WTNYNovember 25, 2003
Looking Into Salaries and Schilling
By Bryan Smith

Even though the Curt Schilling trade is big news, that analysis is at the bottom of my post today, as I first wrote about the contracts and payrolls of all NL teams. To put it all in perspective, a day after I predicted Jon Garland's arbitration/renewal contract would be $2M, he signed for $2.3. I'm a little low on arbitration numbers, so I tried to work on that for today. Any feedback please e-mail me, those are always greatly appreciated.

And on to the NL teams, once again thanks to Christian Ruzich for arbitration help and Avkash Patel for this story idea.

Arizona Diamondbacks
2003 Opening Day Payroll: 75.9M

Signed for 2004: Elmer Dessens (4), Randy Johnson (16), Matt Mantei (7), Curt Schilling (12), Craig Counsell (3.15), Steve Finley (6.75), Luis Gonzalez (8.5), Danny Bautista (4)

Arbitration Eligible: Rob Barajas (1), Shea Hillenbrand (3)

On the hook for: $65.4M currently

That "on the hook" number may be the most inaccurate of all the teams, as Johnson and Schilling have lots of deferred payments. If Schilling moves and Sexson comes, the number will decrease to $61.4M. The team is looking to drop payroll into the $70M range, so that leaves Garagiola $5M if he keeps Schilling, or $9M if he goes with Sexson. That money will go to RF and a starter to replace Mr. Schilling.

Atlanta Braves
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $99.2M

Signed for 2004: Paul Byrd (7), Mike Hampton (2), John Smoltz (11), Russ Ortiz (5.7), Andruw Jones (12), Chipper Jones (14), Ray King (1)

Arbitration Eligible: Mark DeRosa (1), Rafael Furcal (5), Jason Marquis (750k), Jaret Wright (750k)

On the hook for: $60.2M currently

AOL/Time Warner is looking to drop into the $90M range, so Scheurholtz has to decrease costs about $10M next year. Even if that's so, it gives him roughly $25M to work with. He can then put up the best offer for Sheffield, and even make a run at Millwood. If that's so, he better be committed to staring Estrada, LaRoche, and DeRosa. I didn't include Gary Mathews Jr., whom was claimed yesterday. He'll add about 800k to that pot.

Chicago Cubs
Opening Day Payroll: $86.25M

Signed for 2004: Matt Clement (6), Mark Prior (1.6), Mike Remlinger (3.55), Damian Miller (3), Alex Gonzalez (4.5), Aramis Ramirez (6), Moises Alou (9.5), Sammy Sosa (16)

Arbitration Eligible: Joe Borowski (3), Kyle Farnsworth (1.5), Ramon Martinez (1.5), Kerry Wood (8)

On the hook for: $64.15M currently

Jim Hendry has money to spend, as the Tribune Company will probably touch $90M if needed. The team is looking to add a left-handed fifth starter, second basemen, possibly a catcher, and some right-handed relief. With that kind of money they can buy the best of everything they need. I've always endorsed a Miguel Tejada signing (then eat Alex Gonzalez's contract), although there are more popular rumors (Hitchcock, Hawkins, Walker). BTW, this leaves out Paul Bako and Randall Simon, whom I see as non-tender candidates.

Cincy Reds
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $58.4M

Signed for 2004: Danny Graves (6), Jimmy Haynes (2.5), Sean Casey (6.8), Barry Larkin (700k), Ken Griffey (12.5)

Arbitration Eligible: Russ Branyan (750k), D'Angelo Jimenez (1), Jason LaRue (2), John Reidling (750k), Chris Reitsma (1)

On the hook for: $34.5 currently

The 58.4 mentioned as payroll is deceiving, as trades decimated that number by almost $15M. Carl Lindner is looking for a payroll around $40M, which will be a problem for the new GM, Mr. O'Brien. The team already has a lineup, but they desperately need pitching in all areas. Can he do that with $3-7M, no. Fans have to come to the stadium, and owners have to pony up the dough, it should go hand in hand.

Colorado Rockies
2003 Opening Day Payroll- $59.7M

Signed for 2004: Hampton (1.9), Denny Neagle (9), Charles Johnson (9), Todd Helton (11.6), Preston Wilson (9), Larry Walker (12.5), Mark Belhorn (490k)

Arbitration Eligible: Shawn Chacon (2), Scott Elarton (.5), Justin Speier (1)

On the hook for: $56.39M currently

Dan O'Dowd is in trouble. With his current payroll almost matching last season's Opening Day, I assumed Jay Payton to be a non-tender victim in mid-December. He will probably need to dump another player, with Todd Helton being the only name I've heard. But man, that's one Hell of a contract. I think ownership may have to raise payroll by about $5M in 2004, because after next season, O'Dowd loses the contracts of Neagle, Johnson, Wilson, and Walker, which will total almost $37M in spending money. Much of their prospects will be ready then, and in 2006, a new era begins.

