Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More numbers

Despite the excitement of still being in the hunt for October come September 26th i'm going to shift focus to next year. The question now is what is going to happen in CF and what is going to happen in the rotation? First, let's look at the contracts that are going to stick around.

SP) Mike Hampton: $15m
3b) Chipper Jones: $15m
1B) Mark Teixeira: ~$13m
SP) John Smoltz: $14m
SP) Tim Hudson: $13m
RP) Mike Gonzolez: ~$4.5m
RP) Rafael Soriano: ~$2.5m
RP) Oscar Villarreal: ~$1.5m
C) Brian McCann: $.8m
RF) Jeff Francoeur: ~$.5m
RP) Tyler Yates: ~$.5m
RP) Lance Cromier: ~$.5m
RP) Buddy Carlyle: ~$.5m
SP) Chuck James: ~$.5m
LF) Matt Diaz: ~$.5m
SS) Younel Escobar: ~$.35m
2B) Kelly Johnson: ~$.35m
CF) Willy Harris: ~$.35m
RP) Peter Moylan: ~$.35m
RP) Royce Ring: ~$.35m
RP) Jose Ascanio: ~$.35m
RP) Many Acosta: ~$.35m
C) Corky Miller: ~$.35m

Scott Thorman: ?
Chad Paranto: ?
Ron Mahay: ?
Chris Woodward: ?
Edgar Renteria: $7m
Andruw Jones: ?
Octavio Dotel: ?

That totals just over $85m w/o bench players and a starter.

You may notice that I have 10 relievers listed. 3 of which will not make the opening day roster. I predict that Lance and Buddy won't make it and Gonzo is out for 1/2 the year. But you never know with baseball. Either way, none of the pitchers listed as being sent down make much so it won't affect totals significantly.

You also can see I also have 6 players listed separately from the rest. These are the 7 I see taking a walk. With the exception of Mahay, all come with baggage (contract, inability to play baseball). Mahay is a great pitcher but he might be too expensive to keep in his role as space filler.

Now let's look at what's missing. The biggest hole is in the rotation of course. Personally I see Glavine coming back at $10m (if the Mets decline his $13m option as they likely will do). Plugging him into the #3 hole and adding his $10m we have a payroll of just north of $95m which is about where we would expect Liberty to set it.

However, I doubt JS will be standing pat with Hampton being counted on. I see Thorman going to another club for a down on his luck starter. I have a feeling Cliff Lee might be that guy. His $15m contract extension looked great at the time, but since then his ERA is well over 6 and he has been limited to a relief role. The boy is a classic change of scenery guy. But Thorman won't be enough to net him. I don't know what beyond that will be called for but this is a deal that can get done, and before you even thing Rent's name i want to point out that the Indians have a SS and would rather shed payroll than take it on. Btw, Lee is making $3.75m next year. If Hampton goes down again that's quite a bit less than the insurance will pay out.

In terms of Renteria I see him getting moved. With his contention for the batting title and his solid performance it's almost a certainty that some team will be drooling over him. The return is based on what other teams have to give but anything from a rising star in center to some pitching prospects is not out of the question.

Add in bench players and we're looking at around $100m and the devision title.


Caleb said...

I'm not sure why they would make Soriano closer when they can have Dotel for about 6 million. I saw him pitch the other day. Wicked stuff. Looks better now than he was all year. Soriano reminds me of Wohlers. More of a heaver than a pitcher. He got blown up plenty this year. There is a reason why Seattle let him go for a bad to mediocre starting pitcher. My guess is Soriano blows a lot of saves next year. I would be much more confident with Dotel.

Caleb said...

I sincerely hope Renteria nets a good starting pitcher. He's worth it. Also, if James and Carliyle are still #3 and #4 next year, I may boycott the season. James needs to spend some time in the minors picking up a decent 3rd pitch and learning how to throw low strikes. Buddy just isn't very good with seemingly no upside.

Torchy said...

First off, Soriano is one of those confusing pitchers that needs to be used in pressure situations. Many of his blowups have been in those low stress innings. Take a look at how batters fare against him in close and late situations, .163/.207/.294. For reference, Wickman saw batters hit .267/.336/.435 in the same situation and Dotel allowed a .275/.363/.435 line. Look similar? How bout a few more:

Mariano Rivera: .267/.330/.416
J.J. Putz: .149/.197/.248
Trevor Hoffman: .233/.279/.370
Jose Valverde: .202/.294/.370

In that list I have 2 of the best closers ever, The AL saves runner up(Borowski will never be a real closer in my mind), and the NL saves leader. Soriano is better than all but Putz.

In terms of pitching I agree. Chucky is a good 4th starter and a great 5th starter, not a 3rd starter. Jo-Jo is about the same but he needs more seasoning before he can step into the role. However, I do think that if Buddy can keep healthy he could stick at #5. While his stuff is nothing to write home about he does have something many of our #5s have lacked, a good mental makeup.