An update heading into the offseason. This is an "as-is" update, not a projection.
Guaranteed contracts: Dan Uggla ($13M)
TOTAL: 1 player, $13M
Options: Brian McCann ($12M), Tim Hudson ($9M), Paul Maholm ($6.5M)
TOTAL: 3 players, $27.5M
I still think all of these are no-brainers to exercise. Maybe there's an outside chance one is traded, but I can't see any of them just being let go.
Arbitration: Martin Prado (3rd time, $8M), Jason Heyward (1st, $4.25M), Eric O'Flaherty (3rd, $4M), Tommy Hanson (1st, $3.5M) Kris Medlen (1st, $2.5M), Jonny Venters (1st, $2M), Cristhian Martinez (1st, $1M)
TOTAL: 7 players, $25.25M
The salary estimates are my projections. Heyward and Hanson are the two hardest cases, and the comparables I used are Justin Upton and Clay Buchholz, respectively. Jair Jurrjens and Paul Janish are non-tenders in my book.
Minimum salary: Luis Avilan, Jose Constanza, Juan Francisco, Freddie Freeman, Cory Gearrin, Craig Kimbrel, Mike Minor, Andrelton Simmons
TOTAL: 8 players, $4M
I'm pretty confident that these eight will make the team next year. The biggest doubt is probably Constanza, but given that no one is returning to the bench next year, he probably stands a solid chance to be the fifth outfielder.
GRAND TOTAL: 19 players, $69.75M
So that leaves between $20 million and $23 million to spend, with the following holes to fill:
--Starting 3B or LF (wherever Prado doesn't play)
--Three bench players to complement Francisco and Constanza (catcher, utility infielder, corner OF)
--One relief pitcher (I think six of the spots are set with O'Ventbrel, Martinez, Avilan and Gearrin, but Wren will probably bring in a Durbin-esque veteran)
It's pretty obvious that a trade or two will be necessary to fill a hole or two on the cheap. It's nice to have a lot of available money, but there are also lots of spots yet to be filled.