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View Full Version : Looking to next season... (Payroll)


jeremyb1
09-18-2003, 02:32 AM
Yeah its about that time. The biggest issue for this team next season is obviously going to be payroll since there's nowhere near enough money to keep the team together.

The following players are not yet arbitration elligible and should therefore earn no more than half a million next season:

Danny Wright
Miguel Olivo
Willie Harris
Damaso Marte
Joe Crede
Aaron Rowand

Figure an average of about $350,000 for those guys and you're looking at $2.1 million.

The following players are under contract for next season:

Paul Konerko - $8 million
Magglio Ordonez - $14 million
Frank Thomas - $6 million
Billy Koch - $6.375 million
Esteban Loaiza - $3.5 million

Frank's figure is his player option. I realize a lot of people think he'll try to get us to go with the $8 million dollar player option (risking free agency) or even buyout his contract but realistically there's no way. He's in the paper again today talking about his pride in playing for the same team his entire career, and while he had a good season teams will frown on his .260 average and there just aren't too many guys teams are willing to pay $8 million ($6 mil he'd get from us plus his buyout) for these days. Loaiza's number an option but barring unforseen health issues its a safe bet to say it'll be picked up.

The total for those players comes to $34.375 bringing the total to somewhere around $36.5 million.

The following players are arbitration elligible with my predictions for what they'll earn:

Carlos Lee - $6 million
Mark Buehrle - $5.5 million
Jon Garland - $3 million
Kelly Wunsch - $1.3 million
Scott Schoenweis - $1.5 million

These figures add up to $17.3 million bringing the total to $53.8 million.

Obviously at this point we have a serious problem. You have to figure payroll won't creep much higher than 50 million and at this point we're still missing a starting SS, 2B, backup C, a centerfielder and 2 relievers or 3 relievers and one starter depending on Schoenweis' position with the team next season.

Centerfield can probably be filled internally with Rowand or Jeremy Reed without a major problem and Rauch and Cotts are possibilities for the starting rotation or the pen with Ginter, Majewski, Munoz, and Sanders as the remaining options for the bullpen. The middle infield seems to be the largest problem with no legitimate candidates to fill in (no Harris and Miles don't count).

The reality seems to be that talk of failing to keep this team together isn't merely an over the top doomsday scenario. We could save a little money by non-tendering Schoenweis or Wunsch but there might be an outcry among the fans the PR department would struggle with if Lee is non-tendered. A trade is also a possibility but no one really wants to take on salary very much and even moving a player like Carlos for peanuts might prove quite difficult.

The bottom line here is that KW most definitely has his work cut out for him this season. When considering the article from Phil Rogers today speculating that KW may consider stepping down this offseason, you have to think our payroll situation and JR's almost definite lack of flexibility with his purse strings in light of another dissapointing season will make him think long and hard about leaving this mess for someone else to clean up.

mrwag
09-18-2003, 08:07 AM
Good post. I've been a die-hard Sox fan for 20 years, and it seems like a broken record. Am I the only one who's tired of this team now?

mandmandm
09-18-2003, 08:26 AM
If we can get rid or Frank and Paul just to rid the organization of their salaries that would be a good start. I love Frank and it would be great for him to be on the south side for the entire career but I am more concerned about winning. As he did in the 2000 playoffs he has choaked under pressure in the final month of this year. Plus $14 mil for a dh and 1st basemen is too much. Resign Daubach and have him play everyday. If we can get Everrett for cheap sign him to play DH and occasional outfield. I would like this organization to get away from having a full time DH. Most important is resigning Bartolo. His record is average but the last month he has proved his worth. Also need to sign a free agent pitcher who can eat innings in the 5th spot. Resign the Alomar brothers at a discount. Finally pick up a few defensive guys on the bencg who can run. Bring small ball back to the southside.

soxtalker
09-18-2003, 08:38 AM
Isn't Valentine getting awfully close to the number of plate appearances that would force the club to pay him $5M next year?

