Monday, February 13, 2006

Payroll Update

I wanted to update the payroll to show where we stand, now that all the arbitration cases have been decided. It also shows the roster crunch the team finds itself in. Trading Jamey Carroll helped, but there are still some questions at the fringes.

STARTING PITCHERS (5)
Livan Hernandez -- $8,000
John Patterson -- $350 (estimated)
Brian Lawrence -- $3,200 (Salary actually higher, but SD is paying the rest)
Ryan Drese -- $1,750
Ramon Ortiz -- $2,500
TOTAL: $15,850

RELIEVERS (7)
Chad Cordero -- $350 (estimated)
Luis Ayala -- $1,100
Gary Majewski -- $350 (estimated)
Joey Eischen -- $1,300
Tony Armas -- $2,100
Mike Stanton -- $1,000
Felix Rodriguez -- $1,250 ($650 is in roster bonuses)
TOTAL: $7,450

CATCHERS (2)
Brian Schneider -- $2,700
Matt LeCroy -- $850
TOTAL: $3,550

INFIELD STARTERS (4)
Nick Johnson -- $3,200 (+ $250 in playing time bonuses)
Jose Vidro -- $7,000
Cristian Guzman -- $4,200
Ryan Zimmerman -- $350 (estimated)
TOTAL: $14,750

OUTFIELD STARTERS (3)
Jose Guillen -- $4,000
Alfonso Soriano -- $10,000
Ryan Church -- $350 (estimated)
TOTAL: $14,350

BACKUPS (4)
Damian Jackson -- $700
Marlon Anderson -- $925
Marlon Byrd -- $800
Robert Fick -- $850
TOTAL: $3,275

Total, 25-man roster: $59,225

It's silly to carry 12 pitchers, especially so early in the season when there are multiple offdays, but unless Bowden cuts Rodriguez or unless one of the arms gets injured, they're almost forced into it by the numbers.

Bowden has signed a slew of players to contracts, but there are two of note:
-- Michael Tucker: $800 (non-guaranteed, gets $200 if released before season)
-- Royce Clayton: minor league contract, if added to the roster, it becomes $1 million with $250K in games-played bonuses

As it stands now, neither really has much of a chance of making the team.

It's also important to note that I didn't include Jon Rauch, who is out of options. To send him back down to the minors, the Nationals would have to expose him to waivers, where he's sure to be selected. He has to come north with the team, or be traded, or the Nationals could lose him for nothing.

Notice that there's no room for Brandon Watson, Brendan Harris, Bill Bray, or any of the other 'prospects' in the farm system. And there's no room for players like Darryl Ward who signed minor league deals. There are just too many guaranteed contracts, and only 25 roster slots. Sucks to be them.

Does Bowden have a bigger trade in the works? Is he grasping at straws? Right now, multiple injuries and a judicious use of the disabled list are the only thing that's going to unclog the roster.

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