I Have No Idea What The Braves' Budget Is

Per DOB, and discussed in several places, we shouldn't have more than $3-$4 million in salary to spend next season, and that's including what's expected to be a small payroll increase. Honestly, though, Liberty Media's money management really bugs me. A year after they said payroll would not be cut, it was seemingly cut by almost $10 million (At the time it was defended by saying insurance payouts for injured players accounted for much of the difference). We don't always know what kind of incentives deals are loaded with, or how the team accounts for costs like draft pick signings or international signings.

Still, something just doesn't seem to add up. After letting people walk, cutting costs, we still seem to be a little short, especially if our payroll is going to increase. If we're at the point that we can't sign a $5 million free agent (that's worth about 1 WAR on the market) for a team where the marginal value of a win is very high (that is, we're a fringe playoff team, and one win just might be the difference between making the playoffs and not). But here's my attempt to rundown just what we're spending on the team in 2012.

(Notes: The rookie minimum next year is said to be $480K. Some guys will make slightly more than the minimum, others get pre-arb raises prior to actually getting arbitration, so I'm rounding up all rookies to $500K and assuming it more than covers other discrepancies in my estimates)

Chipper Jones: $13 million
Dan Uggla: $13 million
Brian McCann: $11.5 million, per DOB
Derek Lowe: $10 million (the get-out-of-town special)
Tim Hudson: $9 million
Michael Bourn: $7.5 million (That's a high end estimate, closer to $7, I think)
Jair Jurrjens: $4.75 million (Again, perhaps high end, considering injuries)
Martin Prado: $4.5 million
Eric O'Flaherty: $2 million (Very much high end, since it's more than double what he made last year)
Matt Diaz: $2 million (Seems like a waste, considering how strapped for cash we are)
David Ross: $1.62 million
Eric Hinske: $1.5 million
Nate McLouth buyout: $1.25 million
Jason Heyward: $525K
Tommy Hanson: $525K
Kris Medlen: $500K
Jonny Venters: $500K
Craig Kimbrel: $515K
Freddie Freeman: $500K
Cristhian Martinez: $500K
Brandon Beachy: $500K
Mike Minor: $500K
Julio Teheran: $500K
Tyler Pastornicky: $500K
(5 more minor leaguers to fill out the bench and bullpen): $2.5 million

I have it at $89.685 million. Again, that SHOULD be high end, since I'm estimating high end on several things I am not sure about. I did leave out Peter Moylan, though, because DOB seems to think he'd get $2 million, and I think that can't be right-it's too much for a middle relief pitcher that could miss half the season. Braves' payroll has hovered around $93 million for 10 years. That seems to be what we're aiming at once again, if the Braves aren't able to add anyone making even as much as $5 million per year. So it doesn't seem like we're actually spending any more than we have the past several years. (Point of reference: Cot's estimated we paid $86.2 million last year)

If anyone notices anything else I'm leaving out, or learns anything else, please post here. We can hopefully use this as reference material to go with our rosterbation. Learning about the $3 million raise that McCann got was useful, and it definitely ruled out signing anybody to an 8 figure contract. The main thing I've taken from this is that I want to hurry up and extend Heyward to buy out his arbitration years as soon as possible.

This FanPost does not express the views or opinions of Talking Chop.

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