Monday, October 2, 2017
Scouting the Offseason: By the Numbers
Giants management, from Larry Baer to Bruce Bochy is saying their roster needs some major changes. Bruce Bochy talked about attacking the offseason and being aggressive. Yet, the current roster and MLB rules have some restrictions that give them little flexibility as the Giants have a large core of players signed to big, lengthy contracts and MLB rules for exceeding the Competitive Balance Tax threshold are more severe than ever. So how much wiggle room do the Giants have?
Here are some numbers taken from Cot's Baseball Contracts Tax Tracker:
For CBT purposes, the Giants have $155+ M committed to 9 players. That does not include the option for Matt Moore which would add $9 M. It also does not include arbitration salaries for 4 players: Joe Panik, Hunter Strickland, Will Smith and Cory Gearrin which could add another $10-$12 M(my wild guess). That gets us to $175+ M for 14 players. Add in another $6 M for the remaining minimum salary guys and you have $180 M. The CBT threshold for 2018 is $197 M. So, the Giants have 3 choices: 1. They can limit their spending to about $15 M worth of added payroll this offseason and stay around the CBT limit. 2. They can try to shed payroll to give themselves more room to spend. The obvious candidates for cost cutting would be Matt Moore who they could release and Brandon Belt who they could trade. Bobby Evans has already said they will pick up Moore's option and it is doubtful they can trade Belt and his full salary until he proves he is fully recovered from his concussion. 3. They can choose to ignore the CBT threshold and simply pay the penalties a la the Dodgers of the past few seasons. The problem with this strategy is the penalties are more than just money now. They include the loss or lowering of draft picks which can ultimately impact organizational talent levels.