Thursday, January 19, 2006

Best Guess at the Phillies 2006 Payroll

WARNING: This isn't exact by any means (if you don't believe me now, you will very shortly) and is only designed to serve as a tool to see roughly where the Phillies are at with regards to the 2006 budget.

Let's see if we can figure out who will be getting paid what in return for the privilege play baseball in Philadelphia (don't be rude, it is a privilege to play in Philly) in 2006. I think I've got the vast majority of the salaries pegged, but two things bug me with my list: 1) I'm not sure of the exact breakdown of what the Phils are paying Jim Thome to not play for them over the next three seasons is, and 2) I'm also not sure of the breakdown of the Abe Nunez contract. Luckily, I'm a problem solver and, although these methods may not be perfect (please correct me if someone knows something I don't), logic enables me to figure out some decent ballpark estimates for the salaries I am missing. Thome is owed $22 million by the Phillies over the next three seasons - let's break that down to the simple $7.333 million per season it may very well actually be. Nunez is owed $3.35 million over the next two years - we'll break that in half and say he is owed $1.675 million in '06. With those minor obstacles out of the way, the Phillies 2006 payroll begins to take shape. And if the formatting and margins are off, I blame you and not me since it looks damn good on my computer.

RF Bobby Abreu 13.00
LF Pat Burrell 9.50
DL Randy Wolf 9.00
C Mike Lieberthal 7.50
CWS Jim Thome 7.33
SP Jon Lieber 7.25
SS Jimmy Rollins 5.00
3B David Bell 4.50
RP Tom Gordon 4.50
SP Brett Myers 3.30
SP Cory Lidle 3.30
CF Aaron Rowand 3.25
SP Ryan Franklin
RP Rheal Cormier 2.50
IF Abraham Nunez 1.675
OF Jason Michaels 1.50
RP Aaron Fultz 1.20
IF Tomas Perez 0.70
C Sal Fasano 0.425
Money Guaranteed to J. Santana 0.325

So that is 19 players right there - 17 out of that 19 are very safe bets to be on the Phillies opening day roster (Thome is in Chicago and Wolf is still rehabbing). Julio Santana isn't actually listed as a player on this first list, but the 325,000 big ones owed to him no matter what are. Santana is getting that money no matter what. He'll earn $475,000 if he actually makes the team out of spring training. This brings the total value of his contract to $800,000.

1B Ryan Howard
2B Chase Utley
P Ryan Madson
RP Geoff Geary
OF Shane Victorino

These five young chaps are all assured spots on the roster - our total (along with the previous 17) is 22. As far as the MLBPA's guidelines concerning minimum salaries goes:

2006-at the 2005 rate per season plus a cost of living adjustment rounded to the nearest $500, provided that the cost of living adjustment shall not reduce the minimum salary below the 2005 rate per season.

The minimum last season was $316,000. I'm not sure of what it'll be in 2006 at this point. It could be out there already, but I haven't read about it yet. If someone knows something I don't (but, really, what are the odds of that ever happening?), help would be appreciated. Since we've already estimated on a few things, I am fairly comfortable with doing it again. We'll use $350,000 as the minimum for 2006 - a tad high for a minimum, but surely the Phils will give the maximum raises allowed for some of their players (Utley and Madson come to mind) with under three years experience, right?

So we have 22 guys thus far. Since I'd rather guess the payroll to be higher than it is than lower, we'll stay conservative with our guesses and use a wide pool of candidates that could wind up on the roster. We'll give six guys (Gavin Floyd, Robinson Tejeda, Ricardo Rodriguez, Aquilino Lopez, the aforementioned Julio Santana, and Rule Five draftee Chris Booker) as examples of players who could come and go from the roster at some point in '06. Five of those guys will get our hypothetical $350,000 and Santana will get the additional $475,000 owed to him if he were to make the team.

Time for some math -

Those 17 active Phillies (including Thome, Wolf, and Santana's guarantee) will cost the Phils a whopping $88.358 million in 2006. Wow. Then we have five guys who will make the team each earning $350,000 and five guys who could make the team each earning $350,000. 10 x $350,000 = an additional $3.5 million. That makes for a total payroll of $91.858 million. Throw in Santana's extra $475,000 if he makes the team and we are now at $92.333 million in 2006 (funny that Thome's $7.333 shows up like that in the final calculation).

The payroll for 2006 should end up being up to or around $95 million. By these very rough calculations that leaves the Phils with about $2.7 million to play with. That would allow the Phillies to add another star-quality pitcher like Ryan Franklin to the budget and still have enough money left over to pay for a couple decades worth of season tickets for me.

An interesting name being mentioned as a potential late addition to this Phillies roster is former Astros and Red Sox starter Wade Miller. Adding Miller would be a very good move even when taking into account the fact he won't be ready until the beginning of May (some say mid-May at the earliest). I'd actually consider signing Miller this year to be less of a risk and a better investment than signing him last year would have been - he has finally had surgery on his damaged labrum, a move that at least gives him the chance to recapture some of his magic of a few year's back (he elected not to have the same surgery when the opportunity presented itself last offseason when he instead opted to first try various alternate treatments). I would support a Miller signing without a doubt - however, the Phils tight financial situation should not be forgotten. Miller is apparently seeking a $1.5 million guaranteed deal with incentives tied in that could bump the one-year deal all the way up to $4.5 million. That could be more than the Phillies are willing to (or are able to) offer. I suppose it all depends on what their 2006 payroll figures will look like. Say, wouldn't it be great if somebody with too much time on their hands decided to at least attempt to break down what the '06 payroll will look like? Indeed it would. Indeed it would.


