Arbitration-Eligible after 2019: George Springer, Roberto Osuna, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers, Aledmys Diaz, Brad Peacock, Jake Marisnick, Chris Devenski. 2019 Salary: $36.44m.
Free Agents after 2019: Gerrit Cole, Joe Smith, Hector Rondon, Collin McHugh, Robinson Chirinos, Wade Miley, Will Harris. 2019 Salary: $46.27m
B-Ref Post-2019 Payroll Estimate: $171.2m
2020 Payroll Notes: The Astros are going to pay significantly for Springer's last arbitration year. Osuna will get a raise, as will Correa, Diaz, Peacock, and Marisnick. Those arbitration guys might match, or slightly exceed, the amount of money cleared by free agent departures. I don't see anyone just getting non-tendered from that arbitration list. Who do the Astros try to keep from the Free Agent list? Gerrit Cole, sure. Miley, maybe. Harris, I'm okay with that.
Arbitration-Eligible after 2020: Yuli Gurriel, Chris Devenski, Roberto Osuna, Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers, Aledmys Diaz.
Free Agents after 2020: Michael Brantley, Josh Reddick, George Springer, Brad Peacock, Jake Marisnick. 2020 Salary: $29m, but we don't know what Springer/Peacock/Marisnick will make in arbitration.
Post-2020 B-Ref Salary Estimate: $142.8m
2021: It's hard to project too far out what the Astros will do with future trades, extensions, free agents, etc. So I'll just give you the Post-2021 B-Ref Salary Estimate: $128.7m.
2022: Same. $124.1m.
2023: Same. $119.8m.
If the Astros are trying to stay under $200m, there are ways they can do that. Extending Springer AND Cole is not necessarily out of the question.