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Washington Nationals Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

People can throw stones on Mike Rizo all they want- but the GM has never lost a trade ever, and he ensured the club reeeived

People can throw stones on Mike Rizzo all they want- but the GM has never lost a trade ever, and he ensured the club received a Starting CF in Adam Eaton to the tune of only $38.4 MIL over the nxxt 5 years – even if it cost a boatload of prospects.  This is part to compensate balloon payments on the horizon that are due to both Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.  The club is projected to spend around $154 MIL on salary in 2015, but that is without a proven closer.  The real question is how far the club will go in money to win in the next 2 seasons before Bryce Harper is a Free Agent?

With the rest of the MLB landscape just obliterating Mike Rizzo for the Adam Eaton trade i will defend him on the caveat that he spends the full amount of available funds saved – in order to take a run at the World Series for the next 2 years while Bryce Harper is still on the club.

At this point. it is a long shot that the DC franchise will be able to retain the 2015 NL MVP’s services as the Nationals already have Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg to historical contracts (both top 20).

Washington sees Jayson Werth finally come off the books after this next year.  While he will have earned $126 MIL from 2011 – 2017 in his total contract, the club can’t point to this as the worst deal on the club currently.

Ryan Zimmerman is still owed at least $47 MIL over the next 3 years – and has seen his production slip for the last few years.

The Max Scherzer contract does pay him $210 MIL over 7 years (in which he is now in year 3)  – however this is deferred over 14 years, so the club can conduct more flexibility in their contracts for the next few years.

Bryce Harper has finally come of age as a budding superstar in the league with 42 HRs in the 2015 season - which tied him for the NL Lead. He may be capable of launching up a 50 HR season in his career - however I will believe that he will be pitched around a lot more in 2016 than he was last year.

Bryce Harper had finally come of age as a budding superstar in the league with 42 HRs in the 2015 season – which tied him for the NL Lead during his NL MVP season which he had an OPS of 1.109.  Harper started 2016 in the 1st month like his 2015 season before he was walked for an entire weekend series against the Chicago Cubs.  Other teams followed suit and Harper lost his confidence with not receiving many pitches in a game to hit.  Toting a 3 Slash of .243/.374/.441 in 2016 was a disappointment after his previous year. Harper has 2 years left of Team Control before hitting Free Agency.  He will earn $13.8 MIL in 2017 before heading into his final year of Arbitration in 2018.

If you are in Washington. the team has already been competitive for the last 5 years, making the playoffs in 2012, 2014 and 2016 by winning the NL East.

Heading into 2017, the Nats have a projected payroll of $150 MIL.  The unfortunate part is that the club does’t have a #1 Closer, even though they had been in the bidding for Mark Melancon. Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman.

I would not be surprised if the brass inks a guy like Greg Holland still this winter.  If they don’t address this flaw now, they still have 4 months of the regular season to address the problem.

To balance some of the higher contracts on the team. the Nats at least have budding superstar Trea Turner barely on the service clock,and then Adam Eaton is only owed $38.4 MIL over the next 5 years – which is about half of what he could have generated as a Free Agent right now.

In going forward Washington for 2018, the Nats only have Oliver Perez, Tim Collins, Chris Heisey, Jose Lobaton and Jayson Werth coming off the books. 

Gio Gonzalez also has a 2018 Vesting Option for 2018 if he lugs 180 Innings in 2017.

This gives them great movement to add players of significance with $120 MIL only being committed thus far for next years squad.

Bryce Harper will likely earn $18 – 21 Million in salary for the last year of his Team Control in 2018 next year – which will depend mostly on his production this season.

Guaranteed Contracts/POS/AGE:

Max Scherzer – SP (33):  The reigning CY Young Winner is still owed $170.7 MIL, and will ear $22.1 MIL in 2017 and 2018, before seeing that number bump up $42.1 MIL annually 2019 – 2021, with a portion of the salary deferred until 2028.

Scherzer has been full money value for his 1st season of his 7 YRs/$210 MIL deal, with the 2016 Cy Young, top 5 finish in 2015 for the same award and 2 straight ALL – Star Appearances. 

He is right up there with Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner as the top Starters in the league.

Stephen Strasburg– SP (20):  Inked to the start of his 7 YRs/$175 MIL deal, Strasburg will earn $18.3 MIL for both 2017 and 2018, and will see a balloon payment of $38.3 MIL in 2019.

Prior to 2019, Strasburg may opt out of his contract and hit Free Agency after earning $75 MIL in the 1st 3 seasons of it.  The same provision is up before 2020 – where his ’20 contract will pay him $25 MIL.  ($100 MIL in 4 years will be his contract earnings up to then.)

