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  1. #1
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    The 2013 Payroll Picture

    Updated through Dec. 8.

    Guaranteed contracts: Dan Uggla ($13M), B.J. Upton ($12.45M), Brian McCann ($12M), Tim Hudson ($9M), Paul Maholm ($6.5M), Reed Johnson ($1.6M), Gerald Laird ($1.5M), Paul Janish (~$900K)
    TOTAL: 8 players, $56.95M

    Arbitration: Martin Prado (3rd time, $7.7M), Eric O'Flaherty (3rd, $3.8M), Jason Heyward (1st, $3.5M), Kris Medlen (1st, $2M), Jonny Venters (1st, $1.4M), Cristhian Martinez (1st, $700K)
    TOTAL: 6 players, $19.1M

    Minimum salary: Luis Avilan, Jose Constanza, Randall Delgado, Juan Francisco, Freddie Freeman, Cory Gearrin, Craig Kimbrel, Mike Minor, Andrelton Simmons, Jordan Walden
    TOTAL: 10 players, $5M

    I'm pretty confident that these ten will make the team next year, with Randall Delgado being exchangeable for Julio Teheran if you prefer. I've still got Constanza penciled in as the fifth outfielder, but the Braves could still sign someone or choose Jordan Schafer instead.

    GRAND TOTAL: 24 players, $81.05M

    So that leaves between about $11 million and $14 million to spend, with the following holes to fill:

    --Starting 3B or LF (wherever Prado doesn't play)
    Last edited by rtgthree; 12-09-2012 at 03:32 AM.

  2. #2
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    After this analysis i completely ruled out trading for Greinke we just can't pay him, i will like to extend Prado and Heyward this year or in the off-season. I think the braves need to add an OF like Swisher, trade for a good starting pitcher like Shields, Garza etc...and we must have some money left to sign a player like Angel Pagan or someone similar.

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    To me, this boils down to how good you all believe Greinke is. All true aces will basically cost $20M per year these days. If you believe he's a true ace, then you can't be cheap if you want to play with the big boys deep into October going forward because you're likely to run into another team like the 2010 Giants who can run out 2 legit aces and give you swift early exit, again and again... then you'll be wondering "what if" again and again. Greg Maddux took less money to sign with the Braves over the Yankees 20 years ago, becoming the highest paid player on the team and took up like 15-20% of team payroll. It was a risk, but they had to do it in order to take the next step as a franchise. Sometimes you have to bet big to win big.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo95 View Post
    To me, this boils down to how good you all believe Greinke is. All true aces will basically cost $20M per year these days. If you believe he's a true ace, then you can't be cheap if you want to play with the big boys deep into October going forward because you're likely to run into another team like the 2010 Giants who can run out 2 legit aces and give you swift early exit, again and again... then you'll be wondering "what if" again and again.
    It's not quite that simple. Because if we sign Greinke at $20 million a year, leaving a maximum $6.5 million to acquire two starting position players...Frank Wren would have to get really creative to even get the offense up to a point where Greinke would make a difference. Not to mention how ugly things get in 2014 and beyond, when the only real money coming off the books is Tim Hudson, but guys like McCann and Heyward start to get more and more expensive.

    Aces aren't necessary to win championships, and getting Greinke to be an ace this year doesn't require extending him. Past this year, we have other opportunities to obtain aces than signing Greinke (i.e., getting Brandon Beachy back from injury and/or watching one of the young guns develop and/or making a trade for someone more controllable).

    I'm not saying don't sign Greinke long term. I'm just saying (a) don't do it at $20 million per year; and (b) don't be afraid to rent him.

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    If Sheets ends the season healthy, I wonder what kind of contract he'll command.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon93405 View Post
    If Sheets ends the season healthy, I wonder what kind of contract he'll command.
    Perhaps one year at $4-5 million? Hard to say, really, but I want to think that since the Braves are close to his Louisiana home and they were the ones to give him a chance after two years off, he would sign with us over other teams.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rtgthree View Post
    Perhaps one year at $4-5 million? Hard to say, really, but I want to think that since the Braves are close to his Louisiana home and they were the ones to give him a chance after two years off, he would sign with us over other teams.
    ya he took less to come to us cause of good ballpark to pitch in, n close to home still etc givum 4.5 with a few mil of incentives for ip n so on. money ell spent imo

  8. #8
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    Great post. Everything looks spot on. 27M will be aton of money for what we have had but with one soild OF and a SP its gone.

