Oh, how much changes in just a couple days during the Winter Meetings. The signing of Dan Haren and to a lesser extent Zach Duke now provide a bit more clarity to the Nats off-season plans. Terms of the Duke deal have yet to be disclosed, but I’m going under the assumption that its about a one year, $1.5M deal to be safe.
Using the 12/3/12 post on this same topic as a point of reference (I won’t repeat all the contract details here; see this post for the way I arrive at these numbers, or click on the 2013 Payroll Worksheet link along the right-hand side of the blog), here’s where the Nats payroll now breaks down:
Players under Contract for 2013:
- was 12 players for $66,708,500
- now 14 players for $81,208,500
Arbitration Cases for 2013: remains 7 players with an $18,600,000 estimate.
Pre-Arbitration players with club-Assigned Salaries: remains 7 players with a $3,490,000 estimate.
Totaled up, the Nats now stand at an estimated 2013 payroll of $103,298,500. As Mark Zuckerman alluded to, this is the first time the Nats payroll has broached 9 figures.
My theory is that the team has a working goal of $110M salary. If we sit at $103M now, with a couple of signings/decisions yet to be made (namely, to Adam LaRoche or not to Adam LaRoche and to find another loogy), can we hit $110M? Seems so:
- Add LaRoche at $14M/per.
- Subtract Morse at $6.75M for 2013.
- Add Loogy-to-be-named (JP Howell?) at a nominal amount (he made $1.35M last year and seems like he could be had for about the same this year).
$103M + $14M – $6.75M + $1.5M = $111.7M dollars, or just slightly above a $110M budget. Seems like a workable plan to me. If $110M was a hard and fast budget line, we could eschew the final loogy signing and hope that Bill Bray makes the team out of camp, earning something close to a veteran minimum salary of about $800k.