According to MLBTradeRumors, raises for arbitration-eligible players Jair Jurrjens, Martin Prado, Eric O’Flaherty, Michael Bourn and Peter Moylan will add up to roughly $21 million against next year’s payroll. Combine that with their other contractual agreements and you get around $88 million, not including minimum salary players. So you’re pretty much at this year’s $91 million payroll.
Those arbitration raises, which include an additional $3 mil for Bourn, projected to make around $7 mil next season, negate shedding the contracts of McLouth (who will be bought out for $1.25 million) and Kenshin. I’m trusting MLBTR’s math, assuming, for instance, they didn’t include McLouth’s contract against next year’s payroll.
So if the Braves are going to add an innings-eater or another bat, they’ll have to do so through a trade, subtracting players like JJ and Martin. MLBTR estimates those two will make a combined $9.5 million in 2012. And they alone won’t get you a difference-maker; that would require a prospect or two.
The $15 million owed D-Lowe continues to limit FW’s options. He has only himself to blame, of course, and fans can only hope that contract remains the current administration’s biggest mistake.