In Wednesday’s birdcage-liner story setting up the Nationals’ free agency, I estimated the Nationals’ base payroll before they spent any money on free agents this offseason. Taking into account money coming off the books, arbitration decisions and raises, and contractual increases, the total I settled at was roughly $62 million.
How much flexibility does that give the Nationals? General Manager Mike Rizzo has been mum on how much or how little he can increase the payroll, which in 2011 was $68.3 million. But the median payroll in 2010, per estimates from Baseball-Reference.com, was $86.55 million.
The point of this post is to show my work. It’ll be a quick snapshot of the Nationals’ payroll situation, and it will also allow the legion of loyal NJ readers to check the work or make their own calculations. Perhaps you disagree on the arbitration estimates. That’s allowed.
I used the indispensable Cot’s Baseball Contracts as a resource. Using that $68.3 million as a starting point, here goes:
Players under contract
Jayson Werth +$3 million ($10M-$13M)*
Ryan Zimmerman +$3.1 million ($8.9M-$12M)
Adam LaRoche +$1 million ($7M-$8M)
Stephen Strasburg +.5 million ($2.5M-$3M)
Yunesky Maya No change - $1.5M
Bryce Harper No change - $.5M
Sean Burnett +$.9 million ($1.4M-$2.3M)
* Werth also had a $4 million signing bonus spread out between January 2010 and 2011
Arbitration eligible: estimated raises
John Lannan +$2.25 million ($2.75M-$5M)
Tyler Clippard +$1.75 million ($.4M to $2.15M)
Jordan Zimmermann +$2 million ($.4M to $2.4M)
Michael Morse +$2.8 million ($1.05M-$3.85M)
Jesus Flores +$.25 million ($.75M-$1M)
Arbitration eligible: projected non-tenders
Tom Gorzelanny -$2.1 million ($2.1M-$0)
Doug Slaten -$.695 million
Free agents not re-signed
Ivan Rodriguez-$3 million
Jonny Gomes -$.5 million
Rick Ankiel-$1.5 million
Chien-Ming Wang*-$3.5 million
Todd Coffey-$1.35 million
Livan Hernandez -$1 million
Alex Cora-$.9 million
Laynce Nix-$.7 million
*The Nationals, of course, are on the verge of re-signing Wang. We haven’t learned the potential terms of the deal yet.
This is roughly what the Nationals paid before the trades.
Notable Zero-Three players
Players in this classification have no or insignificant changes from their 2010 salary to 2011.