    Really think Prado moves too 3B being there are more options for LF, CF will be the hard one. Really wish Bourn would sign for around 8-9M but that will never happen, sure seems he is looking to get paid.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtgthree
    It's not quite that simple. Because if we sign Greinke at $20 million a year, leaving a maximum $6.5 million to acquire two starting position players...Frank Wren would have to get really creative to even get the offense up to a point where Greinke would make a difference. Not to mention how ugly things get in 2014 and beyond, when the only real money coming off the books is Tim Hudson, but guys like McCann and Heyward start to get more and more expensive.
    Attendance is up about 5% at this pace from last year, we already got the news before the season that revenue was also up. Considering they're in a race and this being Jones' final season, there's no reason to believe those numbers won't stay positive through the end of the season. Team payroll has increased the past couple years, so IMO your estimate is conservative -- I believe it will be closer to $100M, so they will have more to spread around.

    Freeman, Heyward, and Simmons are true building blocks going forward. I've said before that I don't believe McCann is worth a $16M+ long term extension, which he is certain to command. Forget the sentimental stuff, the Braves simply can't afford to pay a catcher that kind of money into his 30s (when his body is likely to break down) when he doesn't hit like Piazza -- we already got his best seasons. I prefer to pay players for what they will do going forward, not what they have done in the past. If you pay Mac that much, guess what Freeman and Heyward will demand when they hit their prime while he's aging, hurt, and overpaid? Also, we should EXPECT our front office to make "creative" deals, that's what good ones are supposed to do, especially those on a self-imposed budget.
    Aces aren't necessary to win championships, and getting Greinke to be an ace this year doesn't require extending him. Past this year, we have other opportunities to obtain aces than signing Greinke (i.e., getting Brandon Beachy back from injury and/or watching one of the young guns develop and/or making a trade for someone more controllable).

    I'm not saying don't sign Greinke long term. I'm just saying (a) don't do it at $20 million per year; and (b) don't be afraid to rent him.
    Disagree on the bold. True #1s don't guarantee you a WS, but the vast majority of teams that win it all have at least one: 2011 Carpenter, 2010 Lincecum, 2009 Sabathia, 2008 Hamels, 2007 Beckett, 2006 Carpenter, etc etc etc. The last time the Braves had a true ace was a decade ago, which is also the last time they won a playoff series -- that's no coincidence. It sounds great to not want to pay an elite player what the market dictates, but the bottom line is, true #1s don't hit the market with the Braves among the favorites and this is a rare occasion when teams like the Yankees and Red Sox won't be in the way.

