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Category Archives: MLB Payroll and Contracts

Should The Red Sox Extend Chris Sale For 3 Or More Years Right Now?

We will be delving a lot more into all team payrolls on the MLB Reports as part of our regular features from now on. One of the things that I have been thinking about a lot is the Red Sox Payroll. I wonder if they shouldn't just extend Chris Sale for an additional 3 years. Yes it is risky with a guy who throws with a whipping motion, but you have a lot to consider on this. First you could offer him a 3 Year deal extension worth about $90 MIL total. It would be an awesome move to align Sale on the same years of service with David Price. IMAGE by Sports Mockery

We will be delving a lot more into all team payrolls on the MLB Reports as part of our regular features from now on. One of the things that I have been thinking about a lot is the Red Sox Payroll. I wonder if they shouldn’t just extend Chris Sale for an additional 3 years. Yes it is risky with a guy who throws with a whipping motion, but you have a lot to consider on this. First you could offer him a 3 Year deal extension worth about $90 MIL total. It would be an awesome move to align Sale on the same years of service with David Price. IMAGE by Sports Mockery

Chris Sale will enter the year at age 28, and while his current deal will take him to age 31 before he hits Free Agency prior to the 2020 season, maybe the Red Sox could capitalize on him maybe seeking some security.

I am suggesting the starting point of a AAV of $30 MIL.  Maybe the club adds a Mutual Option for the 4th and 5th year of the extension with a Buyout, but this is a smart concept from the Red Sox perspective.

Never in their long standing organization have they had such rich young superstars just entering the league at the same time.

Mookie Betts/Jackie Bradley Jr – and Xander Bogaerts are both under Team Control until 2021 and 202o respectively- with Betts/Bogaerts as perennial MVP contenders.

Even better than that are Andrew Benintendi (2023) and Blake Swihart (2022) rounding out a nice nucleus of talent held for cheap on the longterm. Read the rest of this entry

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With No Top 50 ALL – Time Contracts Signed This Winter – Who Is Next To Make The List?

Signing Cespedes would not take care of all of New York's postional roster troubles, and injuries may ultimately ravage them again for the next campaign. Many of the Mets Starters are coming off health concerns in 2016. I am not sold they should be placed at such a valuable odd until they sign some players.

Signing Cespedes  has signed the biggest contract of the offseason thus far at 4 YRs/$110 MIL.  it is ranked tied for 60th ALL – Time even though the Annual Average Value is tied for 2nd ALL – Time among position players.  With power having been devalued and a firm new set of penalties for Luxury Tax Threshold Abusers, it may take until the winter of 2018 – heading into 2019 – for another player to ink a contract that places them in the top 50 ALL – Time Salaries.

The winter has seen a lot of great Free Agents sign like Yoenis Cespedes, Aroldis Chapman, Dexter Fowler, Kenley Jansen, Ian Desmond, Mark Melancon and Edwin Encarnacion, however none of them were historic by any means.

While Cespedes’s $110 MIL pact over 4 years is $27.5 MIL per year, which ties him for the  2nd best AAV ALL – Time for a position player with Alex Rodriguez, (trailing Miguel Cabrera‘s 8 YR/$248 MIL extension that started in 2016) – only brings him in for a tie for about 60th on the ALL – Time Biggest Contracts list.

To crack the top 50 list ALL – Time right now, you need to bring in a deal that makes at least $120 MIL for the life of the contract.

During last years offeseason, David Price ($217 MIL), Zack Greinke, ($206.5 MIL) Jason Heyward, ($184 MIL), Chris Davis, ($161 MIL), Justin Upton ($132.8 MIL) and Johnny Cueto ($130 MIL) all inked pacts in excess of that.

Early in the season, Stephen Strasburg shocked the world with his new 7 YRs/$175 MIL deal soon afterwards. Read the rest of this entry

Chicago Cubs Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

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Look, there is no way to sugar coat it, the Jason Heyward contract is about the biggest dumpster fire of a contract there may ever be.  Having said that, everyone receives one mulligan. 

Even 3 time World Series winning GM Brian Sabean has had a horrible Matt Cain contract to contend with the last half decade.

Theo Epstein hasn’t made too many blunders – and winning a World Series with both the Red Sox and now the Cubs has solidified a position for him in Cooperstown.

Also lucky is the brilliant signing of Anthony Rizzo of a 7 YR deal prior to 2013, and when he asserted himself as a perennial MVP contender.

Despite carrying a projected payroll in 2017 of around $171 MIL – the team has plenty of expiring contracts in the name of Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis, Jon Lackey, Jon Jay, Pedro Strop, Miguel Montero and Koji Uehara. to replenisg te talent again in 2018 – and going forward

There are only 4 players signed for $79.2 MIL so far.

This is a perfect contrast to the Heyward pact.  Should Rizzo's Team Options be picked up for 2020 and 2021 (for $16.5 MIL each year), then the club will still only have paid him $74 MIL from 2013 - 2021, spanning 9 years at an Annual Value of $8.2 MIL.  That is completely lights out for the organization going forward.

The Rizzo longterm deal a perfect contrast to the Heyward pact. Should Rizzo’s Team Options be picked up for 2020 and 2021 (for $16.5 MIL each year), then the club will still only have paid him $74 MIL from 2013 – 2021, spanning 9 years at an Annual Value of $8.2 MIL. That is completely lights out for the organization going forward.

The one factor of brilliantly drafting and then rostering a club full of guys the same age is that they are all on entry level contracts for a few years before the squad becomes increasingly expensive before Arbitration rights kick in.

2018 will see Kris Bryant, Kyle Hendricks and Addison Russell all hit 1st year Eligible on Arbitration, and then 2019 has Javier Baez, Kyle Schwarber, Willson Contreras and Carl Edwards JR. hit the 1st year. 

it will be at this point the team shoots up the salary page.

Other than Jon Lester, Heyward and Ben Zobrist,  there are no real big salaries on the table for the team to digest.

The biggest dilemma will be the status of Jake Arrieta.  My guess is that he will want too much money and walk away from the Cubs.

More important than that even is simply signing Free Agents (not named Arrieta) by Epstein.

Epstein is creative.  It is okay to figure out a Starting Pitcher in Free Agency, and also add another Closer if need be.  Who knows, by 2018, Hector Rondon and Carl Edwards JR. may be able to lock down that role.

There is still money to spend in the 2017 and 2018 winter markets for sure.

Also playing in the NL Central provides them with security of being able to outspend all the other teams – with the Cardinals only being in the atmosphere.

It is not like they are fighting in the tough NL West with the Giants and high spending Dodgers.  It will still mean facing off against those clubs. and contending with the aging Nationals roster, and New York Mets young staff for a few seasons.

Wrigley Field will be sold out, the revenue streams will break out to record levels, all freely flowing cash into the Ricketts family pockets.

The good news is they are not in cap hell yet  The bad news is that it would only take one more bad deal/paired with Heyward, in order to prevent the club from signing all of their young superstars to extensions.

Epstein is too smart for that.  Look for high value Annual Average Value’s that have expiring contracts before the 2018 and 2019 seasons.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they trade for an existing ace pitcher.

Think Zack Greinke now, or a guy like Justin Verlander in 2018 or 2019, where the other club may eat some of the salary, ask for a high level prospect, and then have a legitimate Starter to lug some innings in the playoffs.

I also wouldn’t be surprised if the brass orchestrates a trade for a guy like Chris Archer – or Sonny Gray (midway through this year if he has healed himself).

Maybe it would cost you a Javier Baez, or a combinations of Carl Edwards JR./Albert Almora JR. to do it, however with Ben Zobrist still in town, defense alignment can be configured in a lot of different ways for at least the next 2 – 3 years.

Like I stated in the Giants Payroll article, the new CBA has also reeled in the Dodgers spending $300 MIL on team payroll.  The best thing that could happen for the Cubs is if Clayton Kershaw were to opt out of his deal beyond 2017.

That would either bring up the price for the Dodgers to sign him, or even give them the chance to sign the guy themselves.  Yes. the Cubs have more flexibility than the Dodgers for at least a couple of offseasons.

