Projecting The 2016 Payroll
Over the next several weeks, many writers here at Shutdown Inning will be throwing out their offseason predictions. Who gets traded, who gets signed, who is non-tendered, and who leaves as a free agent.
However, before we get to that point, we need to know what kind of payroll we are working with. The Rangers do have guaranteed commitments for 2016 along with estimated arbitration and club control contracts. The best thing we can do is estimate.
As a disclaimer, I will say that this is nothing more than an estimate. When estimating club control guys, I used a single, exact number for each player. Some guys will make more than the arbitrary figure and some will make less. The assumption is that the overall number is relatively close to what the actual number will be.
So let’s go ahead and start with what know to be a fact – there are nine players that are under guaranteed contracts for 2016:
Prince Fielder ($18M includes $6M from Detroit $24M – $6M=$18M)
Shin-Soo Choo ($20M)
Elvis Andrus ($18M)
Cole Hamels ($23.5M)
Adrian Beltre ($18M)
Derek Holland ($10M)
Martin Perez ($2.9M)
Yu Darvish ($10M)
Total cost of guaranteed contracts= $117.4M
The following players are in some form of arbitration eligible years with their estimated 2016 salary and MLB Service time in parenthesis. Estimated salaries are courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors
Kyle Blanks (5.164) – $1.3MM
Mitch Moreland (5.067) – $5.6MM
Bobby Wilson (4.058) – $800K
Carlos Corporan (4.019) – $1.2MM
Chris Gimenez (3.163) – $1.0MM
Anthony Bass (3.148) – $1.1MM
Shawn Tolleson (3.122) – $2.6MM
Tanner Scheppers (3.111) – $800K
Robinson Chirinos (3.103) – $1.4MM
Leonys Martin (3.063) – $1.6MM
Jake Diekman (3.049) – $1.0MM
Jurickson Profar (2.167) – $508K
Nick Tepesch (2.136) – $508K
Total estimated cost of arbitration cases= $19.416M
Now, I wouldn’t expect all of those guys to go to arbitration with the Rangers. I’d guess that one of either Coporan or Gimenez will be non-tendered along with Wilson, Scheppers, and Bass. Because Corpy’s and Gimenez’ salary are just a mere $200K apart, take your pick. Two hundred grand isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. So for the sake of argument, let’s assume those guys are non-tendered by Texas. That means the new cost is:
New total cost of arbitration cases $15.716M
Then there are guys that are under club control who get paid bottom dollar because the club controls their rights. They are not eligible for arbitration until after three years of MLB service time. (two years in some instances but that’s another article)
Those guys include Joey Gallo, Andrew Faulkner, Ryan Strausborger, Luke Jackson, Sam Freeman, Nick Martinez, Rougned Odor, Phil Klein, Ryan Rua, Sam Dyson, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Keone Kela, Anthony Ranaudo, Hanser Alberto, Spencer Patton, and Delino DeShields.
For the sake of estimation I used an average salary of $515,000 per player, which might actually be a little low but gives you a conservative estimate.
Total cost of club control players= $8.24M
There are also guys that are club control guys not on 40 man – Antoan Richardson, Lisalverto Bonilla, and Alex Claudio. Those fella’s are currently on the 60 Day DL. However, unless otherwise non-tendered, they too will get paid.
Add another $1.63M (Richardson had a 2015 salary of $600K so we’ll use that again for 2016)
That gives you a grand total of $142.98M for 2016 with 37 players. That is already higher than the 2015 Opening Day payroll. Now some of these guys could start the year on the DL which would reduce the number of players on the 40 man roster but would still count against the payroll.
Your free agents are Yovani Gallardo, Mike Napoli, Will Venable, Drew Stubbs, Colby Lewis, and Ross Ohlendorf. It’s very conceivable that a pair of these names are back with the Rangers in 2016 but I will guess that Mike Napoli is not one of them mainly because I believe that Napoli will want more money than the Rangers are willing/able to offer.
If the Rangers plan is to not drastically increase payroll, than the team will not look that much different than it does now. Of course trades could play a big factor in how the payroll shakes out by the time April rolls around.
Keep in mind, that this is my best guess at estimated payroll and everything minus the guaranteed contracts are estimations. Some guys may not be back that I assumed would be and vice versa. This at least gives you an idea as to what the Rangers are looking at moving forward this offseason.