The contract is then structured for $15 MIL in 2021 and 2022, before another balloon $45 MIL allotment in 2023 to round out the earnings.

Ryan Zimmerman – 1B (32):  The 11 year veteran earns $13 MIL in 2017, $14 MIL in 2018 and $18 MIL in 2019.  There is a Team Option for 2020 that calls for another $16 MIL or a $2 MIL Buyout.

Essentially, Zimmerman earns at least $47 MIL over the next 3 years.  This contract is beginning to hurt the club.

Jayson Werth – OF (38):  Earns $21 MIL in 2017 and a Free Agent in 2018.

Bryce Harper – OF (24):  Harper earns $13.8 MIL in 2017 and has one more year of Arbitration left in 2018 – before hitting the open market in his Age 26 season for 2019.

Gio Gonzalez – SP (31): Gonzalez earns $12 MIL this season and will have his Vesting Option exercised with 180 Innings thrown in 2017 for the following year.  My hunch is that there is no way the Nats allow him to get to this number.

Gonzalez is also a prime trade suspect with the team having Tanner Roark and Joe Ross already at the back end of the rotation.  Although $12 MIL is not horrific for a  Starter these days.

Daniel Murphy – 2B (32):  The runnerup to the NL MVP Award in 2016 makes $12 MIL in 2017 and $17.5 MIL for 2018.  What a steal of a contract for his production.

Anthony Rendon – 3B (27):  The NL Comeback Player of the year in 2016 earns $5.8 MIL in 2017 and has 2 more years left of Arbitration in 2018 – 2019 before hitting Free Agency in 2020.

Shawn Kelley – RP (33):  Potentially starting the year as the Closer, Kelley will make $5.5 MIL in both 2017 and 2018 before becoming a Free Agent in 2019.

Tanner Roark – SP (30):  With 2 out of the last 3 years as a nice Starting Pitcher option, Roark is a bargain at $4.3 MIL this season.  He is Arbitration Eligible for 2018 and 2019, and is on the open market for 2020.

Derek Norris – C (30):  Nats new and old Catcher makes $4.2 MIL in 2017 and has one more year left of Arbitration before hitting the open market in 2019.

Adam Eaton – OF (28): Earns a potential $384 MIL over the next 5 years with $4 MIL of it coming to him in 2017.  Eaton will earn $6 MIL in 2018,  $8.0 MIL in 2019 and $8.4 MIL in 2020,

The Club then holds two Team Options in 2021 and 2022 for $9.5 and $10,5 MIL respectively – with each carrying Buyouts of $1.5 MIL.

Oliver Perez – RP (34):  The Lefty Specialist will earn $4 MIL in 2017 before becoming a Free Agent.

Jose Lobaton – C (32):  Makes $1.6 MIL in 2017 in the last year of Team Control.

Chris Heisey – OF (32):  Inked a one year deal for 2017 in the amount of $1.4 MIL

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $144.4 MIL (15 Players)

Arbitration Eligible/POS/AGE

3rd  year

Tim Collins – RP (27):  Is projected to earn $1.4 MIL in last year of Arbitration.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $1.4MIL Toral Money Overall $145.8 MIL 16 Players)

Pre-Arbitration – Entry Level Contracts:

Clint Robinson – 1B/OF (32);  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2020 before becoming a Free Agent in 2021.

Michael Taylor –  OF (26) Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2020 before becoming a Free Agent in 2021.

Blake Treinen – RP (29): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2020 before becoming a Free Agent in 2021.

Joe Ross – SP (24):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 before becoming a Free Agent in 2022.

Sammy Solis (28):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 before becoming a Free Agent in 2022.

Trea Turner (24): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020 – 2022 before becoming a Free Agent in 2023.

Pedro Severino – RP (23): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020 – 2022 before becoming a Free Agent in 2023.

Matt Grace – RP (28):Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020 – 2022 before becoming a Free Agent in 2023.

Wilmer Difo – INF (25): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020 – 2022 before becoming a Free Agent in 2023.

A.J. Cole – SP (23): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020 – 2022 before becoming a Free Agent in 2023.

Koda Glover – RP (23): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2020 – 2022 before becoming a Free Agent in 2023.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $4.5 MIL Toral Money Oveall – $150.3 MIL

Buyouts/Dead Money

Jonathan Papelbon – RP (36): The former Closer will get paid $3 MIL in 2017 to not be on the team.  The Nats are free of him beyond this.

Yusmeiro Petit – RP (32):  500K Buyout in 2017 and then Washington is free of him.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $3.5 MIL Toral Money Oveall – $153.8 MIL.

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

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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 January 17, 2017, in MLB Payroll and Contracts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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