Florida Marlins
2003 Opening Day Payroll: 52.5M

Signed for 2004: Juan Pierre (2.3), Mike Hampton (10)

Arbitration Eligible: Juan Encarnacion (4), Derrek Lee (6), Mike Lowell (6), Brad Penny (2.5), Mike Redman (2.5), A.J. Burnett (2.5), Braden Looper (2)

On the hook for: $37.8M currently

Much of the Marlins team is arbitration-eligible or auto-renewable, so don't be shocked by the signed for 2004 status. The team likely will be able to raise payroll to about $55M in 2004, so Beinfest has about $17-20M to spend on the current market. He wants to sign Castillo, lock up Lowell, and get Rodriguez to stay. To do that and build the rest of a team, he probably will have to get rid of Derrek Lee, who may be an Oriole as I type this. There is also talk of either Penny, Redman, or Burnett getting non-tendered, although I don't see why that's necessary.

Houston Astros
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $66.8M

Signed for 2004: Brad Ausmus (2), Jose Vizcaino (1.2), Dan Miceli (600k), Jeff Bagwell (13), Jeff Kent (8.5), Craig Biggio (3), Lance Berkman (6.5), Richard Hidalgo (12)

Arbitration Eligible: Geoff Blum (1.5), Octavio Dotel (2.5), Wade Miller (2)

On the hook for: $52.8M currently

Drayton McLane constantly bitches about losing money, so the payroll next season will hover around $65M once again. The team has already sunk about $4M into Ausmus, Vizcaino, and Miceli, so if that's indicative on the rest of the offseason, Hunsicker should get fired. The team should non-tender Geoff Blum (they won't) and give Morgan Ensberg an everyday job. Signing Andy Pettite might work, but that would be one of their last moves. And no, there isn't one team who will take Richard Hidalgo at $12M.

Los Angeles Dodgers
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $115.76M

Signed for 2004: Kevin Brown (15), Darren Dreifort (11), Kaz Ishii (2.6), Tom Martin (1.65), Paul Shuey (3.8), Hideo Nomo (8), Todd Hundley (6.5), Paul Lo Duca (3.9), Shawn Green (16)

Arbitration Eligible: Adrian Beltre (4), Eric Gagne (6.8), Guillermo Mota (1), Odalis Perez (4), Dave Roberts (750k), Alex Cora (1), Jolbert Cabrera (1)

On the hook for: $87M currently

If the team keeps all these players, Dan Evans will have about $25M to improve this team. That entails getting a first basemen, second basemen, left fielder, and more if possible to create a better lineup. Todd Hundley's contract might be the biggest joke in the Majors, right up there with Mo Vaughn. By signing all second-tier players, the Dodgers could still be a contender for 2004.

Milwaukee Brewers
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $27.9M

Signed for 2004: Richie Sexson (8), Geoff Jenkins (8.25)

Arbitration Eligible: Wes Helms (1), Dan Kolb (750k), Ben Sheets (2.25), Luis Vizcaino (750k)

On the hook for: $21M currently

The team hopes to drop payroll to $20M this season, but their current payroll already sits above that number. But if Richie Sexson gets moved as rumored, the team will be around $13M. Doug Melvin is trying to build with minor league free agents, and have landed some good ones, like Brian Bowles, Travis Phelps, and Trent Durrington. But if Sexson gets dealt he'll have about $5M to spend, and God knows they'll need it.

Montreal Expos
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $45.8M

Signed for 2004: Livan Hernandez (6), Jose Vidro (7)

Arbitration Eligible: Tony Armas (2.5), Rocky Biddle (1), Orlando Cabrera (4), El Duque (3), Tomo Ohka (1.5), Scott Stewart (1), Javier Vazquez (8)

On the hook for: $34M currently

The Expos need a lot of help, and I don't know where they are going to get it. MLB will go up to $40M for the payroll next season, and that is it. That means the team should non-tender Orlando Hernandez, and think hard about trading Vazquez to the Yankees for Nick Johnson and Dioner Navarro. But, I wouldn't trade Vidro or Cabrera, and I'm all over the band wagon for Brad Wilkerson in 2004.

