Monday, August 3, 2009

Rays roster beyond '09

Buster Olney touched on the Rays in his post trade deadline wrap up. John Romano also discussed Carl Crawford's future during the All Star Break. This link provides a good summary of the current year's payroll obligation, and this one gives a little more detail by player.

If the Rays are serious about moving payroll in the offseason the only way to do it and make a dent would be to focus on guys making $2 million plus. In order of 2010 obligations that would be

1. CC - $10 million club option for 2010

2. Pena - $10.125

3. Burrell - $9 million

4. Kaz - $8 million

5. Aki - $4.25 million club option

6. Wheeler - $3.5 million

7. Navi - Currently earning $2.1 but is aribtration eligible for 2010

8. Bartlett - Arbitration eligible currently making $1.9

Other arbitration players are

Joe Nelson

Grant Balfour

Gabe Gross

Lance Cormier

BJ Upton

JP Howell

Matt Garza

Shawn Riggans

Free Agents for Next year (with current year's salary in brackets)

Percy ($4.4 M)

Bradford ($3.6 M)

Obviously Percy is not welcome back. I like Bradford, but for the number of times he has gone to the DL, I don't think he is someone worth offering a contract to. There is $8 million right off the bat. Of all the arbitration guys Bartlett, Upton, Howell, and Garza will see pay increases. Particularly the last three guys, all of whom are below $500K. Navi is grossly overpaid, and I can't see the Rays getting killed on his case.

Feel free to draw your own conclusions but the Rays don't appear to be in a position to keep all the current players and still satisfy the impending raises that appear to be headed to the arbitration guys. It seems that one or two of CC, Pena, Burrell, and Kaz would need to be moved. If it were up to me I'd like to see Burrell ($9 M) moved and perhaps decline on Aki and cut bait with Navi instead of moving another one of the top four.

I feel like CC is too valuable to move, but he would fetch more on the open market than any of the others.



  1. Sadly, I think Navi is actually due a hefty pay raise due to the way that the MLB calculates arbitration figures. I saw a post on it on another blog, but basically, due to the dearth of catching talent right now, Navi would be considered a top 5 catcher and that would elevate him into an absurd pay class. Can't find the article, now though, of course.

  2. After I wrote this I went to lunch with some guys at work, one of whom is an Indians fan. We were discussing the Victor Martinez trade. I started thinking about the catchers out there and you are right. On the bright side, if Navi really is in the upper echelon, then that would make him more attractive for other teams looking for an upgrade

  3. I also think the Rays are going to really consider what trading CC means. The guy has been the face of the franchise now for 7 years, and it would really bother me if he was no longer a Ray. I understand the economic interests, and the fact that for most of the new fans, Longoria is the star, but unless we got Bumgarter or some other top-ten prospect, I think we'd be better off moving a couple of other guys.

  4. "What would the ripple effect of trading CC be?" is an interesting point to debate. As you point out it might not resonate with the newer fans. Marlins fans like to cry about betrayals from ownership, but I defy anyone to point to a Marlins player that represented for them what CC meant to the Rays in the same context. There is none.