Guaranteed Contracts/POS/AGE:

Jason Heyward – OF (28):  With a grand sum of $184 MIL from 2016 – 2023 ( 8 years) this is a brutal deal – and the club is lucky to have already won a World Series in season 1 of this pact.

Heyward will make an astonishing $28.2 MIL for both the 2017 and 2018 seasons.  Epstein at least frontloaded the contract to erase some of the burden by the time the young talent comes up for raises.

This deal is the 13th richest in history for a guy who carried a .631 OPS. in 2016  I tend to think that Heyward will be closer to his Career OPS of .761 the next few years with the pressure somewhat off him now. 

Hit him 7th or 8th and let him work out his kinks. Defense is at least not a problem here with him winning a 4th Gold Glove.

This could end bad in 2017 – with Heyward riding pine for some of the year – if the club opts to use Zobrist, Schwarber and the tandem of Jon Jay and Almora JR. as the OF.

You also have to think that Joe Maddon won’t hesitate to find Willson Contreras reps as well.

Jon Lester – SP (33):  Lester is in the 3rd year of a 7 YR/$165 MIL deal, and is set to reel in $25 MIL in 2017. The deal calls for $27.5 MIL in both 2018 and 2019, before scaling back to $20 MIL in 2020. 

There is a 2021 Club Option as well. Details on that: $25M Team Option, $10M Buyout option guaranteed with 200 innings in 2020 or 400 IP in 2019-20. 

With the Buyout that large, the man would have to fall from grace hard, to not get the Option.  Although he would be nearly 40, $15 MIL extra will probably not be that bad.

Lester is worth every dollar the club has spent so far.  It is hard to find playoff proven commodities on the open market.

Ben Zobrist – UT (36):  Zobrist is the only player in the MLB who was won 2 straight World Series, as also being a member of the 2015 WS Champ KC Royals.

With the availability to play 5 defensive positions, Zobrist was the perfect compliment to the Cubs defensive roster in 2016 – although he played predominantly at 2B. 

With the emergence of Baez in the playoffs, he will likely rove more around in 2017.

Zobrist earns $16.5 MIL in both 2017 and 2018 – before retreating back to $12.5 MIL in 2019.  He will be in his Age 39 season at that point, and it may not look so hot at that point, but one can’t argue at his flexibility on the Roster providing so many options in the title run.

You can even say that his positional switching gives the club a better chance to hold onto Kyle Schwarber (instead of trading him in the American League).

John Lackey – SP (38):  Lackey joined Lester, David Ross. and Epstein as guys who have won World Series in 2013 with Boston and the Cubs in 2016.  He will make $16 MIL in 2017 before hitting Free Agency in 2018.

Lackey lugged 188.1 IP and gave the Cubs a 3.35 ERA in the process.  It doesn’t even matter that he was being pulled in the early innings of the postseason.

Jake Arrieta – SP (31):  Arrieta earns a tidy $15.6 MIL this year and will likely head out into Free Agency as a Scott Boras client.  Unfortunately the man is going to be 32 heading into 2018.

I would not offer him higher than a 4 year deal at $20 – $21 MIL after, yet that will not get the job done when he hits the open market.  Someone will pony up 5 YRs/$125 MIL for him, you watch.

Miguel Montero – C (34);  Montero will make $14 MIL in 2017 – and I am not sure he will Catch more than about 60 games.  Contreras at last is on an entry level contract to offset this salary.  I am surprised the team has not ventured out to trade him.

Wade Davis – CL (32):  It cost the club Jorge Soler and 4 years of Team Control, yet this was the way to go.  $10 MIL for one year of Davis (who Closed for the 2015 wS Champion Royals) is smart business practice.

To acquire an elite Reliever such as this is a great move – when you consider the Yankees, Dodgers and Giants spent $86 MIL, $80 MIL and $62 MIL to sign Aroldis Chapman, Kenley Jansen and Mark Melancon respectively.

Soler was going to be their 7th option as an OF.  Davis, by the way, has a 0.83 ERA in 32.2 IP for his postseason career – and has carried a mid 1 ERA from 2014 – 2016 as a late inning Reliever – spanning 183 IP.

I would also think the club will extend the Qualifying Offer to him this winter ( $17.5 – $19 MIL range for one year), so they may even recover a 2nd or 3rd Draft Pick back all for just $10 MIL.

Jon Jay – OF (32): Has a 2017 contract or $8 MIL to play OF.  He has a career .352 OBP, so could hit 1st or 9th for Maddon, working as an on base guy for the big boppers.  Brilliant little move.

Anthony Rizzo – 1B (28):  Rizzo will take him $7 MIL for 2017, coming after the heels of an ALL-Star, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger and top 4 MVP season in which he clubbed 30+ HRs and added 100 RBI for a 2nd straight season.

Rizzo also makes $7 MIL in 2018, $12 MIL in 2019, and two Team Options in a row call for $16.5 MIL and $2 MIL Buyouts for both 2020 and 2021.

It is contracts like this that setup championship caliber clubs for the organization.

Other valued deals that compare to it last decade or so.  Paul Goldschmidt (5 YRs/$32.5 MIL), Madison Bumgarner (6 YRS/$35.6 MIL) and Andrew McCutchen ( 6 YRs/$51 MIL)  that coincided with 4 straight top 5 NL MVP finishes.

Rizzo should challenge for an MVP every year of that remains on this deal.

Koji Uehara – RP (42):  $6 MIL for one year seems like a lot or a guy of his age, but Uehara has plenty of playoff/Closer experience that is invaluable to a club like this.  I would take it easy on him in the regular season and save the bullets for playoffs.

Hector Rondon – RP (29):  $5.8 MIL for this former Closer is not a bad deal in 2017. Rondon has one more year left of Arbitration before hitting Free Agency in 2019.  He has 77 Saves and a career ERA of 2.97.

Brian Duensing – SP/RP (33):  Makes $2 MIL in 2017 and a Free Agent in 2018. A spot start here and extra Bullpen arm,

Justin Grimm – RP (29): Avoided Arbitration with a $1.8 MIL, has 2 more years left of Arbitration before he is a Free Agent.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $157.5 MIL (13 Players)

Arbitration Eligible/POS/AGE

3rd  year

Pedro Strop – RP (33):  Is projected to to earn $5.5 MIL in Arbitration, and is a Free Agent in 2018.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $5.5 MI:  Total money is now $163 MIL

Pre-Arbitration – Entry Level Contracts:

Tommy La Stella – INF (28):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2020 and a Free Agent in 2021.

Kyle Hendricks – SP (27): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2020 and a Free Agent in 2021.

Kris Bryant – 3B Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2021 as a “Super 2” and a Free Agent in 2021.  Bryant is only 25 Years old, and will have 4 years of Arbitration kick in starting next season.

Since the club opted to start his 2015 after the 10 days of service time, they wll retian his rights until the end of 2021.  Bryant is on pace to end up recording Arbitration cash if he keeps his career trajectory.

The club should really look to extend him similar to the Mike Trout 6 YRs.$144 MIL deal he got.

Addison Russell – SS (23):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2018 – 2021 as a “Super 2” and a Free Agent in 2022.

Comparisons to an extension similar to what he may get are:  Jason Kipnis and Matt Carpenter (6 YRs and $52 MIL)

Matt Szczur – UT (28): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Javier Baez – 2B/3B (24):  Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Mike Montgomery – SP/RP (29): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Kyle Schwarber – OF (24): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2019 – 2021 and a Free Agent in 2022.

Willson Contreras – C (25): Is Arbitration Eligible from 2022 – 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Albert Almora JR – OF (23):   Is Arbitration Eligible from 2022 – 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Rob Zastryzny – RP (25) Is Arbitration Eligible from 2022 – 2022 and a Free Agent in 2023.

Total Money for this Category for 2017: $6.0 MIL MIL Toral Money Oveall – $169.0 MIL

Buyouts/Dead Money

Jason Hammel – $2 Million Buyout for 2017 that was agreed to in a gentleman’s deal. There is no dead money on he books past 2017 thus far.

Conclusions:

Despite the Heyward mistake of a deal, Epstein has done everything right.  It will be a constant maneuvering of the incoming talent – to surround the plethora of young superstars the club has.