Anonymous cop-puncher22 said...

I wanted to touch on Wade Miller: I too would completely support the Phillies signing him for 1yr 1.5 mil. and with bonus moeny totaling up to 4.5 even. Considering the fact that he is only going to be pitching for half the season at most I can't imagine him collecting all 3 million in bonuses (got only $900,000 last year in 16 starts) but if he does then thats most likely going to be good news because of the fact that he must have been able to come back from his injury and at least play well enough to earn a spot in the rotation and pitch enough inngings to get the bouns money. So if by some chance he happens to collect on all of that than I say good for him and for that matter good for the phillies. I mean its still only half of what Wolf is going to make next year regardless of how much he pitches or how well he pitches and they are both in the same boat regarding when they are expected to return from their respective injuries. From the direction of where these past few years have been heading towards 4.5 million is becoming much more of a bargin for teams, especially on pitching. If you can get a guy that gives you a good half a year for 4.5 (not to mention that it is the second half of the year which ideally would include the post season) then I have defintely seen worse things happen. My final thoughts on Wade Miller is that I would classify him as one of those players that is currently in the low risk, high reward situations in that if he can come back and go back to the way that he once was, or even better yet, what he once could/should have been, then that would be one heck of a useful guy to have on a team.
I also wanted to say thanks for the salary numbers, its kinda fun and helpful at the same time to look at and see what else they can do to improve the team and if signing people like Wade Miller are even options or if we are just wasting our breathe.

Sorry for the length.

2:15 AM  
Anonymous braveswin said...

If the cash is there the Phillies should gamble. Miller may not even reach the potential incentives, and even if he does that's good for the Phillies, right? This should be a contingency plan.

Franklin's money is guaranteed, right? Gillick said he's not guaranteed a spot in the rotation so, if he gets cut in ST that money is gone? I guess I just want to understand the details.

Thome: I believe the numbers for Thome are right. The only question I have, would the Phillies pay any of the $3M buyout in 2009? I wouldn't think so, but I'm not sure.

9:49 AM  
Blogger XXX said...

cop-puncher22 -

Very good point about Wade Miller - a contract structured with $3 million in bonuses seems like a tad much, but if he were to actually earn those bonuses then it would be well worth it (actually, like you said, it would be a bargain - $4.5 million for even a slightly above average starting pitcher seems to be the going rate these days). The more I think about it, I'd really love to see the Phils step up and offer him a 2-year deal (assuming he checks out medically, they'd know better than I would of course). It could be something along the lines of what the Yanks did with Lieber a few years back except Miller is actually expected to pitch in the first year of his deal. Sign him up.

By the way, and this is a total guess on my part, I have a sneaky suspicion that Randy Wolf won't make it back at all in 2006. Maybe I'm saying it for a bit of shock value, but it has kind of been my hunch since the day he got hurt and I figure I might as well stick with it now. Whether I'm right or wrong, I'd still advise any Phils fan to expect nothing out of Wolf this year - literally nothing. I'd say any inning pitched by him in the big leagues in '06 is a bonus. He should not be counted on to come back at all let alone pitch effectively. The Phils have a tendency to point to injuries as a reason why they have underachieved in recent years. They can't let this injury become an excuse - they know about it right now and should identify available starters (whether on the market or already on the roster) that are capable of filling the rotation void all season long.

Braveswin -

I agree with everything you said about Miller, in fact you said it like I wanted to except you were more to the point.

Franklin's money is guaranteed and, quite frankly, so is his spot on the team. It would be too big a blow to the credibility of the new regime to sign a guy for $2.6 million and then dump him just a few short months later. Gillick only said his spot in the rotation isn't a sure bet. He could be a candidate for bullpen work if he doesn't crack the starting five. The more I think about it, the more I think the Gillick comment about Franklin is nonsense anyway. I think it would take a truly disastrous spring or a huge SP acquisition to bump him from the rotation. Again, the credibility thing. I wish he wasn't on the team in the first place, but as I've found so many times before my wishing doesn't help a lick. Time for Phils fans to make the best of a bad, bad situation - not to say I won't be complaining all the while of course.

Regarding Thome's contract, your guess is as good as mine. I just did some simple division to come up with my number - normally the way the structure such things are more complicated than that. Who really knows? As far as the buyout goes, I wouldn't think the Phils have any responsibility to pay it, but I haven't found any info regarding the situation one way or another.

By the way, thanks guys - 2 comments feels like a record for me (at least a record tying day anyway). Good stuff.

3:28 PM  
Anonymous MPN said...

xxx: I believe I read somewhere that the Phillies were giving the White Sox $5.5 million per year over 4 years on Thome's contract.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Wade Bloggs said...

Wade Miller at least has the possibility of success - I have a feeling Ryan Franklin is going to get lit up like July 4 fireworks at Citizens Bank Park.

4:57 PM  
Blogger XXX said...

mpn -

That sounds really, really familiar. I'll look into it a bit more, but I'm almost sure you are correct. Thanks a ton, I appreciate it.

wade bloggs -

Franklin is going to be a disaster. I've never caught a homerun ball before (never even been close), but I'll be sure to get outfield seats whenever he pitches. I think this is the year I get that ball. Now I just gotta decide on what to do when the crowd is yelling at me to throw it back.

6:23 PM  

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