New York Mets
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $86.3M

Signed for 2004: Mo Vaughn (6), Tom Glavine (10.5), Al Leiter (8), Mike Stanton (3), Steve Trachsel (5), Dave Weathers (3.6), Mike Piazza (15), Cliff Floyd (6.5), Roger Cedeno (5)

Arbitration Eligible: Joe McEwing (750k), Timo Perez (1), Scott Strickland (1), Vance Wilson (750k)

On the hook for: $66.1M currently

That figure is assuming Mo Vaughn's threat to play next season is false, and the Mets get to collect on $11M in insurance. If Vaughn tries to play, that number goes up to $77M, and Jim Duquette doesn't have breathing room. As is, Duquette has $20-25M to spend, on a 2B, CF, RF, and a closer. Luis Castillo, Mike Cameron, Jose Guillen, and Keith Foulke are at the top of their wish list. Can that be achieved with $20M? Probably not. Hopefully it's not Fernando Vina, Kenny Lofton, Raul Mondesi, and Jose Mesa though. But hey, it's the Mets.

Philadelphia Phillies
2003 Opening Day Payroll: 70.5M

Signed for 2004: Billy Wagner (8), Rheal Cormier (3), Randy Wolf (4.25), Mike Lieberthal (7.5), David Bell (4.2), Jim Thome (10.5), Pat Burrell (4)

Arbitration Eligible: Vicente Padilla (2.5), Placido Polanco (3), Jimmy Rollins (2.5), Amaury Telemaco (750k), Valerio De Los Santos (750k)

On the hook for: $51M currently

Ed Wade is moving into a new stadium next season, so the team should have a payroll nearing $75M. If the Schilling trade goes down, the team won't take long to re-sign Kevin Millwood or to land Bartolo Colon, acquring their main offensive need. The team's offense is set in stone, and an ace will put a rotation in place. After that, Wade will add to a bullpen that currently features Wagner and Cormier. The Phillies are going to be very tough next season, very tough.

Pittsburgh Pirates
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $42.1M

Signed for 2004: Kris Benson (6.1), Brian Boehringer (2), Jason Kendall (8)

Arbitration Eligible: Joe Beimel (750k), Mike Lincoln (750k), Brian Meadows (750k), Abraham Nunez (750k), Saloman Torres (1), Kip Wells (2.9), Craig Wilson (1), Jack Wilson (1)

On the hook for: $25M currently

This is another team bitching about payroll, so it will be slashed to $35-40M for next season. The infield could include Wilson, Freddy Sanchez, Bobby Hill, and Jack Wilson, with an outfield of Jason Bay, Tony Alvarez, and J.J. Davis. That would be the ultracheap version, although Joe Randa is one target the team has. The team doesn't have a lot of needs, and don't be too suprised if they fall to a payroll betwen $30-35M. That sucks for PNC Park, as the nicest stadium in MLB deserves better baseball.

San Diego Padres
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $44.5M

Signed for 2004: Ryan Klesko (6.5), Mark Loretta (1.25), Phil Nevin (8.5), Brian Giles (9), Trevor Hoffman (2.5), Brian Lawrence (800k), Kevin Jarvis (4.25), Jay Witasick (1.75), Ramon Hernandez (2.375), Terrence Long (3.9), Akinori Otsuka negotiation rights (300k)

Arbitration Eligible: Adam Eaton (1), Mike Mathews (500k)

On the hook for: $42.625 currently

This is before the team actually signs Otsuka, which will take the current payroll to about $44M. This is a very complete team, but they should fight hard to get David Wells. I mean, they won't even give him a guaranteed contract? C'mon, it's not like Chuck Finley is any better. But, I really like this team, and with the D-Backs recent demotion, this will be a battle with San Fran, LA, and the Pads. Right now, the Pads are in front.

San Francisco Giants
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $89.05M

Signed for 2004: Jason Christensen (2.3), Robb Nen (9), Felix Rodriguez (5), Kirk Rueter (5), Jason Schmidt (8.5), Edgardo Alfonzo (8.5), Ray Durham (6), Neifi Perez (2.75), Barry Bonds (16), Marquis Grissom (2)

Arbitration Eligible: Jim Brower (1), Scott Eyre (750k), Pedro Feliz (1), Matt Herges (1), A.J. Pierzynski (2.2)

On the hook for: $68M currently

This team's payroll will be $75M next season, which doesn't give Brian Sabean a whole lot of breathing room. A bullpen can already be conceived by this, and the team is one starter away from a rotation. Pierzynski helped shore up the offensive situation, but 1B, SS, and RF are all still empty. That's a lot with only $7M to spend.