The Cubs have the availability to sign an elite pitcher in Free Agency in the year or 2, or trade for one.  Beyond that, the team can’t make another top 50 ALL – Time Salary roster mistake.

The brass should also investigate early extensions for Bryant, Ruseell and Contreras immediately while they may afford to wait for Hendricks and Schwarber yet. 

Some sort of guaranteed money to the budget would be wise

As for Arrieta, he is just too old – an unorthodox in order to grant him the cash he will seek.  Epstein has to find creative ways to bring in a #1 or $2 beyond this campaign. 

Chicago is fantastic shape financially to spend as much as it takes to ensure a dynasty in the next half-dozen years. 

If I were in charge I would try to limit any big historic contracts to their own young superstars from this point forwards. 

Also don’t be afraid to trade one of the premiere young offensive players for a quality Starter (#1 or #2 Starter)like Baez, Contreras or Almora.

CubsWS

*** 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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San Francisco Giants Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

San Francisco has seem the LA Dodgers spend more than 1 Billion Dollars on player contracts over the last 4 years - all culminating into 4 straight Division titles in the process. Under the new Luxury Tax Yes the organization has handed out big money recently to Johnny Cueto (6 Years/$130 MIL) and both Hunter Pence and Jeff Samardzija are on 5 year pacts that call for $90 MIL. Brian Sabean can actually stomach this abysmal deal because of the sweetheart deal he put forth in retaining Madison Bumgarner early for 6 Years and $35.9 MIL of total money, in which he is in the 6th year of currently. The team still holds two more Team Options for him in 2018 & 2019 which they will surely activate.

San Francisco has seen the LA Dodgers spend more than 1 Billion Dollars on player contracts over the last 4 years – all culminating into 4 straight Division titles in the process. Under the new Luxury Tax Yes the organization has handed out big money recently to Johnny Cueto (6 Years/$130 MIL) and both Hunter Pence and Jeff Samardzija are on 5 year pacts that call for $90 MIL.  The only blip against the radar is the Matt Cain contract.  Brian Sabean can actually stomach that abysmal deal because of the sweetheart pact he put forth in retaining Madison Bumgarner early for 6 Years and $35.9 MIL of total money, in which he is in the 6th year of currently. The team still holds two more Team Options for him additionally in 2018 & 2019 which they will surely activate. His deal paved the way for the team to add valuable players after.

We have been saying for years that the LA Dodgers were going to force the rest of the MLB into many changes as soon as they switched ownership group to the Guggenheim Consortium.

Since that proclamation, the Dodger Blue has spent over 1 Billion Dollars in players salaries over the last 4 years, and are on pace to whisk away $240 MIL more in 2017 (without adding any more players to their current salary structure.)

It has caused a chain reaction among the top clubs competing in the Senior Circuit.  One of those said clubs is the San Francisco Giants.  The team that has won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 has seen a rapid escalation in the money they are doling out on an annual basis.

The major difference between the Giants and Dodgers is how many of the players are being paid that the club originally drafted.

During last year’s Trade Deadline, also threw heavy praise at the brass for picking up Matt Moore, who is listed as the clubs 4th Starting Pitcher, and has 3 separate Team Option for a total of $25 MIL over the next 3 campaigns if picked up. 

Another team friendly option as they can decide each offseason whether it is worth it.

Moore also provides protection in case Cueto opts out of his contract after 2017.

Read the rest of this entry

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.

Read the rest of this entry

New York Yankees Payroll In 2017 + Contracts Going Forward

Brian Cashman can finally see some relief from some exorbitant contracts plaguing him from the last several years. Alex Rodriguez is still on the book for this years salary of $21 MIL. What is worse is that his Annual Average Salary of $27.5 MIL per year for the duration of his 2008 - 2017 contract still counts towards the $195 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold limit.

Brian Cashman can finally see some relief from some exorbitant contracts plaguing him from the last several years.Alex Rodriguez is still on the book for this years salary of $21 MIL. What is worse is that his Annual Average Salary of $27.5 MIL per year for the duration of his 2008 – 2017 contract still counts towards the $195 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold limit this season.  Will the Yankees spend beyond that mark, or will they finally get under the limit and reset their penalties?

The Bronx Bombers have a projected payroll of $195 MIL already – and are perennial abusers of the Luxury Tax Threshold – so they are at a 50% penalty for any money spent between $195 – $215 MIL.

Don’t look for them to add much – unless they can orchestrate a trade of one of their salaried players already.

The brass is playing this smart.  The young players will make or break this current roster of players, however if the season gets away from New York, they will assuredly deal a few players away to get under the Luxury Tax Threshold once and for all.

By doing such that, they will reset the penalty to a 1st time user.

Read the rest of this entry

Once Again: Why The MLB Should Consider A Geographical/Market Size Re-Alignment For The Next CBA:

baseball-map-framed-with-plaque

 

The new CBA has been a godsend for the mid – market teams, and not so great for the 10 top markets, but even more devastating for the 10 lowest markets.  One thing the CBA did address was to give the players an additional 4 days off during the league year – stretching from 183 Days to 187 – in lieu of expanding the rosters of 25 to 26.

This website has continued its stance since day 1, that while the economics have been a lot more fair to teams in the last 15 years, there is still much work to do.  The best small market teams we have seen in the last 7 years have been the Oakland A’s, Tampa Bay Rays, Pittsburgh Pirates and of course the 2015 World Series winning Kansas City Royals.  Only one of these teams actually were a decent franchise for some time before they took off.

Pittsburgh lost for 22 years before they finally made 3 straight postseason appearances.  With the new CBA not giving them 1st RD Draft Picks for departing players in future seasons like Andrew McCutchen, Gregory Polanco, Starling Marter and Gerrit Cole, this is a sure fire way for the brass to cut the cord on their service team a lot of time ahead of them hitting Free Agency.

Kansas City was a laughable organization from the mid 90’s to 2013 as well, and despite winning back to back pennants in the AL< and being the first small market team to win the World Series since the 2003 Marlins, they will soon start to see their team ripped apart under the same Free Agent terms like the Bucs – with Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Danny Duffy and Mike Moustakas likely all not re-signing with the franchise.  Dayton Moore already had to trade ace Closer Wade Davis this past week.

The Tampa Bay Rays were awful from 1998 – 2007, and were able to stockpile #1 overall picks to build up the franchise.  The Joe Maddon era ensued for 6 straight quality years where they competed beautifully, including a World Series Loss in 2008, but now they are at a crossroads again from a 68 win campaign. and teams all spending double what they can. Read the rest of this entry

The Dodgers Will Regret The Rich Hill Deal: Yet Another Injury Prone Chucker In The Rotation

The Dodgers have spent over $300 MIL in back to back years, and are the clubhouse leaders in Luxury Tax penalties paid. At a 50% penalty, the Los Angeles forked out $40 MIL in Luxury Taxes in 2016. With an estimated $193 MIL payroll - considering there are several roster holes now created by departing players, the team will need to spend around $235 MIL in 2017 total payroll. With a 50% penalty - and an additional 40$ hit for going $40 MIL over the new $195 MIL limit in 2017, I highly expect the organization will be less willing to spend 90 cents extra for every dollar spent beyond that.

The Dodgers have spent over $300 MIL in back to back years, and are the clubhouse leaders in Luxury Tax penalties paid. At a 50% penalty, the Los Angeles forked out $40 MIL in Luxury Taxes in 2016. With an estimated $204 MIL payroll – considering there are several roster holes now created by departing players, the team will need to spend around $235 MIL in 2017 total payroll. With a 50% penalty – and an additional 45%  hit for going $40 MIL over the new $195 MIL limit in 2017, I highly expect the organization will be less willing to spend 95 cents extra for every dollar spent beyond that.  Because of the Rich Hill signing, it will make it tough to get back Justin Turner and land a Closer – without paying the maximum surcharges for payroll.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

I don’t hide the fact that I have been a Dodgers fan for some time.  I have continuously ripped the past and present management for signing players that are injury prone.  For the last 4 years the Injury/Dead money the club has doled out has rivaled what some of the lowest payroll clubs on an annual basis.