THE_HOOTER
09-18-2003, 10:25 AM
If we pay Wunsch 1.3 mil, I will not be a fan anymore.

maurice
09-18-2003, 10:29 AM
Well, JR surely won't jack up the payroll to keep this team together, especially after a bunch of us non-renew our season tix. That means the Sox will either: (1) dump all the FA's and find much cheaper alternatives; or (2) move some big salaries in trades. IMHO, we're stuck with Koch, Konerko, and (if the reports are true) Valentin. As addressed in the other thread, Frank is a relative bargain and may choose to lock himself in at $6 mil. Non-tendering CLee would be silly, since this season must have increased his trade value quite a bit. In any event, the Sox have another OF who will make more money than CLee. Seeing as OF is the deepest position in the Sox organization, this might be the offseason we say goodbye to . . .

:maggs
"Is it time for me to switch to navy blue pinstripes?"

CHISOXFAN13
09-18-2003, 10:37 AM
I'm glad you brought that up Maurice.

We are in payroll hell because of one player. While I love Ordonez as much as the rest of you do, we'd have a heck of a lot more flexibility if we weren't tied into that 14 mildo.

This is a team who can't spend more than 60 million yet we have a quarter of that tied into one player.

This is going to be a very frustrating offseason.

mandmandm
09-18-2003, 10:42 AM
Did I read somewhere that Boston might be interested in Maggs for Pedro since Pedro is a free agent after nest year. If we can sign Bartolo it would be the best pitching rotation in basball. If Frank bolts and Konerko's salary can be dealt go with a team based on pitching and defense, not long balls. Put Everrett in right. Rowand in center.

inta
09-18-2003, 11:09 AM
bartolo is gone. i have no faith he'll be here next year.
as far as frank and paulie go, well a train can possibly hit them.

this team will be indians mediocre the next few years, KC and MN will be untouchable.

jabrch
09-18-2003, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by mandmandm
Did I read somewhere that Boston might be interested in Maggs for Pedro since Pedro is a free agent after nest year. If we can sign Bartolo it would be the best pitching rotation in basball. If Frank bolts and Konerko's salary can be dealt go with a team based on pitching and defense, not long balls. Put Everrett in right. Rowand in center.

And is worth every penny of it if he is healthy.

jabrch
09-18-2003, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by inta
bartolo is gone. i have no faith he'll be here next year.
as far as frank and paulie go, well a train can possibly hit them.

this team will be indians mediocre the next few years, KC and MN will be untouchable.

KC and MN will be untouchable? Are you kidding? Neither of them were very good this year. This was the worst division in baseball. I don't see either of them expanding payroll - in fact, KC is gonna have some problems resigning people. This division is going to be mediocre and highly winnable for a long time to come. At the same time, unless ownership opens the checkbook and raises payroll by 10+MM, I don't see us doing what it takes to come out and win it. We will struggle like KC and MN and hope our turn comes eventually.

PaleHoseGeorge
09-18-2003, 11:59 AM
We should PAY for the privilege of dumping Paul Konerko and his outrageous long-term, guaranteed salary. Given the payroll restrictions we're facing to try holding onto our talented ballplayers, Konehead is a financial albatross we can't possibly afford to keep around.

Benjamin Franklin was a very, very wise man when he wrote:

"A penny saved, is a penny earned."
--Poor Richard

"A million saved, is a million earned."
--PHG

:walnuts
"I am worse than dead wood. I'm expensive dead wood."

Iwritecode
09-18-2003, 12:14 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
These figures add up to $17.3 million bringing the total to $53.8 million.

Obviously at this point we have a serious problem. You have to figure payroll won't creep much higher than 50 million

If the Sox come within a game or two of the postseason and JR slashes payroll next year I'll give up on ever seeing a WS on the southside until new ownership takes over. I thought when you just barely miss your goal, you're supposed to try harder the next time, not give up. This is the time he needs to RAISE the payroll. Bring the team back and fill in the holes where necessary. When this team wins, the fans show up. That's where the money will come from. Did anyone notice the attendance didn't really start rising until after the AS break? That conicides right along with when this team finally started showing signs of life. Just imagine if they actually played decent the first half?

JR seems to forget that even though attendance didn't hit 2 million in 2000 (the last time the team was worth watching besides this year), it was the 2nd largest increase in MLB from the year before. Only the Mariners with their new staduim had a bigger increase. If the Sox could ever manage to string 2 or 3 division titles in a row, the staduim would be packed every night.

But it all has to start with JR willing to spend the money to bring the talent in...

thepaulbowski
09-18-2003, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by THE_HOOTER
If we pay Wunsch 1.3 mil, I will not be a fan anymore.

