If you were on the fence about the Tim Lincecum deal, this might change your mind. If you were eagerly awaiting that sweet Barry Zito cash, you might be surprised at how much the 2014 Giants already cost. With the help of Baseball Prospectus, here's a look at the possible payroll next season. I used the arbitration estimates from MLB Trade Rumorsto fill in the arbitration-eligible players, and made an educated guess for the pre-arbitration players.
Here's what the Giants have already committed:
|Barry Zito's buyout||$7,000,000|
|Ryan Vogelsong's buyout||$300,000|
And here's what the Giants would still need under this scenario:
Two starting pitchers
A bench player (INF or OF)
Some of these can be filled in-house with players making close to the minimum. So say the Giants use Juan Perez as the fifth outfielder, Brett Pill as the random bench guy, and Jake Dunning and Heath Hembree as the last relievers.
Now you have about a $130 million payroll and a need for:
Two starting pitchers
Last year's payroll: $137 million. The Giants increased payroll by an average of $12 million over the last five years. But they increased it just $5 million before last season.
So here's the question: If the Giants are looking for two starting pitchers and an outfielder, do they have the $7 million difference left over from last year's payroll and nothing more? Do they have the $7 million plus the same $5 million increase they had last year? Or do they have the $7 million plus something more like the average $12 million increase from the last five years?
If it's the first option, hello, Doug Davis! If it's the second option, that still leaves a little room for a quasi-name-brand player, especially if one of the rotation slots goes to an internal solution like Petit. If it's the third option, let's rosterbate like fools. I could live with Blanco and Perez in left if the $19 million went to Masahiro Tanaka and his posting fee. Maybe.
So did the Lincecum contract kill the Giants' offseason? It could have, but there's still a little room. But it depends on how much they're raising payroll.
You know it's all going to Javier Lopez and Ryan Vogelsong, right? Good, good. This time, it can't fail. Oh, but this time they'll have Mike Morse.