So what do the brass do?  They ink a guy, who is 37, and could barely toe the mound for a handful of starts due to a blister, to a 3 Year Deal worth $16 MIL per year.  Didn’t they learn their lesson with the Scott Kazmir contract?  How about Chad Billingsley, Josh Beckett, Brandon McCarthy, Hyun-jin Ryu, Brett Anderson or Bronson Arroyo?

This is not even taking into a factor all of the positional players and Relief Guys they have taken a powder on (hit the ground and dust flies up because of being knocked out).  The Franchise ate $41 MIL in 2013, $37 MIL in salary for 2014, $86 MIL in 2015, and $71 MIL in 2016.

For those scoring at home, that is a whopping $233 MIL in lost cash since the beginning of 2013, which was the Guggenheim Consortium’s first full year at the helm.

When you factor in some more penalties for exceeding the Luxury Tax Threshold, the organization is well over the $250 MIL mark in 4 seasons.  Now 2017 doesn’t look to be much different – with $47 MIL in dead money already on the board.

Carl Crawford ($21.9 MIL), Alex Guerrero ($7.5 MIL), Hector Olivera ($4.7 MIL), Matt Kemp ($3.7 MIL) and Jose Tabata (250K) are not even on the active roster anymore, yet they will see some serious coin paid out by the Dodger Blue.

The Dodgers are also paying guys $10 MIL to play in the Minor Leagues. Read the rest of this entry

6 MLB Teams That Will Be Hurt Most By The New CBA

Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharin and tougher Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharing for Oakland and not being able to recoup 1st RD Draft picks by losing star players will hurt them even greater. The AL West also has 4 big market clubs residing it now, with Houston being a lot better than they were in 2013 and 2014, the best time the A's have seen of recent vintage. it will be a tough grind for Oakland to compete until a new stadium is built.

Billy Beane was the king of the front offices just a few years ago, but a future loss of MLB Revenue Sharing and not being able to recoup 1st RD Draft picks by losing star players will hurt them even greater. The AL West also has 4 big market clubs residing it now, with Houston being a lot better than they were in 2013 and 2014 when they first joined the Division from the National League, This time frame was the best the A’s have seen of recent vintage. it will be a tough grind for Oakland to compete until a new stadium is built.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Yesterday we talked about 6 teams that stand to gain an advantage under the new CBA,  Today we explore the 6 teams that were hurt most.

While the news of taxing the higher revenue generating teams will work to bridge the top teams to the mid – market revenue clubs. the abolishing of a 1st RD Draft Pick compensation pick being lost to franchises for having signed one of their Qualifying Offer rejected players will hurt many franchises.

Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Oakland. Colorado, San Diego and Milwaukee all had days in my opinion.  The Rays, Twins, Reds and Marlins are not too far from list either, however all of those organizations also are not good shape with the new pact either, however they are not as bad as the top 6 clubs.

The Pirates were already thinking about trading Andrew McCutchen, and this should give a violent shove in that direction. 

It will also show that players such as Carlos Gonzalez, Sonny Gray, Charlie Blackmon, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, Gerrit Cole, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Nolan Arenado will all be dealt before their Team Control expires. It is the new landscape of the CBA. 

I would hate the new CBA as these clubs.

Under the old agreement . these teams may have been more apt to take their chances on a playoff run – sighting at least a 1st RD Draft Pick would be coming back their way should their superstars leave their squads. Read the rest of this entry

6 MLB Teams That Will Benefit The Most By The New CBA

The Toronto Blue Jays have had to contend with the overspending in the last 25 years by the Yankees and Red Sox

The Toronto Blue Jays have had to contend with the overspending in the last 25 years by the Yankees and Red Sox.  With stiffer penalties now imposed on the higher payroll clubs. coupled with their recent back to back ALCS Appearances, the franchise draws enough to spend more money on total team salary in the next few years.  It will come down to the management’s ability on player personnel that should determine their success for the next 5 years and not sheer finances.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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Tomorrow we will point out the clubs that were hurt most in the short term.  today we talk  about the winners of the new deal.

I am calling the Nationals, Mariners, Astros, Jays, Cardinals and Giants the immediate victors under the new format.

When i was thinking about more the past two days, the new structure seems to favor mid level payroll teams more than the lower or higher payroll clubs.

With the new penalties for spending way more money than the Luxury Tax Threshold, the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox and Tigers are going to find that the impact will run pretty steep on their roster decisions for the next 5 years.

Being that that all of those franchises are still going to dole out the kind of money on player contracts they are, I am not calling them losers for the new CBA either. Read the rest of this entry

The New Luxury Tax Threshold Means The Top 11 Salaried Clubs Will All Be Affected In The Present + Future

The Dodgers have spent over $300 MIL in back to back years, and are the clubhouse leaders in Luxury Tax penalties paid. At a 50% penalty, the Los Angeles forked out $40 MIL in Luxury Taxes in 2016. With an estimated $193 MIL payroll - considering there are several roster holes now created by departing players, the team will need to spend around $235 MIL in 2017 total payroll. With a 50% penalty - and an additional 40$ hit for going $40 MIL over the new $195 MIL limit in 2017, I highly expect the organization will be less willing to spend 90 cents extra for every dollar spent beyond that.

The Dodgers have spent over $300 MIL on salary in back to back years, and are the clubhouse leaders in Luxury Tax penalties paid in that time frame. At a 50% penalty currently until falling under the limit for a year, the Los Angeles forked out $40 MIL in Luxury Taxes in 2016. With an estimated $193 MIL payroll already is signed and team controlled players – considering there are several roster holes now created by departing guys, the team will need to spend around $235 MIL in 2017 total payroll in order to be competitive.. With a 50% penalty – and an additional 45% hit for going $40 MIL over the new $195 MIL limit in 2017, I highly expect the organization will be less willing to spend 90 cents extra for every dollar spent beyond that.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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With the new CBA being tentatively signed yesterday through 2021 – the lower payroll teams will finally see some steeper enforcement of higher payroll squads.

With several penalties that range up to a 90% max penalty for spending over the limit, the dollars finally make sense for the MLB to curtail a team going rogue on their payroll spending.

Under the new deal, the format will jump from a team’s AAV (Average Annual Value) limit of $189 MIL to $195 MIL in 2017, $197 MIL in 2018, $206 MIL in 2019,  $208 MIL in 2020 and $210 MIL on 2021.

The penalty for a 1st year abuser went from 12.5% to 20%, The 2nd year Still remains at 30%, the 3rd season escalates from 40% previously to 50% already.  Each campaign the team is over following 3 years, the team is nailed for 50% of money spent over the limit.

Additionally, the franchise will pay a fee of 12% for spending between $20 MIL to $40 MIL over the Threshold. 

If a organization goes $40 MIL over, they are faced with a surcharge of 42%.

3rd time abusers will pay 45% for every dollar doled out past $40 MIL over.

This means a 1st time penalty would still spank a team to the tune of 60% if a club spends more than $40 MIL over the limit. Read the rest of this entry

Stephen Strasburg Ties Felix Hernandez For 17th On The MLB’s ALL – Time Top 50 Contract List With Extension

 Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America

Ed Zurga/Getty Images North America

Chuck Booth (MLB Reports Majority Owner/Lead  Analyst)

Stephen Strasburg shocked he baseball world the other day – by inking a 7 year extension worth from $175 – $180 MIL.  It ties him for 17th All – Time with Felix Hernandez to start with, but he can earn an additional $7 MIL with $1 MIL per year bonuses for reaching 180 IP.

The deal pays him $15 MIL annually from 2016 – 2023, and then the deferrals kick in from 2023 – 2030, in 7 installments of $10 MIL each.

Some will say his deal is worth more like $162 MIL in present day dollars, however we do not operate our top 50 contracts list like that.  The deal is guaranteed at $175 MIL for now, and we will change it if bonuses are hit.

With this contract, the Nats have 4 current players that are on this ALL – Time List with Scherzer (10th), Strasburg (T 17th), Zimmerman (37th) and Werth (Tied 44th).

This signing is a great move to open a 3 year window for Washington, as they also have Bryce Harper under team control until after the 2018 season, however it also may seal the fate the of the young reigning NL MVP to move elsewhere for 2019.

Werth’s contract does end at the end of the 2017 year. but Zimmerman is still on the books until at least 2020.

