Results tagged ‘ 2012 payroll ’
By Nathan Petrashek (@npetrashek)
A lot of Brewers seem likely to find new digs over the next few days, and we’ll be recapping any credible trade rumors here. Check back often for the latest updates.
Randy Wolf. The Brewers rotation is going to look a lot different next year. Many speculated that Wolf could be moved at the deadline; the only question is, “for what?” ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Brewers will trade him for nothing, “if you take the money.” Wolf is earning $9.5M this year and has a club option for next year at $10M with a $1.5M buyout.
Shaun Marcum. Marcum is still recovering from an injury that has sidelined him since June 14. While Marcum isn’t going to be traded before Tuesday’s non-waiver deadline, he may be a waiver trade candidate after he returns to action.
***UPDATE***: Adam McCalvey reports (on Twitter) that Marcum’s second bullpen did not go well.
Zack Grienke. Opposing GM’s have seemingly done a 180 on Greinke in the last week. After he was skipped in the rotation, execs were quoted as saying they were “concerned,” even going so far as to call him “scary.” Other big-market execs said they wouldn’t touch Greinke because of his known anxiety issue. But after Grienke’s heavily scouted seven-inning masterpiece in Philly, he has become the prize of the trade deadline, especially since Cole Hamels is no longer available. Teams known to be fawning over the righty include the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Braves, and White Sox. The White Sox are pushing hard, but they don’t appear to have the pieces necessary to land Greinke; several league sources have reported that Doug Melvin’s asking price is astronomical and includes a top shortstop prospect. The Braves dropped out after refusing to part with top pitching prospect Julio Teheran, as did the Orioles after Melvin suggested Manny Machado. At this point, it looks to be a two-way battle between the Rangers and the Angels, though Texas appears to be the frontronner and is presumably very motivated after losing the last two world series. Still, their top prospect, shorstop Jurickson Profar, is reportedly off the table, even though the Brewers (and other teams) are no doubt asking about him. The Angels don’t seem too confident in their chances to land Greinke.
***UPDATE***: Greinke was traded to the Angels late Friday for a package that includes three of the Angels’ top-10 prospects: SS Jean Segura (#2), RHP Ariel Pena (#9), and RHP Johnny Hellweg (#4). The Rangers apparently didn’t come close to that offer, refusing to trade Jurickson Profar, Mike Olt, or even Martin Perez. In fact, the Rangers’ best offer appears to have been IF Leurys Garcia, LHP Chad Bell, and RHP Justin Grimm; a pittance compared to what the Brewers ultimately wound up with, if I may offer my editorial opinion. The Angels’ decision to include Pena led Doug Melvin to pull the trigger, and the Angels now have perhaps the best rotation in baseball. You can read our own Ryan Smith’s analysis of the trade here.
Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod was looking like a sure candidate to be dealt at the trade deadline, but then he became the closer. Over the last week, he’s allowed 7 earned runs over 3.1 innings of work, with 7 walks against just 4 strikeouts. The Giants were reportedly in on him until they watched him pitch. K-Rod apparently alienated the Brewers, too, as Ron Roenicke announced the team would deploy a closer-by-committee.
George Kottaras. Kottaras was designated for assignment yesterday, a formality designed to open up a roster spot for returning catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Doug Melvin is reportedly attempting to find a new big-league home for the backup catcher; Kottaras was told to stay in Milwaukee while Melvin shopped him around.
***UPDATE***: The Brewers have dealt the lefty catcher to the Oakland A’s, according to Tom Haudricourt. The A’s apparently have to make a corresponding roster move, and the deal will not be announced, nor will we know who the Brewers are receiving, until Sunday. You can read Ryan Smith’s take on George Kottaras’s move here.
Nyjer Morgan. Morgan was a great pickup last year, but this year has been a struggle for the lefthanded hitter; he’s batting just .228/.299/.274. The Brewers would love to move his $2.35M salary, especially with Carlos Gomez playing so well, but there don’t appear to be many suitors right now.
