There’s been a lot of talk lately about the Jays’ offseason, what should be done, and how much money the team will have to spend on acquiring new players. Unfortunately, it seems like not everyone is always on the same page with regards to player costs and savings from various transactions. Therefore, I have created the following list to provide an estimate of what various moves will cost the Jays for the 2011 season and how to come up with money to sign new players (e.g. Manny, Pena, Thome, etc).
This post is meant as a combination reference manual (with 2010 salaries, 2011 guaranteed salaries where applicable, and my estimates for arbitration raises where applicable) and suggestion guide for where I see the Jays going this offseason. Feel free to quibble with my numbers and suggestions, though I think my arbitration raise estimates are probably pretty good. As well, I use only salary numbers, not including pro-rated bonuses.
A huge thanks goes out to Cot's Contracts, a great website that you should all refer to frequently for all your MLB contract, free agency, and arbitration reference needs.
On to the $$$.
Coming off the books – Doc ($10M), Ryan ($6M), Ruiz ($400k) = $16.4M total
Player name 2010 salary 2011 comment
Under contract for 2011 (total guaranteed raises =$16.25M)
Lind $400k $5M = $4.5M raise
Wells $12.5M $23M = $10.5M raise
Romero minimum $750K = $0.25M raise
A Hill $4M $5M = $1M raise
Johnny Mac $1.5M $1.5M = no raise
So, the guaranteed raises for our players already signed in 2011 completely accounts for the money saved by no longer paying players not to play for us. Thus, if we are to sign Manny, Pena, or any other FA’s and keep the payroll around 2010 numbers, we need to find savings elsewhere.
Still under team control
These guys are not yet arbitration eligible, so the Jays can do as they please with them, essentially. They are paid around the minimum salary each year, which generally comes to between $400-450k, but I like to assume $500k for simplicity of calculation.
Our pre-arbitration guys who should make the team are: Snider, Cecil, and JP2. Others include Rzep…, Drabek, Roenicke, Carlsson, Mills, Mastroianni, Ray and basically anyone else in the minors.
Now is where the fun begins. First, let’s look at potential free agents and the returns in money saved and draft picks they will return.
(losing Type A gets sandwich pick and pick from signing team, Type B just sandwich)
Overbay $7M non-typed FA
Downs $4M Type A FA – assume he will get $5M for 2011 on the FA market
Frasor $2.65M Type A FA
Buck $2M Type B FA
Gregg $2M $4.5M if pick up option – optional raise of $2.5M – type B FA
J Molina $0.8M $1M club option
I figure we will keep Molina as the back up catcher, costing an additional $200k, which can also come out of the money saved from Ruiz’s contract coming off the books. Overbay should be non-tendered, saving $7M. I think we offer arbitration to all the other guys on the list. I doubt any of them will accept, since they can probably get multiyear deals on the open market. If we lose all the remaining guys plus Overbay, we can save $17.65M through attrition. I however, hope we keep Downs, so that will cost ~$5M. If that happens, we have ~$12.5M saved so far (I fudged the figure from $12.65M to $12.5M).
Now let’s look at the guys from our 2010 roster who are arbitration eligible for the 2011 season. Since guys usually get raises in the arbitration, I will assume everyone will get one should they go to arbitration, though some guys probably will get a very minimal raise, largely insignificant to the overall payroll numbers.
Bautista $2M raise of ~$6M ($8M this season in arb or pre-arb signing)
E5 $4.75M assume raise of ~$1M if resigned
Tallet $2M minimal raise
Escobar minimum raise of $1M
Lewis minimum raise of $0.5M
Morrow minimum raise of $0.5M
Marcum $850k raise of $1.5M
Camp $1.15M raise of $0.5M
Janssen $700k raise of $0.25M
Litsch minimum minimal raise
Wise minimum raise of $0.5M
McGowan minimum minimal raise
S Hill minimum raise of $0.25M
Buckholz $1.05M raise of $0.5M
Accardo $1.08M raise of $0.25M
Some guys are obviously going to be back. First is Bautista, either through the arbitration process or signing a deal to avoid arbitration. So that’s $6M we need to spend. Then we are definitely keeping Escobar, Morrow, and Marcum. By my estimation, that’s $3M more for a total of $9M. I think we also keep Camp, Janssen, S. Hill , either Lewis or Wise, and either Buckholz or Accardo. I estimate that will cost raises of ~$2M total bringing arbitration raises to ~$11M on top of 2010 levels.
Tallet is an obvious non-tender. I also figure we non-tender one of Buckholz or Accardo (I’d probably prefer Buckholz). So we save $3M on them, bringing our total savings to present to ~$4.5M (assuming we keep Downs and with a small fudge factor to keep the numbers round).
So, before we start signing FA’s and figuring out what to do with E5 and other bubble arb-eligible guys, I figure we have the following on the 2011 squad:
Starting position players: Lind, Wells, Hill, Bautista, Escobar, Snider, JP2
Backup position players: J-Mac, Molina, Lewis/Wise (4th OF)
Starting pitchers: Romero, Marcum, Cecil, Morrow, Drabek/S Hill/Rzep
Relievers: Downs, Camp, Roenicke, Janssen, Accardo, S Hill/Rzep
If we non-tender E5, that gives us ~$9M to spend, assuming we don’t go above our 2010 payroll. If we figure Manny or Pena will cost about $8M for 2011, we are left with $1M to play around with and we don’t have a third starting OF (if Bautista plays 3B) or 3B (if Bautista plays RF). We may also need to fill out our bullpen, though that can probably be done internally with relatively cheap guys like Carlsson, Buckholz/Accardo, S Hill, Rzep…, etc. I will leave it to the discussion board how good such a bullpen would actually be.
One proposed solution is to call up Mastroianni, put him in CF for his defense, move Wells to RF (where he would be a plus defender) and put Bautista at 3B. This could easily work, leave money to sign a big bat FA (Manny preferably, or Pena, etc.). Depending on need and Rogers’ willingness to add a bit more payroll, we could also acquire a relatively cheap 5th starter and/or reliever (Jeff Francis?) while staying close to the 2010 payroll. Another suggestion has been to trade for Colby Rasmus, who is not yet arbitration eligible and thus would be playing for ~$0.5M. This would require trading some serious players/prospects, and rejiggering the offseason goals somewhat. However, perhaps we could offer up some of our minor league depth at C (Perez, D’Arnaud, JP2, etc) to make this or another good deal happen.
Anyway, I leave it to the discussion board to hash out what people think the Jays should do. But I thought it would be a good and important resource for people to know the Jays financial obligations for the 2011 season before discussing possible personnel moves.