It will be tough to come up with the dough necessary to drop a 11 – 13 years contract worth $35 – 40 MIL per annum when it comes to Harper.

Even with Scherzer’s and Strasburg’s deals both containing a ton of deferred money- all of them will still run simultaneously to Harper’s deal – even if they are not on the roster each after the 2023 season.

I think you couldn’t risk trying to outbid everyone for Harper’s services, yet to pay Strasburg market value makes sense.

This club could even save some payroll by trading Gio Gonzalez, as they have Joe Ross and Tanner Roark starting in the rotation for depth, and Lucas Giolito has not started his time service clock. Read the rest of this entry

The Pittsburgh Pirates Payroll In 2016 + Roster That Could Have Been

payroll-breakdown-1024x576

Jason Rollison (Featured BBBA Writer/Owner – piratesbreakdown.com) 

After a second consecutive exit from the playoffs by way of the wild card game, the Pittsburgh Pirates promised a bigger payroll this season, but could they have done better?

In December, Neal Huntington and Frank Connelly both hinted the Pirates target payroll would be approximately $105 million for opening day.  As it stands, the Pirates opening day payroll was about $100 million.

That wouldn’t be so bad if the team’s pitching staff wasn’t off to a rough start, the first base platoon partner wasn’t gone after two weeks, and the Cubs weren’t the center of the baseball universe at the moment.  The saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20,” but we consider what could have been if the Pirates had spent their money a little differently.

Let’s start with the breakdown of the opening day payroll broken down by position: (Note: Only players included on opening day 25-man roster/DL are included below.)

The rules for this little experiment are simple.  We cannot exceed $105 million, and our payroll has to include 28 players due to Jared Hughes, Elias Diaz, and Jung-Ho Kang starting the season on the major league disabled list. 

If we choose any players the Pirates did not sign, we will assume the Pirates could have signed said player(s) to the same terms.  Knowing what we know now, here’s a look at what the Pirates roster could have been.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Pablo Sandoval + His $17 MIL Contract Will Ride The Pine This Year To Start In Boston

SANDOVAL,PABLO

Ground Rule Triple Blog (Featured BBBA Website – groundruletriple.com) 

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Red Sox manager John Farrell has announced that 2-time All-Star third-baseman Pablo Sandoval will begin the season on the Red Sox bench. Travis Shaw will begin the season at the hot corner.

Just last offseason, Sandoval signed a monster deal with Red Sox leaving behind the San Francisco Giants who he won multiple World Series with. Sandoval will make a whopping $17 million while on the bench (at least initially). He still has $75 million over four years left in his contract.

Sandoval commented that it’s the right decision, and manager Farrell commented that Shaw’s defense was key for this surprising decision. The Red Sox have shown that past lucrative contracts given by former management will not dictate the lineup.

This post will be updated as we get more updates. Stay tuned.

In the mean time, did you see this coming? Any thoughts on Sandoval on the bench?

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

Cincinnati Reds Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

Joey Votto had his best year since 2010 at the plate in 2015. It couldn't have come at a better time. The Canadian Slugger will make $199 MIL min over the next 8 years and will be counted on to help with a rebuild. Either that, or maybe he could create enough value to be traded and the club could gain some financial flexibility going forward. The Reds finished 64 - 98 in 2015 - and are in the same Division as the top three teams in the MLB.

Joey Votto had his best year since 2010 at the plate in 2015. It couldn’t have come at a better time. The Canadian Slugger will make $199 MIL min over the next 8 years and will be counted on to help with a rebuild. Either that, or maybe he could create enough value to be traded and the club could gain some financial flexibility going forward. The Reds finished 64 – 98 in 2015 – and are in the same Division as the top three teams in the MLB.  They should continue to trade veterans for as many young players as they can – and rebuild for 3 – 4 years down the road.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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Homer Bailey was the 1st Pitcher to have a $100 Million Dollar Contract in place and undergo Tommy John Surgery. 

Carl Crawford holding onto a 7 YRs/$142 MIL deal originally signed with the Red Sox was the 1st guy to go down with the TJ Surgery as a position player.

Yes insurance will pay some of the money, but it is not a given that he will comeback and be as effective as he was before he went down with the UCL surgery.

The club is on the hook for Joey Votto to the tune of $199 MIL from 2016 – 2023 – and will jump another $13 MIL if the team picks up a $20 MIL Club Option for 2024.

The Reds are thanking their lucky stars that Votto posted his best baseball season since 2010 in 2015 with a 1.000 OPS and 143 Walks. Read the rest of this entry

San Francisco Giants Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

The Giants have won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 recently. A lot of the core is still intact for 2016 - and they could add in Free Agency over the winter, while the Dodgers may not be as formidable in 2016 either. With some flexibility coming in the forms of finances, the San Fran club should spend what they can in 2016 - go for another few premiere players, before trying any form of rebuilding afterwards. The Giants finished the 2015 season a disappointing 83 - 79 - which continued their odd curse.

The Giants have won the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 recently. A lot of the core is still intact for 2016 – and they added Johnny Cueto, Jeff Samardija and Denard Span as key Free Agency overs the winter, while the Dodgers may not be as formidable in 2016 either.  The Giants finished the 2015 season a disappointing 84 – 78 – which continued their odd year curse. Already at about a total team salary of $176 MIL in 2016 – with an AAV of about $189 MIL – and may be over it before the season ends.  They would just be 1st time abusers, so they should go for it if a deal can be struck to improve the club. 

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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Yep.  The Giants are heading into an even year this decade – and will try for a fourth time in a row to become World Champions.

The 1st thing we look at when it comes to payroll is how much a team has in guaranteed contracts.  This franchise is looking at $176 MIL in 2016.

Jake Peavy, Angel Pagan, Santiago Casilla and Javier Lopez are on the last year of their individual pacts and are not on the payroll beyond this year.

Brian Sabean may consider this when he makes some midseason moves for guys who may be on the last year of their contracts elsewhere. 

The Giants spent almost $40 MIL on Disabled List stints in 2015 – and it may have cost them a chance to make the playoffs. 

They are the 2nd favored team (+900) to win the World Series (in overall MLB and the NL) to the Cubs (+650)

San Fran has a chance to win 4 rings in 7 seasons, and should not be dissuaded from going over the $189 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold either.  The club has paid off all of its debt – and is raking in the cash.

The Giants routinely sellout AT & T Park, and will continue to do so.  This venue is considered the #1 stadium by most of the percentage of people who have seen all 30 MLB Parks. 

Read the rest of this entry

New York Yankees Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

 

With almost $100 MIL tied up in contracts for Sabathia, A-Rod, Teixeira and a potential Tommy John Surgery candidate in Masahiro Tanaka, this New York squad is in some deep trouble for next season. Despite the recent playoff misses, and injury prone players brought in by Brian Cashman, the club saw fit to grant him a 3 year extension last month. It may take a small miracle for them to make a playoff spot next campaign..

With almost $100 MIL tied up in contracts for Sabathia, A-Rod, Teixeira and a potential Tommy John Surgery candidate in Masahiro Tanaka, this New York squad is in some deep trouble for this season if injuries occur.  It may take a small miracle for them to make a playoff spot next campaign again without spending some cash.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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Brian Cashman can finally see some relief from some exorbitant contracts plaguing him from the last several years.

2016 sees the last year on deals for Aroldis Chapman,  C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Carlos BeltranAlex Rodriguez is still on the book for one more year after this.

Sabathia does have a Vesting Option for $25 MIL if salary guaranteed if he 1) does not end 2016 on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury, 2) does not spend more than 45 days in 2016 on the disabled list with a left shoulder injury or 3) does not make more than six relief appearances in 2016 because of a left shoulder injury.

The Yankees can’t guarantee this will happen. Therefore the club must treat this contract as part of their deal for 2017 as well.  The Buyout would be $5 MIL.

Sabathia’s drinking aside, they are paying for the good years right now, and he is no better than a 5th Starter – and at 36 years of age with 3000+ IP logged for his career, there may be not much left in the tank. Read the rest of this entry

Blue Jays Vs. Jose Bautista: The Art Of Negotiations

Jose Bautista must stay on the field the entire season if the Canadian franchise has any hopes of playoffs. Joey Bats should be capable of clubbing between 35 - 40 HRs in 2014. Whether the skipper bats him 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the lineup still remains to be seen. Bautista features a 3 Slash of .261/.381/.542 during his 5+ seasons tenure with Toronto.