Kameron Loe. Loe may be the only Brewers reliever to be moved before the trade deadline. After a two-inning, three-strikeout scoreless showing on Thursday, Loe should draw some interest from teams looking for bullpen help (i.e. Cincinatti Reds, Rangers, New York Yankees, St. Louis Cardinals, etc.). Loe has allowed just two runs over his last nine outings.
Manny Parra. Manny Parra, like Rodriguez, was a great trade candidate until this week. With plenty of scouts in attendance in Philly, Parra walked three on Tuesday and gave up four earned runs. That came on the heels of another three-walk performance the day earlier. It’s a shame, because Parra had pitched well through July up until that point (7.1 ip, 2 bb, 10 k, 1.23 era). Nothing simmering on the trade front here.
***UPDATE***: According to CBS’s Danny Knobler (via Twitter), the Brewers have received some inquiries about Parra, but may keep him and re-convert him into a starter again. That didn’t end well the first time. Parra as a starter is 23-26 with a 5.44 era, 1.692 whip, and 1.71 k/bb ratio. As a reliever, he has a 3.82 era, 1.406 whip, and 2.62 k/bb.
Corey Hart. The Brewers are listening on Hart, but would have to be “bowled over” by the offer to move him, reports Tom Haudricourt. Still, it wouldn’t be shocking to see Hart included in the Greinke deal if it nets the Brewers a top shortstop and pitching prospect.
Aramis Ramirez. Like Hart, the Brewers are listening, but the price is high. The team is not motivated to sell simply to rid their books of the $16M Ramirez is due in 2014 (he’ll earn $10M next season, too). Early reports linked the Dodgers to Ramirez, but they appear to have satisfied their desire for a bat with Hanley Ramirez.
Jose Veras. No doubt the Brewers would love to unload Veras and his 1.72 WHIP, but I can’t imagine a contender that would want to play with that kind of fire. By the same token, I couldn’t figure out why the Brewers would want to play with that kind of fire back in December. Veras has the third-most walks among MLB relievers and I can’t see him going anywhere. K-Rod is tied for fourth, incidentally.
By Nathan Petrashek
With the loss last night, the Brewers more or less became sellers at the trade deadline. We should see Francisco Rodriguez, George Kottaras, Shaun Marcum (if healthy), and even Randy Wolf heading for other teams by July 31.
But the big question: Will Zack Greinke be among them?
Greinke has a 5-year, $100M+ (reports are that the offer falls somewhere around $110M) offer on the table from the Brewers. That’s no doubt a lot of money to walk away from, but players on the cusp of free agency have frequently turned down such offers before. Prince Fielder and C.C. Sabathia, for example, were both offered similar contracts and opted instead to test free agency, where they earned monster deals. C.C. Sabathia went on to sign a record contract with the Yankees at 7 years and $161M. The deal included an opt-out clause that went unexercised, adding another year and $30M to his deal. Prince Fielder, of course, moved on to the Detroit Tigers this offseason, somehow working them for a 10-year, $214M contract. In case you were wondering, that’s enough dough to buy 107 million Krispy Kreme Donuts.
There’s the rub. As it stands right now, the market for Greinke is not going to be similar to that of Sabathia or Fielder. Most had Greinke pegged as a 5-year, $85M+ guy heading into the season, at least until Matt Cain’s astonishing extension this April reshaped the pitching market. Cain received the third-biggest contract for a pitcher at 6-years and $127M, although only 5 years and $112M of that was new money. That certainly upped the ante for Greinke, though. Most now expect him to sign something close to the Brewers’ offer. Some writers think Greinke may be worth a Matt Cain deal, but there is a good chance that some GMs see him as worth less because of his performance history and anxiety issues. I would tend to agree that there is more risk to signing Greinke than there would to signing Matt Cain, but, as Fielder showed, it only takes one owner that thinks differently.
“As it stands right now” is a pretty big caveat, though. The wild card is Cole Hamels, who would almost certainly be more coveted than Greinke as a free agent. The Phillies are pushing hard to resign the left-handed ace, and have reportedly offered a 6-year deal in the low $140M range. While that really shouldn’t shock anyone (that’s probably close to what Hamels would pull down in free agency), it doesn’t bode well for the Brewers chances of signing Greinke to an extension. If Hamels signs, Greinke becomes the top free agent pitcher, and that label might very well get him to 6 years and $130M.
