It took a while, but we finally have information on the financials surrounding the Zack Greinke deal. The base salary is $31 million for 2016-2018, with an extra half million in 2019, and then $32 million in 2020 and 2021. But it's both more and less than that. Firstly, there's an $18 million bonus, payable in $3 million chunks each year. Quite why they didn't just include that in the overall salary, I'm unsure - it's not as if we are likely to be bumping up against luxury tax considerations any time soon. On the other hand, about one third of the money is being deferred, so we'll actually be paying Greinke through 2026.
What it works out as, is during the term of the contract we will be paying Greinke a total of $24 million each season - $21 million in salary, plus the $3 million installment of the signing bonus. That applies from 2016 through 2021, for a total of $144 million. Then the deferred salary kicks in, with payments of $12.5 million per season for the next five years, 2022-2026, and that comes to $62.5 million, giving us the grand total of $206.5 million. So let's update or list of D-backs who'll be earning significantly more than league minimum for Arizona in 2016, including both Greinke and Shelby Miller [arbitration estimates are in italics, and come from the MLBTR page]
- Zack Greinke - $24 million
- Aaron Hill - $12 million
- Yasmany Tomas - $7.5 million
- Paul Goldschmidt - $5.88 million
- Brad Ziegler - $5.5 million
Shelby Miller - $4.9 million
- A.J. Pollock - $4.3 million
- Welington Castillo - $3.6 million
- Rubby De La Rosa - $3.2 million
- Patrick Corbin - $2.3 million
- Daniel Hudson - $2 million
- Josh Collmenter - $1.825 million
- Randall Delgado - $1 million
Cody Ross buyout of 2016 option - $1 million
- Matt Reynolds - $800K
That's a total of $79.8 million due or under contract, for 14 players. Add in 11 other players - for the purposes of the financials, it doesn't matter who, since they'll all be getting at or close to the minimum - earning $507,500, and you have a projected Opening Day payroll of $85.4 million. That's lower than I would have expected, because the deferrals for Greinke clearly work in the team's favor. This means that, yes, the team does have enough money to make further moves, while still remaining under the expected salary cap of $100 million. Possibilities there include taking on Brandon Phillips's salary, going after Mike Leake, etc.
I touched on this earlier in the week when I compared the 2014 and 2016 roster, but it's worth going into the sections in a bit more details.
Zack Greinke, Patrick Corbin, Shelby Miller and Robbie Ray appear to have four of the five starting pitching jobs. The competition for the fifth spot was thinned out with the departure for Atlanta of Aaron Blair - but only marginally, since we still have Rubby De La Rosa, Archie Bradley. Chase Anderson, Zack Godley left. Not a bad thing to have depth, and as options for fifth starters go, that's by no means a bad selection. As for which one gets it, pick one depending on your metric of choice. De La Rosa has most experience, Godley the best career ERA+, Anderson the best career FIP and Bradley, likely the most potential. Expect this not to be decided until late in spring training.
Certainly an area I expect the team to be active going forward - hopefully, not overpaying for a "proven closer" thing. [deadhorse.png] I wouldn't mind them acquiring a good set-up guy to join Daniel Hudson in working before Brad Ziegler, depending on how much trust you want to put in Silvino Bracho. For now, however, we have Ziegler, Hudson, Josh Collmenter and Randall Delgado as apparent bullpen locks. I'm trying to figure out if De La Rosa has a minor-league option left. He was optioned in 2013 and 2014, and I think he spent long enough in the minors in 2011 for that to count, but I've been staring at the 4th option rules for a full five minutes and... I still dunno.
This matters, because of the question of what can happen if he doesn't win the fifth starter's job. If the team wants to keep him as a starter for depth, can he be optioned to Reno? If not, then he would need to go to the bullpen. We also want at least one left-hander in there too: Matt Reynolds and Andrew Chafin are the top candidates, with Keith Hessler and Wil Locante the other southpaw relievers on the 40-man roster. If we have both Reynolds plus Chafin, as well as De La Rosa, there's no room for Bracho, and that's before we add anyone else. Again, depth is good. It's a bit of a morass to this point though.
Yasmany Tomas is likely the biggest beneficiary from the Miller trade, as the departure of Ender Inciarte appears to clear the way for him to be the everyday right fielder. He has, apparently, been working out with a martial arts instructor in an effort to get into shape, though this raised eyebrows after his appearance at the uniform unveiling. Not sure why: "round" is a shape... Chip Hale thinks regular playing time may be a help to Tomas, and it certainly seemed to help Welington Castillo last year. But he's going to be earning more than Goldie - and not just this year, all the way through the end of 2019. Tomas needs to start playing at least something like he's worth that.
Socrates Brito also moves up the depth chart, and looks to be the fourth man in the outfield now. The situation on the infield, however, is still unclear, outside of Goldschmidt at first. Chip Hale called the competition at the other three spots "wide open", with Nick Ahmed, Chris Owings, Brandon Drury, Jake Lamb and Hill all apparently at various levels of confidence. Last year didn't boost the stock of Owings and Hill at all, so if Hale wants to shake things up and go with Drury, Ahmed and Lamb on an everyday basis, I don't think anyone would mind too much.
- How are we going to spend the remaining available salary?
- Second-base appears the best spot remaining to improve.
- Are we happy with Chris Herrmann as a backup to Castillo?
- How cheap might Mike Leake go, to come stay with his family in Arizona?
- Do we need more help for the bullpen?