Jose Bautista must stay on the field the entire season if the Canadian franchise has any hopes of playoffs. Joey Bats should be capable of clubbing between 35 – 40 HRs like he did in 2015. Whether the skipper bats him 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the lineup still remains to be seen. Bautista features a 3 Slash of .264/.384/.538 during his 8 seasons tenure with Toronto – clubbing 243 HRs and adding 632 RBI.  At Age 36 next winter, he is said to be seeking 5 Years and $150 MIL from the team.  That may not work.

Shaun Doyle (Featured Baseball Writer – Owner jaysfromthecouch.com) 

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THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS AND JOSE BAUTISTA ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF A GAME OF CHICKEN. WITH NO NEGOTIATIONS, WHO WILL BLINK FIRST?

 

Have you ever seen a cartoon where people get into a fight and dirt is flying around like a tornado, legs and arms flail about and then the dust settles and one of the participants is left by themselves?

In those cases, one of the fighters ends up just fighting with themselves and then looks around to find nothing but quiet.

That’s kind of what happened Tuesday with Jose Bautista and the Toronto Blue Jays. In the span of 24 hours, we’d heard that Bautista was not going to negotiate for his potential extension.

What ensued was a tornado of speculation and nonsense that resulted a whole lot of nothing…except an interesting staring contest.

READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY

The Dodgers Make The Right Move To Re-Sign Kendrick

The Dodgers may have overpaid to hold on to Brett Anderson with the Qualifying Offer, however lucked out with Howie Kendrick rejected the QO in November, only to sign for just $4.2 MIL for a 2nd year. The club was able to ink the 31 year old to a 2 YR/$20 MIL - where the Qualifying Offer would have paid him $15.8 MIL for just 2016. That is luck for the Los Angeles franchise.

The Dodgers may have overpaid to hold on to Brett Anderson with the Qualifying Offer, however lucked out with Howie Kendrick rejected the QO in November, only to sign for just $4.2 MIL for a 2nd year. The club was able to ink the 31-year-old to a 2 YR/$20 MIL – where the Qualifying Offer would have paid him $15.8 MIL for just 2016. That is luck for the Los Angeles franchise.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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The Dodgers are running pretty good today with the status quo on the offensive side of the ball anyway.

Since it was agreed on that Howie Kendrick would sign a 2 year deal for $20 MIL – this is an economic win.

1st off, the Dodgers avoided the $15.8 MIL Qualifying Offer they extended their 2015 2B, then only had to pad $4.2 MIL to the total for a 2nd season.

This is a loss financially for Kendrick, who must have thought a multi-year offer of 3 – 4 campaigns must have been out there for the same kind of money that Daniel Murphy signed for (3 years at $12 MIL per AAV).

Howie Kendrick was unfortunately in the same market as Daniel Murphy and also lost another club that could have bid for his services, when the New York Mets traded for Neil Walker. Kendrick is a .293 Career Hitter, but doesn't really have great power for Extra Base Hits. This brought down his value a little. He is till a great professional hitter. I am surprised the Angels didn't come calling for his services - considering the lower AAV.

Howie Kendrick was unfortunately in the same market as Daniel Murphy and also lost another club that could have bid for his services, when the New York Mets traded for Neil Walker. Kendrick is a .293 Career Hitter, but doesn’t really have great power for Extra Base Hits. This brought down his value a little. He is till a great professional hitter. I am surprised the Angels didn’t come calling for his services – considering the lower AAV.

Not only did the Dodgers brass finally reel in their Starting Second Baseman, they were able to add Chase Utley as a backup/quality bench hitter for $7 MIL.  If you combined Kendrick and Utley salaries, it is just $1.2 MIL over what would have happened had Kendrick accepted the QO.

Love Kendrick as a professional hitter.  The man is a .293/.333/.423 career hitter – and his 2015 season closely resembled this at .295/.336/.409 in 2015 for the Dodger Blue.

It shows that the Dodgers management/ownership is also willing to fork out the necessary dollars to keep up their NL West Division prowess.

As the 3 time defending Division Champs,  they are in prime position to challenge the Giants for a 4th year in a row in 2016.

This contract vaults the Dodgers up to around $245 MIL in total team salary in 2016, yet it was a necessary move.

Los Angeles is also staring at a 50% penalty for going over the Luxury Tax Threshold for a 4th straight year.  They will pay around $28 MIL with cash situated as it is now.

For the fans that wanted the organization to dole up for the bigger Free Agents, it is hard to fathom paying that 50% penalty for years upon years at the present rate.

This approach has had the super management team of Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi, Josh Byrnes and newly appointed Alex Anthopoulos under heavy scrutiny, but may work out better in the long run.

Had the club inked Zack Greinke to his $34.42 MIL AAV, that would have put them so far in committed $ over the Luxury Tax, that they would never be able to get under for a reset.

With the 2016 season concluding without a CBA after, it is also wise not to be so far over the Luxury Tax mark when they don’t know what the new deal between the MLBPA and the owners will look like.

2017 has them over $203 MIL in contracts guaranteed to 12 guys already, but 8 players will become Free Agents after the 2016 season, and after 2017’s end comes the best news for Dodger fans.  Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford will finally be off the books!

The Dodgers have a ton of young talent coming into the fold here.  Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda are under team control for a long period of time here.  You still have Julio Urias just coming up to the Major Leagues for service time as well.

The Infield is definitely going to be clogged up with Utley, Enrique Hernandez and Alex Guerrero on the depth chart.  Guerrero is out of options and will need to be kept on the Major League Roster (or be released, waived or DFA’d).

Of course Justin Turner is listed as the Starter at 3B for now.  Micah Johnson and Utley may join Hernandez as guys that could spell him at the hot corner.

Guerrero could also play the OF, but I am sure that Dave Roberts would love to use Scott Van Slyke as 1st on the taxi squad.

Los Angeles has also strengthened its bench with this move.  The one thing they could still use it Relief help.  That may be obtained by signing more Free Agents, or perhaps this may clear the deck for another trade to happen.

The Dodgers were 10th in the NL during 2015 – with a .250 Batting Average, and losing a .293 hitter last year would have been tough for this years lineup.

With Corey Seager for a full year, and a return to prominence for Yasiel Puig, this squad could really put up some runs and improve all facets of the offense.

While the club wasn’t so great at Batting Average, they were 3rd in the Senior Circuit in Slugging Percentage at .413.

One has to also think that Chase Utley will be a lot better in reserve role – compared to his .202/.291/.363 3 Slash Line with the team last year.  I would say he could be 80% like his worst year (prior to 2015), where he hit .259/.344/.425 in 2012.

For the record, baseballreference.com has Utley hitting .247/.315/.398 in 2016.  I am sure the club would take that.

Whether the implementation of a lot of players on the roster – as opposed to having a limited bench and depth if they would have signed Greinke projects well to the upcoming season is yet to be determined. 4

No doubt they are not as strong in the Rotation at the top. But perhaps the addition of Scott Kazmir, the return of Hyun-jin Ryu, Alex Wood for a full year, and a surprise comeback from Brandon McCarthy could pick up the slack.

Signing Kendrick was the right move all day long.  This is one less position with the team having questions for.

The fans are seeing a different management philosophy with the new brass under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman They are taking a big long term picture look. Even though they wasted $90 MIL in dead money last year with questionable decisions, they are trying to clear the deck for many years by dropping the heavy amount of committed dollars. With a new CBA forthcoming, who knows what the new Luxury Tax Threshold will be. At least by keeping the new contracts to smaller years and figures, Los Angeles may be able to drop underneath the limit in 2018 - 2020.

The fans are seeing a different management philosophy with the new brass under the tutelage of Andrew Friedman. They are taking a big long term picture look. Even though they wasted $90 MIL in dead money last year with questionable decisions, they are trying to clear the deck for many years  in the future, by dropping the heavy amount of committed dollars. With a new CBA forthcoming, who knows what the new Luxury Tax Threshold will be. At least by keeping the new contracts to smaller years and figures, Los Angeles may be able to drop underneath the limit in 2018 – 2020.  Right near they are at a 50% penalty for every season they are over the Luxury Tax ($189 MIL) until they get under.

