Saturday, January 9, 2010

Thinking about payroll. How much jack do the Astros have left?

So it's been well-reported that the Astros are trying to get payroll down to between $90-95 million for 2010. The reasons for this are all over the map, from "The Astros are losing money at $108 million" to "Drayton is increasing profit margins in order to sell the team." Regardless, payroll is coming down. So with some recent signings (Myers, Lyon, Feliz), where does the payroll project?

Let's start with who's on the books already:
1B - Berkman: $14.5m
2B - Matsui: $5.5m
3B - Feliz: $4.5m
SS - Manzella: -
LF - Lee: $18.5m
CF - Bourn: Arb
RF - Pence: Arb
C1 - Towles: $406,500
IF - Blum: $1.5m
IF - Johnson: $400,000
IF - Keppinger: Arb
OF - Michaels: $800,000
C2 - Quintero: Arb

SP1 - Oswalt: $15m
SP2 - Wandy: Arb
SP3 - Myers: $5m
SP4 - Norris: -
SP5 - Moehler: $3m
SP6 - Paulino: -

CL: Lindstrom: Arb
SU: Lyon: $4.25m
SU: Fulchino: -
SU: Arias: -
SU: Sampson: Arb
SU: Wright: -
SU: Byrdak: Arb

(I know there are 26 players here.) That's 12 players already signed and $73,356,500 committed. Thirteen players and approximately $17 million left. But of course the Astros have eight arbitration-eligible players:

Wandy Rodriguez ($2.6m)
Tim Byrdak ($1m)
Humberto Quintero ($610K)
Chris Sampson ($449K)
Hunter Pence ($439K)
Michael Bourn ($434.5K)
Jeff Keppinger ($427.5K)
Matt Lindstrom ($410K)

Their total salary in 2009 was $8.07 million. We saw from a post earlier this week that the average increase from arbitration in 2008 was 172%. So if we apply that to the Astros, that $8.07 million becomes $13.884 million. But you can bet that Wandy, Pence, and Bourn will get an increase of much more than 172%. It sounds about right, however, for Byrdak, Quintero, Sampson, Keppinger, and Lindstrom. Let's apply the 172% to those players, and we get a total of $4.98 million.

It's not a stretch to think that Wandy could get $5 million in arbitration, Pence $4 million, and Bourn $3 million.

Now our total for the arbitration eligibles is $16.98 million, brining our total overall payroll to $90,336,500. And there are still five players to sign.

Manzella, Norris, Paulino, Arias, Fulchino, and Wright will make in the league minimum range, bringing payroll to about $92,886,500.

What say you?