The ball is really in Greinke’s court, though I doubt he’ll sign an extension. It appears likely that Hamels will sign with the Phillies, meaning Greinke is in a good position to achieve a 6-year deal worth more than $125M on the free agent market, well in excess of what the Brewers are offering. Perhaps the Brewers can get creative and include an opt-out and some vesting options, but even that may not be enough to entice the righty Cy Young winner. And the Brewers still have to think about having enough money to remain competitive in one of baseball’s smallest markets.
Matt Schwartz, as explained on MLBTradeRumors.com, has developed a very accurate system for projecting player arbitration salaries. That is an important matter for the Brewers, as seven players are arbitration-eligible entering the 2012 season. Using that information and the current team payroll obligations listed on Cot’s Baseball Contracts, we can make some educated guesses about how the Brewers’ offseason will look.
First, the arbitration salaries:
Shaun Marcum (SP) – $6.8M
Casey McGehee (3B) – $3.1M
Kameron Loe (RP) – $2.8M
Nyjer Morgan (CF) – $1.9M
Carlos Gomez (CF) – $1.8M
Manny Parra (SP/RP) – $1.2M
George Kottaras (C) – $0.8M
None of the projected arbitration salaries are truly shocking. Shaun Marcum nearly doubles his 2011 salary, which is to be expected after the kind of year he had. Nyjer Morgan and Casey McGehee get big raises in their first years of arbitration. McGehee certainly does not deserve $3.1M for what he did last season, but panel will look at his 2010 and 2009 season, too, if it comes to that. Despite the big paycheck, I think the Brewers will give McGehee another shot this year rather than nontendering him. Manny Parra is an interesting nontender case, but given the Brewers’ struggles finding a quality left-hander this past year, I think they’ll hold on to Parra too. At $2.8M, Kameron Loe would probably not be offered a contract but for the departures of Takashi Saito, LaTroy Hawkins, and Francisco Rodriguez in free agency.
If we assume the Brewers tender each arbitration-eligible player a contract, the Brewers will spend $18.4M on arbitration. That’s about 22% of their 2011 Opening Day payroll ($83.59M).
Add those arbitration salaries to the Brewers’ guaranteed obligations for 2012, and the team has already spent $76.48M. That’s nearly the amount the Brewers spent on their Opening Day rosters in 2008 and 2009, and just $7M shy of the team’s 2011 Opening Day payroll. Fans’ speculation that Prince’s $15.5M 2011 salary would free the team up to spend big is a misconception; those salary savings are largely eaten up by the extensions for Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Rickie Weeks, and Yovani Gallardo. Collectively, those four players will receive a nearly $13M raise from their 2011 salaries.*
With $76.48M already committed to the 2012 roster, the Brewers still have some big holes to fill. They will need infield talent, as Prince Fielder and Yuniesky Betancourt have both likely reached their ends with the team. The Brewers will need to revamp their bullpen, as some of its best players (Saito, Hawkins, and K-Rod) will be leaving. And though that $76M accounts for the outfield and starting pitching, the Brewers will need some quality bench depth, as Craig Counsell, Jerry Hariston, Jr., and Mark Kotsay are also free agents. If we assume the Brewers will look to strike near the $87-88M range for payroll this year, that leaves about a $1.7M average per roster spot for the departing free agents (and that number doesn’t account for pre-arbitration players like Jonathan Lucroy and John Axford, who generally make somewhere around $400-500K per year). I don’t envy Doug Melvin’s job.
Speaking of which, Doug Melvin is also in the final year of a three-year extension signed in 2008. Look for the Brewers to extend his contract again this winter.
*By the way, I’ve heard some rumbling about Braun’s extension, signed this past year, not being so team-friendly at about $20M per year in its late stages. Braun’s salary in 2012: just $7M. Last year the MVP hopeful made only $5M. This year, Greinke, Randy Wolf, Corey Hart, and Rickie Weeks will all earn more than Braun.