*** 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 other partners.***

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The Padres Should Definitely Not Pursue Yoenis Cespedes: But The Angels Should

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly's, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz. The 30 Year Old would not be a good fit in San Diego - where they have a similar player in Matt Kemp already. His presence with Trout and Calhoun in Los Angeles would be the best all around Outfield in the Majors should he sign there.

Yoenis Cespedes led all LF for HRs with 35 on the campaign in 2015. He picked a contract year for his best season to date out of the 4 years he has been in the Major Leagues. Cespedes hit 17 HRs with the Mets in 2 months, after smacking out just 18 in the first four months with Detroit. Cespedes finished in the top 40 for both leagues in respective big fly’s, and was tie for 13th overall with Manny Machado and David Ortiz. The 30 Year Old would not be a good fit in San Diego – where they have a similar player in Matt Kemp already. His presence with Trout and Calhoun in Los Angeles would be the best all around Outfield in the Majors should he sign there.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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With Yoenis Cespedes still on the open market a lot of speculation is running rampant on which squads should be in the running for his services.

While I am not sure I buy the theory at all, the Padres have been said to be checking in on the big Cuban star.

This type of signing would be a monumental mistake in my view.

I would hope that A.J. Preller would have learned his lesson by acquiring high strikeout, low OBP players that have power that may not translate to their home park in Petco Park. Read the rest of this entry

Chris Davis (Tied For 20th) + Justin Upton (38th) Join The Top 50 All – Time Salary List

Losing Chris Davis and his 45+ HR power would have been very difficult to replace. The O's have their man with a creative deferral payment plan that will see them pay Davis $119 MIL from 2016 - 2022, and then pay out $42 MIL over the next 15 years in deferrals.

Losing Chris Davis and his 45+ HR power would have been very difficult to replace. The O’s have their man with a creative deferral payment plan that will see them pay Davis $119 MIL from 2016 – 2022, and then pay out $42 MIL over the next 15 years in deferrals.  The $161 MIL has him tied for 19th ALL – Time in MLB Player Contracts with CC Sabathia.  The Orioles slugger led the league with 47 HRs (2nd time in 3 years), and has clubbed 126 HRs (led all of the MLB) in the last 3 seasons despite being levied a 25 game suspension for his medication in Sept of 2014.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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Chris Davis, 30 in 2016,  and Justin Upton, 28,  are now in the 9 figure club and among historical contracts of ALL – Time.  Davis inked a 7 YR deal for $161 MIL – while Upton is at 6 Years for $132.75 (distributed evenly throughout.)

The Big 1B/OF for the O’s will make $119 MIL from 2016 – 2022 paid evenly by $17 MIL per year before the crazy deferral program kicks in.  From 2023 – 2030, Davis will earn $3.5 per annum for another $31 MIL.  The deal then goes from 2031 – 2037 at a 1.4 MIL per annum clip.   All told it is $161 MIL spread over 21 years. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – January 15, 2015

 

Cardinals Lonnie Smith

(Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)

Former All Star and three time World Series champion Lonnie Smith joins the podcast today.

In this segment, we talk about his days playing with the St. Louis Cardinals and helping them clinch the 1982 World Series.

It is a Fall Classic episode of  The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Thanks to PastPros for setting up the interview.

Read the rest of this entry

Chapman To The Yanks Means ‘New York’ is In It To Win It For 2016

Aroldis Chapman is the most dominant Left Handed Reliever in the game right now - and is heading to the Bronx with the 2 other top Strikeout Ratio artists in Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances.  The Yankees will be able to hold down plenty of leads.  But this deal means more than just the player coming to New York.  It is the first time we have seen the brass step up to say we are going to win this thing in 2016.  Look for subsequent moves to be made now that this is the mindset.

Aroldis Chapman is the most dominant Left Handed Reliever in the game right now – and is heading to the Bronx with the 2 other top Strikeout Ratio artists in Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. The Yankees will be able to hold down plenty of leads. But this deal means more than just the player coming to New York. It is the first time we have seen the brass step up to say we are going to win this thing in 2016. Look for subsequent moves to be made now that this is the mindset.  Chapman has 1 Year of Arbitration left before hitting the open market next winter).

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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We have given Brian Cashman a lot of flak about how he has run the Yankees in the last half dozen year or so.  While I like the Aaron Hicks and Starlin Castro deals, this is the first deal where I felt the Pinstripers were serious about winning again.

Read about the deal for Chapman from MLB Trade Rumors

Everyone will be proclaiming them the best 1/2/3 knockout punch in late inning relief in the entire Majors.  You will also hear a ton of things about Strikeout Rates – and historical Bullpens.

You will also hear a lot about player integrity and character.  Since when do the Bronx Bombers ever care about whether a guy has some off field issues?

What I took out of yesterday’s deal is that the brass has given the green light to play ball in 2016.

With a payroll reaching $220 MIL now (easily payable with a team that makes as much as the Yankees), who cares if the team spends another $25 – $30 MIL after the Chapman deal? Read the rest of this entry

Injuries To Pitchers Cost The Most Harm To Teams For Financial Flexibility

Zack Greinke makes $34.4 MIL per year with the Diamondbacks. It represents about 30% of their entire payroll. A lot of small market teams have laid off spending 9 figure contracts on Starting Pitchers because they are more susceptible to breaking down with long term injuries from their arms. 30 MLB Pitchers had Tommy John Surgery in 2015, and that comes with a 12 - 18 months healing period.

Zack Greinke makes $34.4 MIL per year with the Diamondbacks. It represents about 30% of their entire payroll. A lot of small market teams have laid off spending 9 figure contracts on Starting Pitchers because they are more susceptible to breaking down with long term injuries from their arms. 30 MLB Pitchers had Tommy John Surgery in 2015, and that comes with a 12 – 18 months healing period.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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Player contracts are sure to hit well over he 4 Billion Dollar mark in 2016.  While the war is waged in the trenches of General Managers offices, the MLB will tell you that there is nothing wrong with the current system in baseball in terms of parity.

After all, the Kansas City Royals just won the World Series and they were not a top 10 salaried team.  The Mets also not in the top 10, were in the Fall Classic.

Record 9 figured contracts are being doled out like Benjamin Franklin’s are going out of style.

In 2015, $579 MIL worth of cash was paid out to guys on the Disabled List, and Pitchers took 57.7% of the pie in that category.  Starters were almost worth $248 MIL – and Relief Pitchers took down the other $86 MIL of that.

$334 MIL worth of payroll is about the sum for 3 average teams.  That is a lot of dough spent to guys that only pitch 30 – 34 Starts – or produce just 4 – 70 Innings worth of work in Relief. Read the rest of this entry

Boston Red Sox Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

With adding the contracts of David Price and Craig Kimbrel in recent player moves, this pushes Boston to near $200 MIL in team payroll for 2016. I think they should try to add a few pitchers near the 2016 Trade deadline. With a lot of money tied up in the future, any player they take on should have their contracts end in 2016. Boston stands to pay 17.5% for money spent over the $189 MIL limit. They could run with a $220 MIL salaried club in 2016 and only pay around $6 MIL in additional fees. Do it, and pale it back afterwards.

With adding the contracts of David Price and Craig Kimbrel in recent player moves, this pushes Boston to near $200 MIL in team payroll for 2016. I think they should try to add a few pitchers near the 2016 Trade deadline. With a lot of money tied up in the future, any player they take on should have their contracts end in 2016. Boston stands to pay 17.5% for money spent over the $189 MIL limit. They could run with a $220 MIL salaried club in 2016 and only pay around $6 MIL in additional fees. Do it, and pale it back afterwards.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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Well the Boston Red Sox are finally going to join the Dodgers and Yankees as teams that cross the Luxury Tax Threshold for 2016.  This was made possible by recently picking up  David Price for 7 YRs at $31 MIL average per year.

Already in 2017, the team is committed for around $162 MIL – and that is without their stalwart DH of David Ortiz anymore.  2018, the salary obligations are at $151 MIL, and the franchise has already lumped $139 MIL on the books fr the 2019 cash.