St. Louis Cardinals
2003 Opening Day Payroll: $84.1M

Signed for 2004: Jason Isringhausen (6.75), Matt Morris (12.5), Woody Williams (8), Mike Matheny (2.75), Edgar Renteria (5), Scott Rolen (11.25), Jim Edmonds (9), Eli Marrero (2.25), So Taguchi (1)

Arbitration Eligible: J.D. Drew (4), Albert Pujols (8), Kerry Robinson (750k)

On the hook for: 71.25M currently

The team's payroll will be about $85M again next season, which gives Jocketty about $12M to build a pitching staff. I've already wrote moving Pujols to first is a bad idea, as John Gall can take that spot for about $300,000. With his $12M, Jocketty needs a good set-up man, a LOOGY, one #3 starter, and a #5. It won't exactly be easy, but this team doesn't need to be wheelin' and dealin' to keep up with the Cubs.

First, before I go into too much analyzation, let's look at some numbers and splits for Curt Schilling in 2003:

Schilling- 8-9 2.95 144/168 194/32
Schilling at home- 1-6 3.69 78/85.1 96/18
Schilling on road- 7-3 2.18 66/82.2 98/14
Before Break- 4-4 3.27 59/77 87/19
After Break- 4-5 2.67 85/91 107/13

And onto the numbers of those acquired by the Diamonbacks (Brandon Lyon, Casey Fossum, Jorge De La Rosa, and Michael Goss):

Lyon- 73/59 50/19
RH: .276/.309/.378 LH: .317/.381/.550
Home- 36/27.1 27/5 Away: 37/31.2 23/14

Fossum in MLB: 6-5 5.47 82/79 63/34
Fossum in AAA: 1-0 3.46 11/13 14/5
Fossum in AA: 0-1 6.75 5/4 7/3

De La Rosa (AA): 6-3 2.80 87/99.2 120/36
Goss (A-): .245/.327/.295 29SB

Here are some scouting reports I've fished up, one from John Sickels on De La Rosa, and some quotes from old Baseball America's about Casey Fossum...

John Sickels of ESPN on De La Rosa: He has a fastball clocked as high as 94 mph. His slider is very good, and he improved his ability to change speeds this year. His biggest problem right now is still command, as his mechanics can be inconsistent, which hinders his ability to throw strikes where he wants them.

Baseball America in 2000 (Fossum #10 BoSox prospect): "Fossum is about as polished as a pitcher coming into professional baseball can be...If you don't like Fossum, you see him as a situational lefty with a low ceiling. If you do, you see him as an effective No. 4 or 5 starter who will move fast to the big leagues."
BA in 2001 (Fossum #5 prospect): "Fossum reminds scouts of Jimmy Key...He has very good command, lots of confidence and a sound delivery...At worst, he'll make a good situational reliever."
BA in 2002 (Fossum #5 prospect): "Fossum's 73-79 mph curveball is the top breaking pitch in the system; lefthanders can't touch it...He's not durable, as he tires quickly...he has just one plus pitch."

What's funny with Fossum is that at the beginning, BA praised a low-90s fastball and hard slider, but in 2002 wrote his slow curve was his only real pitch. I saw him in Spring Training before 2002 throwing harder, but his hard slider isn't what it used to be. He attacks hitters well, but his stamina is a major problem. A swingman is really the best you will see from him at this point, sad considering his early hype.

Schilling would be an amazing acquisition for Theo Epstein, and immedietly place him in the upper echelon of GMs. Schilling apparently wants a contract extension, and if Epstein satisfies that need, he is offically waiving Pedro good-bye after next season. Also, this move will put the team too far into the red, so Theo will have to non-tender or trade Byung-Hyun, and make Arroyo the 5th starter. And, I don't think the team can sign Keith Foulke, they'll have to accept Williamson in the closer role.

Curt pitched much better on the road last season, although Fenway Park is very small. His ERA will still be under 3, and the Red Sox rotation, and lineup, will be better than their arch rivals. Lyon won't be missed, as Theo was trying to get rid of him since the All-Star Break, and Fossum never had a spot on this team. De La Rosa is the big loss, and Goss is much more of a Duquette acquisition than an Epstein choice.

I don't like the loot for the D-Backs, but I'll have to wait to see what they give up for Richie Sexson before I judge too thoroughly. I imagine the sum would be Junior Spivey, Casey Fossum, and De La Rosa, although that's purely my opinion. I think the D-Backs are keeping Lyon, although he's not the best pitcher in the world.

There is no question the Red Sox won out on this trade, and there is no way Joe Garigiola got fair market value for Curt. But just like the Kotsay deal, this one isn't over until it's over.

See ya tomorrow...