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2009-braves-payroll | July | 2007 Articles

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2009 Braves Payroll

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Update: Dave O'Brien mentioned something interesting in one of his posts today. He said that he has heard that Liberty Media, the conglomerate which owns the Braves, will raise the payroll between $10-20 million. He makes sure to also say that it is not official but mere hear-say. Still, if this is true, it certainly make the prospect of a Mark Teixeira trade quite a bit more realistic. If they can trade for and then sign Teixeira long-term, I wouldn't call for Schuerholz to be sent to the asylum. At the request of one of our readers, we are taking a look at the payroll situation for the 2009 Braves. Obviously this is a very loose analysis since free agent signings, contract extensions, and the like cannot be taken into account before they happen. We are assuming that Andruw Jones and Bob Wickman are not re-signed. Mike Hampton, Edgar Renteria, Chipper Jones and John Smoltz all have 2009 options and assuming that Renteria isn't traded, we can pretty well say that the Renteria, Jones, and Smoltz's options will be exercised. Hampton's surely will not and he has a $6 million buyout on the $20 million option, but Colorado is on the hook for that. I'll also be assuming that after this season, Jeff Francoeur is given a contract to take him through his arbitration years. He didn't do it after last season because he wasn't satisfied with his performance but should sign a deal close to Brian McCann's this season. This is an estimate of some of what the rosters and salaries will look like. I will leave some spots open though for utility players as they come and go quite frequently. This is all done with the assumption that the players on the roster now will not be traded. C Brian McCann- $3.5 million 1B Jarrod Saltalamacchia- $420,000 2B Kelly Johnson- $2.5 million SS Edgar Renteria- $11 million (option) 3B Chipper Jones- $11 million (option) OF Jeff Francoeur- $3.5 million OF Brandon Jones- $400,000 OF Matt Diaz- $2 million SP John Smoltz- $12 million (option) SP Tim Hudson- $13 million SP Matt Harrison- $380,000 SP Chuck James- $2.75 million SP Jo-Jo Reyes- $420,000 CL Rafael Soriano- $7 million SU Mike Gonzalez- $4.5 million RP Joey Devine- $400,000 RP Peter Moylan- $420,000 RP Tyler Yates- $2.5 million RP Will Startup- $400,000 Again, this is a rough estimate; an informed guess. This roster, missing a backup catcher, four utility players, and one reliever, comes to a grand total of $76.790 million. Assuming the Braves tap into the organization to fill those spots with cheap players, which is very likely, it should come to right around $80 million. I am going to work under the assumption that Liberty will raise the payroll which I believe will happen considering the comments made after the sale. Say it goes to about $85 million which seems reasonable. That leaves Atlanta $5 million to possibly pick up part of the tab of a starter they trade for or a center fielder if they do not want that outfield. Renteria's option will most likely be picked up with his performance in Atlanta even if it means trading him away right after the option is exercised, which is of course assuming he isn't traded before then. Hopefully I haven't made any mistakes trying to sort through their service time and judging which year of a player in his first six is in. These are very rough estimates of what the cost of those players will cost at that point and I have compared them with current players in similar situations to come up with those figures. Even this is a very nice looking team, but what does it tell me? It tells me there is little to no chance of signing Mark Teixeira longterm if the Braves do make a move to acquire the slugger before the trading deadline. The loss of Hampton will be a very nice thing, but we have so many young players still under team control and early in arbitration that their raises should minimize any free money the front office has to work with.
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