This is a leap of faith for the franchise, as they were always reluctant to pay top dollars for Free Agent Pitchers.

Last year’s signings of Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez are looking like poor moves right now, however they can be helped with bounce back years in 2016. Read the rest of this entry

Teams That Should Take Advantage Of A Weak Penalty For The Luxury Tax In 2016

In the last year of the current CBA, there is potentially only one more year to take advantage of a feeble penalty as a first time abuser in 2016. With Boston set to join the Dodgers and Yankees as abusers, I took a look at other teams who should consider the 2016 campaign as a rare gamble to dole out some cash in seeking a World Series trophy before the new CBA is authored in prior to the 2017 season.

In the last year of the current CBA, there is potentially only one more year to take advantage of a feeble penalty as a first time abuser in 2016. With Boston set to join the Dodgers and Yankees as abusers, I took a look at other teams who should consider the 2016 campaign as a rare gamble to dole out some cash in seeking a World Series trophy before the new CBA is authored in prior to the 2017 season.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part-Owner) 

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The Boston Red Sox might just be on to something.  They will be penalized for the 1st year of going over the new $189 MIL limit in 2016, but it is also the last year the CBA may have the percentages.

Currently right now, there is a 17.5% penalty for spending dollars over $189 MIL.  The Dodgers and Yankees are the only other teams that are budgeted over the mark in addition to Boston.

On the cusp are the Detroit Tigers, sitting at around $177 MIL – while the Giants and Angels are nearly at $170 MIL.  The Cubs are also near the $165 MIL area.

Why not spend like crazy in 2016 – and take advantage of the system as it is presented towards you? Read the rest of this entry

Tampa Bay Rays Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

The Rays are one of six teams that are projected to spend over $30 MIL in Arbitration Eligible Players along with the Baltimore Orioles, Toronto Blue Jays, New York mets Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals all will likely pay more in totality than the Rays for 2016.

The Rays are one of six teams that are projected to spend over $30 MIL in Arbitration Eligible Players along with the Baltimore O’s, Toronto Blue Jays, NY Mets, Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals all will likely pay more in totality than the Rays for 2016.  The team will only have around a $70 MIL payroll for the coming year.  Don’t look for them to add that many pieces either with drawing just under 1.3 Million fans in 2015 – the worst attendance figure in the Major Leagues.   The club has won at least 80 games a year since 2008, and still they can’t draw at Tropicana Field.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Rays only have four players on current contracts so far this winter, but they also only stand to lose 2 players after the 2016 year in James Loney and Logan Morrison.

Tampa has 3 players in the 1st year of Arbitration and 5 guys in the 2nd Year of Arbitration.  The 2nd year guys include Jake McGee, Logan Forsythe and Alex Cobb – all could be added with 1st Year ARB player Drew Smyly as distinct trade candidates.

Already having 5 pending Free Agents in 2018 has to be in the minds of the management.  All of them will not end the 2016 year on the Roster in my view.

Morrison and Loney both may not reach opening day as both being on the Roster either. Read the rest of this entry

Philadelphia Phillies Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

The Phillies have not had a winning season since 2011 after putting forth a decade straight of them. A promising second half to the season - couple with full seasons by Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco could have them inch closer back to achieving that mark in the next few years. The management finally started the rebuild halfway through the year - and the financial flexibility in going forward should really be shaped up in a few more years. Philadelphia has $110 MIL in approximate Team Salary already committed for next year. I would keep the course and build through the Draft. Spending money on any premiere Free Agents is a little premature right now. In addition, the club could really trade away anything not nailed down.

The Phillies have not had a winning season since 2011 after putting forth a decade straight of them. A promising second half to the season – couple with full seasons by Aaron Nola and Maikel Franco could have them inch closer back to achieving that mark in the next few years. The management finally started the rebuild halfway through the year – and the financial flexibility in going forward should really be shaped up in a few more years. Philadelphia has $110 MIL in approximate Team Salary already committed for next year. I would keep the course and build through the Draft. Spending money on any premiere Free Agents is a little premature right now. In addition, the club could really trade away anything not nailed down for 2017.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Philadelphia should have a payroll of near $110 MIL after Arbitration dollars are handed out next year.  Of that money, Ryan Howard and 3 players (Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee and Chase Utley) rake in $49 MIL of the salary on players that no longer play on the club, or in Howard’s case – are very unproductive.

I love the deals the franchise has made since the Trade Deadline – and even loved some of the Veterans they have picked up for the coming year like Charlie Morton and Jeremy Hellickson.

Between the half a dozen Starters or so they have acquired through trades, and their nice young Starter in Aaron Nola, they now have a promising future in the Rotation.

Mark Appel was also acquired in the Ken Giles trade.  This is a #1 overall pick who may just need some more seasoning in the Minors.

Read the rest of this entry

Giants Ink Johnny Cueto: It’s Tied For The 37th ALL – Time In MLB Contracts

Johnny Cueto is 97 - 70 (.578) career with a 3.30 ERA however he has put forth a 2.71 ERA since the start of the 2011 year. Much like his new team, Cueto has performed better in the even years of this decade, where he finished 2nd in Cy Young Voting in 2012 and 4th in 2014 Cy Young Voting.

Johnny Cueto is 97 – 70 (.578) career with a 3.30 ERA however he has put forth a 2.71 ERA since the start of the 2011 year. Much like his new team, Cueto has performed better in the even years of this decade, where he finished 2nd in Cy Young Voting in 2012 and 4th in 2014 Cy Young Voting.

Chuck Booth (Owner/Lead  Analyst) 

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The landscape of the NL West just changed again. As of right now I give the Giants as equally a shot to win the NL West as I do the LA Dodgers.  Signing Johnny Cueto is an awesome move.

Even better than the 6 YRs/$130 MIL deal is an opt out clause after 2 years, when Cueto can forego the final 4 years of the pact – leaving the San Fran club with $84 MIL on the table.

The current contract also calls for a Team Option for a 7th year.

Cueto, who is 30, most likely will opt out after 2017 if he can put up great back to back seasons as good as his 2.71 ERA since the start of the 2011 campaign, – only bested by Clayton Kershaw in that time frame.

Read the rest of this entry

Detroit Tigers Payroll In 2016 + Contracts Going Forward

Detroit is rapidly aging with their core and they have added even more guys to the fold over this winter with Jordan Zimmermann and Francisco Rodriguez both 30 or over. This club may have opened up another 1 - 2 year winning window here - but will pay a steep financial price for it. The club is around $175 MIL already for total team salary and are right near the MLB Luxury Tax Threshold of $189 MIL.

Detroit is rapidly aging with their core and they have added even more guys to the fold over this winter with Jordan Zimmermann and Francisco Rodriguez both 30 or over. This club may have opened up another 1 – 2 year winning window here – but will pay a steep financial price for it. The club is around $175 MIL already for total team salary and are right near the MLB Luxury Tax Threshold of $189 MIL.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

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The Tigers are on the cusp of chasing that $189 MIL Luxury Tax Threshold they way they are spending money freely.  They have 3 of the top 15 contracts in MLB history – with  Jordan Zimmermann just outside the bar with his new 5 YRs/$110 MIL deal.

It has been a decade worth of competitive baseball – with the outlier being the last season where they finished under .500.

Detroit should be right around $171 MIL after the Arbitration contracts are finished this winter.  This must be where the budget ends for the franchise.

The Tigers are still paying Prince Fielder $30 MIL over the next 6 years – spread out evenly, and this year they have the pleasure of kicking Joe Nathan another $1 MIL not to play for them.

Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander both earn $28 MIL in the upcoming season – while Victor Martinez and Jordan Zimmermann both will make $18 MIL each.  Ian Kinsler and Anibal Sanchez round out the 8 figure players.

The Motown Boys also facilitated trades to bring in OF Cameron Maybin and Closer Francisco Rodriguez that will add some money to the bottom line in 2016.

Cabrera is just starting his huge 8 Years/$248 MIL pact – while Justin Verlander still has 4 years and a total of $112 MIL left on the books.

If all of the options are picked up on this team, the whole Roster could be back for the 2017 as well.  This may be a good or bad thing. Read the rest of this entry

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