    Brandon Beachy is not a true ace. Good pitcher, tough kid and we don't know how he'll bounce back a year from now, but we can't assume he'll become Roy Halladay. Delgado and Minor aren't likely to develop into aces either. Everyone thought Hanson was that guy, remember? Look at him now -- velocity declining every year and he basically a #3 on a team full of #3s. If you're not going to go all in now, when another franchise icon is walking away from the game, then when? As I said, they got Maddux to take a lesser deal 20 years ago, so who knows, maybe they can convince another ace to do it again. But if you want a real #1, you more than likely have to pay just like everyone else. A rental would be a waste, especially if you're giving up decent prospects and he ends up on another NL contender next season.
    Last edited by Bravo95; 07-22-2012 at 03:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo95 View Post
    Attendance is up about 5% at this pace from last year, we already got the news before the season that revenue was also up. Payroll has increased the past couple years, so IMO your estimated payroll is conservative -- I believe it will be closer to $100M, so they will have more to spread around.
    You can project that if you want, but I don't think you're going to find many Braves fans who are optimistic about the payroll going up much if at all under current ownership. The Braves' TV contract, which provides the biggest source of revenue for clubs these days, is going to handicap them for decades to come. My estimated payroll is meant to be conservative, because I see no reason at all to be aggressive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo95 View Post
    Freeman, Heyward, and Simmons are true building blocks going forward. I've said before that I don't believe McCann is worth a $16M+ long term extension, which he is certain to command. Forget the sentimental stuff, the Braves simply can't afford to pay a catcher that kind of money into his 30s (when his body is likely to break down) when he doesn't hit like Piazza -- we already got his best seasons. I prefer to pay players for what they will do going forward, not what they have done in the past. If you pay Mac that much, guess what Freeman and Heyward will demand when they hit their prime while he's aging, hurt, and overpaid? More.
    Not sure what this has to do with anything, but one way or another, McCann and his $12 million salary are going to be on the books for 2013. Beyond that, perhaps he won't get an extension, but it's still going to cost a significant percentage of that $12 million to replace him. So maybe that's a few million extra per year beyond 2013, but that savings might cover Heyward's arbitration-induced raises. I don't necessarily disagree with you about McCann's long-term future in Atlanta, but I don't think that radically changes the payroll outlook.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo95 View Post
    Disagree on the bold. True #1s don't guarantee you a WS, but the vast majority of teams that win have at least one: 2011 Carpenter, 2010 Lincecum, 2009 Sabathia, 2008 Hamels, 2007 Beckett, 2006 Carpenter, etc etc. I could go on.
    You could, but you wouldn't be making a point. I won't begin to disagree that stud pitchers help win championships, because that's obvious. But your argument that one is necessary doesn't fly in my book. In just the examples you cite...Cole Hamels had a 3.72 FIP in 2008, and Chris Carpenter made one start in 2006 (Wainwright was the "ace" with a 3.90 FIP). The Braves have two pitchers this year whose FIP numbers were lower than those (Hudson and Beachy). Pitching depth can get a team to the playoffs just as easily as a top-heavy rotation headlined by a dominant ace...and once you get to the playoffs, it's pretty much a crapshoot anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo95 View Post
    It sounds great to not want to pay a guy what the market dictates, but the bottom line is, true aces don't hit the market with the Braves among the favorites and this is a rare occasion when teams like the Yankees and Red Sox won't be in the way.
    Right, but again my whole point is that a "true ace" isn't something teams must have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo95 View Post
    Brandon Beachy is not a true ace. Good pitcher, and we don't know how he'll bounce back a year from now, but we can't assume he'll become Roy Halladay. Delgado and Minor aren't likely to develop into aces either. Everyone thought Hanson was that guy, but look at him now -- velocity declining every year and he basically a #3. If you're not going to go all in now, then when?
    Beachy isn't going to join the Roy Halladay class anytime soon, but he's still a very good pitcher at the top of the rotation, especially if you put plenty of depth behind him. (And speaking of Roy Halladay, we can't assume that he'll be Roy Halladay anymore either...which just shows you how risky these "ace" type guys are, making it potentially even more dangerous to drop such a huge percentage of the payroll on a guy like Greinke.) Delgado and Minor won't develop into aces, but Julio Teheran retains that sort of ceiling, and again, Delgado and Minor (and Hanson) are definitely the types of guys that give depth and talent in the mid-rotation to help lessen the need for a Clayton Kershaw-caliber #1. So when would I go all in? Never. Take one at a discount if I can get it, and otherwise rely on overall talent level rather than counting on riding one horse all year.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo95 View Post
    As I said, they got Maddux to sign for less, so who knows, but if you want a real #1, you have to pay just like everyone else.
    And how many World Series championships did Maddux bring, even with two more "real #1" pitchers on the staff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo95 View Post
    A rental would be a waste, especially if you're giving up decent prospects and he ends up on another NL contender next season.
    A rental would not be a waste, since the pitching staff could use a boost this season, and the contention window is open. It's time to win, and a good starting pitcher would help the Braves do that. Someone that believes as much as you do in the importance of a stud ace is going to hem and haw over giving up "decent prospects" to get one? If we don't trade for him at all and don't sign him this winter, he's going to end up on another NL contender next season anyway. So to trade a couple B-prospects for a bona fide shot at a title this year? If you're not going to go all in now, then when?

