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Diamondbacks Updated Trade Values and Payroll Snapshot

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Mike Hazen & Co. will need to pull some Wizardry out of their hats

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

NOTE: I HAD TO MAKE A MAJOR EDIT ON THE BUMGARNER CONTRACT EXPLANATION PART OF THIS POST:

PART 1: 2022 PAYROLL

Not a whole lot has changed with regards to the Diamondbacks 2022 payroll commitments since I last updated August 4th.

Below table is the most recent update I have with just a couple of notes/caveats underneath

1.) Option buyouts for Calhoun and Clippard ($2.5M ttl.) need to be paid now in 2021, not in 2022, but that number actually goes on the 2022 ledger for Competitive Balance Tax purposes. The DBacks have never gone over that threshold and never will, so it’s moot in their case. So I don’t include here as it will not impact what they pay in 2022.

2.) Madison Bumgarner: There has been a lot of confusion, (mostly caused by me) regarding Bumgarner’s contract. Here is what I found from last year’s article at time of signing. I apologize for my error.

3.) I use MLB Trade Rumors Arb estimates for Arb eligible players.

The minimum commitment for current roster is roughly $76M, and I budget another $4m for injury replacement call ups. So roughly they are sitting at $80 commitment, give or take. Last year’s opening day payroll was $96M. But there is a strong possibility the team will cut payroll even further in 2022. Even if they don’t and maintain the same payroll, Hazen would only have about $16M to play with. However if they are cutting, it just depends on how much they’re cutting. We won’t know until the end of the off season of course

PART 2: Player Trade Values

I did a quick update to the trade values I published last year. These are just a shorthand to give a rough idea of how a player may be valued in the market, and allow us to rank them by trade value. How another team might value them, and what they would give up for that perceived value is a huge variable. But we all talk a lot about trading this guy or that, so it’s still useful to look at.

With the exception of Zac Gallen , all the 2022 projections are from Fangraphs Depth Charts Batter and Pitcher Projections. which right now are only based on Steamer Projections. Zac is the only pre arb player I include here just to show his value, and that’s with a slightly lowered projection for him by me, compared to the FG projection.

Fangraphs had 3.0 WAR, but a weighted 3 year avg, including pro rating 2020 to a full season came out to 2.3 . Steamer/FG have him throwing 178 IP in their projection. That would have put him in the top 20 in the NL for IP for 2021, and is the 17th highest projected IP total in the NL for 2022. Considering he’s thrown. 80, 72, and 121 in his 3 MLB seasons, I’m not there yet. This is the only player I subjectively tweaked the projection. BUT...if he is indeed a 3 WAR pitcher each of the next 4 years for a total of 12 WAR he’d be worth on the order of $80M instead of $58M. So consider it a range.

This projection has Ketel playing 146 G in 2022. One can only hope. My guess is teams will value him a little less than this based on durability concerns.

It may feel like this is a little low, but Carson’s projections aren’t as high as we’d like to see because he doesn’t hit righties well, limiting his offensive upside. He’s also not a 120 Game catcher. While I think most of us agree he has a pretty good upside above his projection, he’s going to need to be able to playa lot more games and hit a lot better against RHP to achieve his perceived ceiling of an “All Star Catcher”.

And this is the flip side. Luke’s projection may feel a bit high to some. I’d tend to agree. But this is why the team keeps him in the rotation.

This is why picking up his option was a no brainer. I rather doubt they trade Merrill during the off season, but he is definitely a name that is going to be talked about at the trade deadline.

This is why David is still a Diamondback. There just isn’t much positive trade value. Trading him would be a straight salary dump, roster freeing exercise, and another team may still ask the Dbacks to pick up some of that $8M due to increased risk of injury due to age and history.

If the team is indeed cutting hard on payroll, then Walker would have to be considered a non tender candidate. He has negative trade value right now and needs a big rebound in 2022 to reverse the trend.

Not surprisingly, Ahmed’s trade value has cratered into negative territory. He is in the expensive part of his deal, and his projections are awful. Add to that the questions surrounding his bad throwing shoulder that ended his season prematurely and no team is going to take him without the D-backs eating more than half the remaining contract.

I hate to say this, but Madison being worth less than half his remaining contract ($60M) may be optimistic. He had 1.5 FIP based WAR and 1.3 RA-9 Based WAR in 2021, yet Steamer came up with 1.7 WAR projection for 2022. In case anyone is curious, he’d need to post 3 WAR in 2022, then 2.5, & 2.0 for a total of 7.5 WAR just to break even on the remaining $60M owed.