Kelly is a great guy and all, but he's not worth 1.3 million.

MHOUSE
09-18-2003, 12:27 PM
Keep Maggs. If Maggs leaves then so will most of the fanbase. He's our franchise guy and trading him would be awful for publie relations. I have no faith either that Colon will be back. I could also see the Sox letting Buehrle go and not paying him. He'd like it b/c he's obviously unhappy here, but that would leave us with Loaiza and Garland for our pitching and we'd need help. Schoenweiss would be an ok $1 mil for a starter, but Wunsch from the 'pen for $1.3? I love Kelly, but that seems high. It's going to be a tough offseason Sox fans.

thepaulbowski
09-18-2003, 12:29 PM
Originally posted by jabrch
And is worth every penny of it if he is healthy.

Pedro is not worth what he paid (IMO)...the guy hasn't put up 200 innings since 2000 & he's too whiny & thin skinned. I'd rather have Bartolo, which is probably a pipe dream.

joecrede
09-18-2003, 12:35 PM
Three guys I would not mind seeing moved next year:

Konerko - (Baltimore?)
Buehrle
Ordonez - (San Diego?)

- Save roughly $27M in payoll
- Rotation: Loaiza, Marte, Garland, Schoenweiss
- Pen: Koch, Sanders, Wright
- Position players: Olivo, Lee, Crede, Reed, (Thomas)

Dealing Konerko, Buehrle, and Maggs would have to net us a middle infielder (or two) (Khalil Greene?), an outfielder or two (Nady, Drew?), and a couple of pitching prospects.

Speculation of course, but an everyday lineup of

Olivo at catcher, Lee at first, Greene at short, Crede at third and an outfield left to right of Reed, Drew and Nady with Thomas as DH is not a bad way to rebuild on the fly. Especially with the ~$20M in savings.

Lip Man 1
09-18-2003, 12:42 PM
Chisox says: "We are in payroll hell because of one player

With respect that's not correct...we are in payroll hell because of one owner!

Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the Sox going to draw close to two million fans this season? Haven't they had sell outs for more then just the Cubs? Is this the 3rd largest market in the country?

Can someone please explain to me just exactly how much profit margin does Uncle Jerry require?

53 million on a payroll doesn't get you ca-ca.

This is ludicrous.

Lip

jeremyb1
09-18-2003, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by PaleHoseGeorge
We should PAY for the privilege of dumping Paul Konerko and his outrageous long-term, guaranteed salary. Given the payroll restrictions we're facing to try holding onto our talented ballplayers, Konehead is a financial albatross we can't possibly afford to keep around.

Benjamin Franklin was a very, very wise man when he wrote:

"A penny saved, is a penny earned."
--Poor Richard

"A million saved, is a million earned."
--PHG

After Koch who obviously isn't going anywhere, Paully is definitely the most overpaid player on the club going into next season. Compared to Frank, Paully makes more money and was far less productive this season. Even when his production was at his best, it was no better than Frank because Paully doesn't walk all that often.

I think everyone needs to take notice of what Theo Epstein did in Boston this season. For peanuts he brought in a bunch of underrated 1B/DH types in Ortiz, Mueller, Jeremy Giambi, and Millar. These guys are a huge reason Boston is going to make the playoffs and they cost the Red Sox very little. This demonstrates first of all how undervalued OBP still is throughout baseball and that if you're paying big bucks for a 1B/DH type that's not one of the absolute best run producers in the league, you're throwing your money away. I like Paully but I can't help but wonder if we couldn't save $6 million and get better production from his spot in the lineup.

gosox41
09-18-2003, 03:08 PM
Originally posted by Lip Man 1
Chisox says: "We are in payroll hell because of one player

With respect that's not correct...we are in payroll hell because of one owner!

Correct me if I'm wrong but aren't the Sox going to draw close to two million fans this season? Haven't they had sell outs for more then just the Cubs? Is this the 3rd largest market in the country?

Can someone please explain to me just exactly how much profit margin does Uncle Jerry require?

53 million on a payroll doesn't get you ca-ca.

This is ludicrous.

Lip

How much do you think the Sox will make in profit this year? Based on my source, I guarantee we'll have two different numbers and a ton of conspiracy theories.


Bob

Lip Man 1
09-18-2003, 04:34 PM
Bob:

Is that before or after Uncle Jerry "tinkers" with the books?

Lip