In looking over the roster, we appear to have 21 of 25 roster spots filled.
For sure we will shed the salaries of: Hudson, Maholm, O Flat, Reed Johson (for a total savings of $21.2MM)
5 in the infield: Uggla, Johnson, Freeman, Laird, Simmons (Salaries we know here are Uggs, Laird and Simmons)
5 in the outfield: BJ, Justin, Heyward, Schafer, and Gattis (who i put here because we unfortunately have Laird guaranteed for the year)....(Salaries we know here are both Uptons, Schafer, and Gattis)
And 11 of 12 Pitchers: Beachy, Minor, Teheran, Medlen, Wood as starters (Major league minimum for JT, MM, and AW)
And control of Kimbrel, Carpenter, Avilan, Venters, Varvaro, and Walden....Venters may not be ready by Opening Day. (Kimbrel and Walden are up for arbitration, the rest will command minimum, and we have 1 spot to fill)
So, we have the Mac question to answer at Catcher, and two backup infielders to sign...do we want Janish and/or Pena back? And we have one more pen arm to sign...that is it. Assuming health is not an issue.
So that leads us to project the arb increases (and i am not a master at this, so this is open to you guys to correct)
Now i mentioned shedding the $21.2MM...which is more like $22.5MM if you count Janish and Pena...
The existing salary raises we have show BJ and Justin getting $5.5MM in raises, and the rest come from arbitration increases....so going into the arbitration increases we have $17MM if we keep Mac, and $29MM if we let him walk.
Chris Johnson i have projected to go up to $3.8 from $2.3 for $1.5MM increase
Freddie i have projected to go up to $3.5MM from $.500K for a $3.0M increase (Heyward went to $3.6MM his 1st yr)
Heyward i have projected to go up to $6MM from $3.6MM for a $2.4MM increase
Schafer i have projected to go to $1MM from $500K for a $.500MM increase
Medlen i have projected to go to $4MM from $2.6MM for a $1.4MM increase
Kimbrel i have projected to go to $2MM from $630K for a $1.4MM increase
Walden i have projected to go to $1.2MM from $540K for a $.650MM increase
Beachy i have projected to go to $1.5MM from $500K for a $1MM increase
Venters i have projected to go to $2.2MM from $1.6MM for a $.600MM increase
So we have 9 arb increases for 12.4MM added to offset the $17MM (again assuming we're still trying to work out Mac)....so it's a savings of $4.6MM....with a pen arm, two bench players, and Mac undecided....
Since i haven't subtracted Mac from the payroll yet, that means his $12MM is still accounted for and we're playing around on the fringes with just these end of the bench guys...three of them.
Assuming we promote from within, and retain Pena or Janish (i prefer Pena), that's $490K and $600K ....leaving $3MM for one last bench guy and some money towards Mac's raise. So let's say we have $2MM net savings from this year's budget between all the raises and the defections.
This exercise was undertaken to see just how tight we are in terms of bringing Mac back. And it's tight, but not insurmountable. Liberty Media knew if they put together a decent enough team eventually the bills would come due.
The quandary that Mac really presents is if we do let him walk, where do we spend that $14MM? His $12MM that came off plus the net savings? Because to sign him is going to cost more than $14MM, especially when i think that if we were to re-sign him, it would be wise to front-load, because those arb increases get nasty later on.
We can't spend $14MM on the bench OFer that would replace Gattis if he moves behind the plate full time, or the last man in the pen. So keep in mind if Liberty Media doesn't re-sign Mac, they had nowhere else to put the money.