    I'm prepared to go all in now, as long as it doesn't handicap the franchise in the long term. Signing Greinke at $20 million a year, and just blindly assuming that the payroll will go up accordingly...that could very well handicap the franchise for years to come.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtgthree
    You can project that if you want, but I don't think you're going to find many Braves fans who are optimistic about the payroll going up much if at all under current ownership. The Braves' TV contract, which provides the biggest source of revenue for clubs these days, is going to handicap them for decades to come. My estimated payroll is meant to be conservative, because I see no reason at all to be aggressive
    Yes, I know the TV deal hurts. I posted that report in this forum back when it came out, along with the ajc column where Wren/McGuirk said payroll will increase as "cost of living" expenses go up, which has happened in recent years.
    Not sure what this has to do with anything
    Because I don't consider him part of the long term future and would entertain offers for him starting this offseason.
    You could, but you wouldn't be making a point. I won't begin to disagree that stud pitchers help win championships, because that's obvious. But your argument that one is necessary doesn't fly in my book. In just the examples you cite...Cole Hamels had a 3.72 FIP in 2008, and Chris Carpenter made one start in 2006 (Wainwright was the "ace" with a 3.90 FIP). The Braves have two pitchers this year whose FIP numbers were lower than those (Hudson and Beachy). Pitching depth can get a team to the playoffs just as easily as a top-heavy rotation headlined by a dominant ace...and once you get to the playoffs, it's pretty much a crapshoot anyway.
    Hamels was a budding young ace in only his 3rd year when Philly won it all in 2008 -- his 3.98 FIP as a rookie in '06 kept improving each year, and by '08 he was NL Top 10 in fWAR, ERA, xFIP and Top 15 in FIP. That Phillies WS team had guys like Blanton, Moyer, and Adam Eaton filling out the rotation.

    Carpenter was the Cards' ace when they won the WS in 2006 with a 3.44 FIP -- he had just won a Cy Young award the previous season. Wainwright was their closer in '06. The Cards had him in the bullpen when he first came up and he stepped in for the injured Isringhausen. Carpenter's TJ surgery and Wainwright's move into the rotation happened in 2007 (when Boston won it all, led by Beckett and his 3.08 FIP). There is no question Carpenter has been the #1 guy in St Louis since 2004, when they got to the WS with Woody Williams, Jeff Suppan, and Jason Marquis in the rotation.

    Beachy is a good young pitcher, but he won't be a factor for us until maybe late next season because of his injury and we don't know how long it will take him to get back to his normal self. If you believe Hudson can keep it up or be even better at his age with his bad foot, good and I hope you're right about him. Ever since the Big 3 broke up a decade ago, the Braves have relied on depth and took chances on mid-rotation guys like Lowe, all while hoping one of the young arms would become that true #1 guy, but that hasn't happened and they have yet to win a playoff series.
    And how many World Series championships did Maddux bring, even with two more "real #1" pitchers on the staff?
    They couldn't finish the job before Maddux arrived, but from '93-'02: 1 championship, 3 pennants, 7 NLCS trips. The Braves were contenders and he was the guy who put them over the top. The starters had some October duds during that run, but I never believed that was the biggest reason for the postseason failures. If you do, that's fine.
    A rental would not be a waste, since the pitching staff could use a boost this season, and the contention window is open. It's time to win, and a good starting pitcher would help the Braves do that. Someone that believes as much as you do in the importance of a stud ace is going to hem and haw over giving up "decent prospects" to get one? If we don't trade for him at all and don't sign him this winter, he's going to end up on another NL contender next season anyway. So to trade a couple B-prospects for a bona fide shot at a title this year? If you're not going to go all in now, then when?
    I said that I would do both: Go all in for true #1, whomever that may be, and keep him around long-term.
    Last edited by Bravo95; 07-23-2012 at 08:02 AM.

  12. #12
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    Ugh we really need Teheran to be good....

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    Teheran is still only 21 years old. He has the right to have a down year with some growing pains.

    He is giving up HRs at a crazy rate. Already 16 this season, had only gave up 20 in his lifetime in the minors.
    Last edited by Wrench; 07-23-2012 at 07:27 PM.

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    Damn.. Yanks got Ichiro for nothing.. Id gave up Randall for Ichiro easily

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    Quote Originally Posted by robdizzle3 View Post
    Damn.. Yanks got Ichiro for nothing.. Id gave up Randall for Ichiro easily
    Can't tell if your joking....

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