The difference between your current payroll commitments and last year’s Opening Day payroll is about $30 million. Do you plan to use all of that space?
The payroll will be right where it’s been. No reason not to. We’re committed to it. We’re all just trying to create flexibility to spend more.
In discussion with The Athletic, Derrick Hall said the above, apparently indicating that the team has $30 million to spend on free-agents this winter. That’s significantly more than they have had for a while - probably since the stunning signing of Zack Greinke in December 2015. But how might the team spend it? Let’s brainstorm potential suggestions. As a guideline we’ll be using the MLB Trade Rumors list of the Top 50 Free Agents. That also comes with predicted contract details which, while obviously not guaranteed, are a decent, neutral estimate of what players will cost. So let’s use those as an a la carte menu of players, from whom to choose.
The D-backs’ most obvious need is an outfielder. A right-fielder in particular might be nice, but there’s always the possibility of swapping David Peralta back there, if the player in question can only play in left. Pitching is the other obvious spot: there is the potential to upgrade both Arizona’s rotation and the bullpen. But you should also bear in mind the longer-term picture, though as Jack pointed out last week, a lot of money will be coming off the book at the end of next year, not least the Cuban Anchor. But here’s another quote from Hall:
Depending on what we do with certain players, we may have two to three positions in the outfield, one or two utility guys in the infield. We want to work on the bullpen. There’s a lot of areas we still need to address. Would we put it all in on one big free agent? Doubtful. We’re probably going to look at multiple guys we’re going to bring in to compete and figure into this Opening Day roster.
The spending has already begun, with the signing of Junior Guerra yesterday. That’s $2.55 million of the available money, so you are now down to $27.5 million available for use.
Here are the MLBTR Top 50 with costs. Some are multi-year deals, so for the purposes of the exercise, we should assume equal division, without backloading. For example, Strasburg is projected to get six years and $180 million. So, that’s $30 million a year, and would thus represent your entire budget if you decided to sign him. On that basis and given the players and prices below, how would YOU spend the $30 million available to the Diamondbacks? You are also welcome to pitch other free-agents who might not be on the list, or even suggest potential trade targets. You’ll have to research those salary costs yourself, however!
- 1. Gerrit Cole – Eight years, $256MM.
- 2. Anthony Rendon – Seven years, $235MM.
3. Stephen Strasburg. OFF THE BOARD.
Zack Wheeler. OFF THE BOARD
- 5. Josh Donaldson – Rangers. Three years, $75MM.
- 6. Madison Bumgarner – Twins. Four years, $72MM.
7. Yasmani Grandal – OFF THE BOARD
- 8. Nicholas Castellanos – Four years, $58MM.
- 9. Hyun-Jin Ryu – Three years, $54MM.
10. Jake Odorizzi – OFF THE BOARD
- 11. Marcell Ozuna – Giants. Three years, $45MM.
- 12. Didi Gregorius – Reds. Three years, $42MM.
13. Will Smith – OFF THE BOARD
- 14. Dallas Keuchel – Three years, $39MM.
15. Cole Hamels – OFF THE BOARD 16. Jose Abreu – OFF THE BOARD
17. Michael Pineda. OFF THE BOARD 18. Mike Moustakas – OFF THE BOARD 19. Kyle Gibson – OFF THE BOARD
- 20. Tanner Roark – Two years, $18MM.
- 21. Julio Teheran – Two years, $18MM.
- 22. Will Harris – Two years, $18MM.
23. Drew Pomeranz – OFF THE BOARD
- 24. Wade Miley – Two years, $16MM.
- 25. Corey Dickerson – Two years, $15MM.
26. Travis d’Arnaud – OFF THE BOARD 27. Chris Martin – OFF THE BOARD
- 28. Daniel Hudson – Two years, $12MM.
- 29. Avisail Garcia – Two years, $12MM.
30. Howie Kendrick. OFF THE BOARD
- 31. Rick Porcello – One year, $11MM.
- 32. Brett Gardner – One year, $10MM.
- 33. Robinson Chirinos – Two years, $10MM.
- 34. Jason Castro – Two years, $10MM.
- 35. Craig Stammen – Two years, $10MM.
- 36. Steve Cishek – Two years, $10MM.
- 37. Yasiel Puig – One year, $8MM.
- 38. Edwin Encarnacion – One year, $8MM.
- 39. Alex Wood – One year, $8MM.
40. Adam Wainwright – OFF THE BOARD
- 41. Brock Holt – Two years, $8MM.
- 42. Josh Lindblom – Two years, $8MM.
- 43. Dellin Betances – One year, $7MM.
- 44. Kole Calhoun – One year, $6MM.
- 45. Shogo Akiyama – Two years, $6MM.
- 46. Rich Hill – One year, $6MM.
- 47. Michael Wacha – One year, $6MM.
- 48. Ivan Nova – One year, $6MM.
- 49. Pedro Strop – One year, $5MM.
- 50. Drew Smyly – One year, $3MM.