Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Assembling The Pieces

Although the offseason is just beginning, it's important to assess where we are, and what the team's needs are. Let's take a look at the roster, and see where the holes are, and, more importantly, how much we have to plug them.

STARTING PITCHERS
Livan Hernandez -- $8 MM
John Patterson -- $350K (MAY be Aribitration Eligible as a Super-2)
Brian Lawrence -- $3.2 MM (Salary actually higher, but SD is paying the rest)
Ryan Drese -- $1.75 MM
TBD
TOTAL: $13.3 MM + TBD pitcher

RELIEVERS
Chad Cordero -- $350K
Luis Ayala -- $1MM?? (Arbitration Eligible)
Gary Majewski -- $350K
Jon Rauch -- $350K
Carrasco (or veteran) -- $1 MM??
Minor Leaguer (Bergmann? Hughes?)-- $350K
TOTAL: $3.4 MM

CATCHERS
Brian Schneider -- $3 MM (Arbitration Eligible, Made $2 MM)
Backup -- $1 MM (Bennett made $750K)
TOTAL: $4 MM

INFIELD STARTERS
Nick Johnson -- $2.5 MM (Arbitration Eligible, Made $1.45 MM)
Jose Vidro -- $7 MM
Cristian Guzman -- $4.2 MM
Ryan Zimmerman -- $350K
TOTAL: $14.05 MM

OUTFIELD STARTERS
Jose Guillen -- $4 MM
Brad Wilkerson -- $5 MM (Arbitration Eligible, Made $3.05 MM)
Ryan Church -- $350K
TOTAL: $9.35 MM

BACKUPS
Damian Jackson -- $700 K
Marlon Anderson -- $900 K
Marlon Byrd -- $400 K (MAY be Arbitration-Eligible)
Terrmel Sledge -- $350K
TOTAL: $2.35 MM


OVERALL
$46.45 MM for 24 slots.

If the team is content with 11 pitchers, they'd presumably take an extra infielder like Brendan Harris for the league minimum.

Last season the team wound up with a payroll of around $55 MM. There's no indication that they'll go higher than that this season, which would leave the team about $8.5 MM to play with. Obviously, the arbitration numbers I posted were guestimates. I tried to do it on the high side, but arbitration is a wacky process.

Vidro's contract really sticks out. As does Wilkerson's (give the production he put out last season). There's a lot of interest in Wilkerson, and if there was a way that Bowden could get someone to take Vidro along with Wilkerson, the $12 MM or so would greatly help the team's payroll flexibility. (Now is there someone willing to take on that much money? PLEASE?)

Hypothetically, they could throw some cash in that package with Vidro, sign Encarnacion (you know Bodes wants to), re-sign Junior Spivey, and have enough cash left over to bring in Burnett. But that'd require a lot of willing dance partners.

Regardless, $8 Million should be enough to buy a Matt Morris or a Paul Byrd. It might even be enough for AJ Burnett on a back-loaded deal.

What would you do with the money?

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