catcher Jose Lobaton will make $900K this season as a (Super 2) and will be eligible for 3 straight years of Arbitration commencing this fall, before Free Agency ensues in 2018.

Relief Pitcher Jerry Blevins was recently traded to the Nats, and earns $1.68 for his 2nd Year of Arbitration this campaign, has one more year of Arbitration left, before going to the open market in 2016.

The only other player to make over the entry-level range is Ross Ohlendorf, who nets himself $1.25 MIL in 2014, and has one more year left on the Arbitration clock in 2015, before becoming a Free Agent in 2016.

Matt Purke, a 2011 14th overall pick from the Nats, will earn just over $1 MIL on the books when you factor in a 350K Base Salary in the Minors, coupled with a 687K signing bonus levied.

All other players are on entry-level deals.

Washington is not spending as much as Philadelphia yet at over $170 MIL, but maybe they will catch them in the next few years for the division.

In relevance to others in the NL East, the Marlins are a joke at $36.1 MIL, the Mets are sitting at near $90 MIL (although they are doling out over $15 MIL on players no longer playing for the team like: Johan Santana, Jason Bay, Bobby Bonilla, Carlos Beltran, Aaron Harang and Bret Saberhagen.)

Atlanta is more the middle of the road at $110 MIL and quickly pole vaulting higher with their extensions. The Dodgers ($235 MIL) and Giants ($144 MIL) are also still ahead of the Nationals in the Senior Circuit

Washington needs to see a nice influx in attendance each year to support the rising costs of player salaries otherwise it will force them to make some tough player decisions.

It should be noted the Nationals are the 2nd favorite odd in the NL to the LA Dodgers, but they actually play in an easier Division, and have seen their closest competition (Atlanta) loses key pieces to their Starting Pitching Staff.

Thoughts Going Forward:

There is a solid future for the Nationals to win in the next 3 – 4 years.  The Payroll will continue to go up expediently every season. 

The fans must help support the organization by filling Nationals Park.  There is not a huge need to address anything on Free Agency from 2014 – 2016. 

The club is set up to keep renewing their Arbitration Eligible players.  Mike Rizzo just will have his hands full to delegate the cash.

For all of the Rosters, Depth Charts, State of the Unions and Salaries Posts that we do, please visit our dedicated page link here.

For a Full 3 year Salary Outlook plus last years Stats for every player in the Nationals Organization year round click here.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***

Other Authors for this post:

Jeff Kleiner:  “I have been a sports fan since the first Baseball game I went to at Comisky Park in Chicago in 1959, when baseball for me turned from black and white to color.

I have attended or watched thousands of games, always paying attention to statistics, rosters and salaries of all professional sports.

Luckily I had the advantage of watching WGN TV and seeing hundreds of games in the 60’s. Collecting Baseball Cards and then later dealing them gave me an extra sense of the sport, both good and bad.”

For all of your Salaries, Roster and Depth Charts for all 4 Major Sports (entire organization – Minors and Majors) click here or Follow Me on twitter 

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About chuckbooth3023

I played competitive baseball until 18 years old and had offers to play NCAA Division 1 University Baseball at Liberty University. Post-concussion symptoms from previous football and baseball head injuries forced me to retire by age 19. After two nearly made World Record Attempts in 2008, I set a New World Record by visiting all 30 MLB Parks (from 1st to last pitch) in only 24 Calendar Days in the summer 0f 2009. In April of 2012, I established yet another new GWR by visiting all 30 Parks in only 23 Calendar Days! You can see the full schedule at the page of the www.mlbreports.com/gwr-tracker . In 2015, I watched 224 MLB Games, spanning all 30 MLB Parks in 183 Days. Read about that World Record Journey at https://mlbreports.com/183in2015/229sked2015/

Posted on March 18, 2014, in MLB Payroll and Contracts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Washington Nationals Payroll In 2014 + Contracts Going Forward.

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