Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Money Money Money
2006-01-19 14:35
by Derek Smart

For those of you with interest in such things, here's a very rough breakdown of the two possible extremes for the Cubs' player salary budget. In the interest of guaging the range of possibilities, I've assumed all five players who have submitted figures will go to a hearing, and have presented the situation if they all won, and the situation if they all lost.

Most of this data was culled from the extremely useful Hardball Dollars site, with the submitted arb figures coming from the related article at, and a few other numbers springing forth from my head. There are five players who I've pegged at the league minimum ($327K, which I've rounded to $330K for simplicity's sake), and while they might make a few thousand more here or there, it won't be enough extra to impact the totals significantly. I've also chosen to deal exclusively with what I think the 25-man roster is right now in order to save myself a massive headache. In any case, here are the numbers.

Player 2006 salary - player wins 2006 salary - team wins
Barrett, Michael $4,000,000 $4,000,000
Blanco, Henry $1,500,000 $1,500,000
Cedeno, Ronny $330,000 $330,000
Dempster, Ryan $5,000,000 $5,000,000
Eyre, Scott $3,700,000 $3,700,000
Hairston, Jerry $2,600,000 $1,950,000
Howry, Bobby $4,000,000 $4,000,000
Jones, Jacque $4,250,000 $4,250,000
Lee, Derrek $9,420,000 $9,420,000
Mabry, John $1,080,000 $1,080,000
Maddux, Greg $9,000,000 $9,000,000
Murton, Matt $330,000 $330,000
Novoa, Roberto $330,000 $330,000
Ohman, Will $750,000 $500,000
Perez, Neifi $2,500,000 $2,500,000
Pierre, Juan $6,500,000 $5,000,000
Prior, Mark $4,000,000 $3,300,000
Ramirez, Aramis $10,500,000 $10,500,000
Rusch, Glendon $3,000,000 $3,000,000
Walker, Todd $2,500,000 $2,500,000
Williams, Jerome $330,000 $330,000
Williamson, Scott $3,000,000 $3,000,000
Wood, Kerry $12,000,000 $12,000,000
Wuertz, Michael $330,000 $330,000
Zambrano, Carlos $7,200,000 $6,000,000
Total $98,150,000 $93,850,000

If you're looking for a gist, it's probably that - assuming the club's payroll limit is in the $100M - $105M range - there is some, but not a ton, of wiggle room available. Some more will be created when they deal Todd Walker, thus also making room for one of the NRIs to join the big club (most likely, Cleanliver Goodbody), but depending on what his replacement on the roster would get paid, it's likely not a huge savings.

If things play out right, they should have enough in their somewhat artificially capped budget to add one other player with significant salary, but then, they'd have to find such a player first.

2006-01-20 05:16:52
1.   rynox
If you're looking for a gist, it's probably that - assuming the club's payroll limit is in the $100M - $105M range - there is some, but not a ton, of wiggle room available.

Does that include coaching staff payroll or just player payroll?

2006-01-20 06:40:21
2.   The Boar
There's no doubt the player needs to be a pitcher. I'd say it could be a SS or outfielder, but I don't think that's going to happen. Unless we acquire Lugo and shift Ronny to 2B, but I think Neifi/Hairston's got that starting job.

I'd say go after Zito, but at a minimum, it would take Hill + Pie + Dopirak + Wellemeyer/Novoa/Wuertz. It could even take Hill/Guzman + Pie + Murton, and I bet we'd agree that's too much, at least without an extension.

I don't know, the more I think about it, the more I hope the Cubs hold on to that cash for a bidding war next season over some of the attractive FA starters, and instead focus this year on developing Rich Hill and Angel Guzman into MLB-ready starters.

2006-01-20 06:50:13
3.   Derek Smart

I'm making the assumption that the $100M - $105M number (which is totally mine, direct from my you-know-what, although based on impressions of the current situation and recent payroll figures) is basically for the 25-man roster. But like I said, I've got little to nothing to back that up. I'm almost entirely going on faith here.

2006-01-20 10:27:27
4.   rynox
I ask because if what you say is true, that means the Cubbies have roughly 5-6 mil to work with. That's huge. That's another Juan Pierre ,or another Mark Prior, or another 15 Matt Murtons for that matter.

My point? Management should not be sitting on that money. Let's see if what you say is true.

2006-01-20 12:48:01
5.   The Boar

That money could also be spent in other ways, as well. I'm not sure if we could get an impact player for $5-6 mil, outside of the aforementioned Zito and Lugo.

However, we could use that money to sign Zambrano to a 4 year, $30 mil contract. If we can't do anything else with it, rather than put it in the Trib's pockets, I'd rather frontload a contract that ties up Biz Z for another few years after free agency.

2006-01-21 09:46:24
6.   The Real Neal
The Boar,

'I'd rather frontload a contract that ties up Biz Z for another few years after free agency.'

That's a great idea, but I think all of the GM's have signed a pact in blood that they will never frontload contracts. There's a rule that says you may only give long term contracts that will haunt you in their last two years and Hendry:

04:$6M, 05:$9M, 06:$9M
04:$7M, 05:$8.5M, 06:$11M, 07:$13.5M
06:$4M, 07:$5M, 08:$5.5M
06:$3M, 07:$4M, 08:$5M
06:$2.5M, 07:$4M, 08:$4M
06:$2.7M, 07:$3.5M, 08:$3.8M

is not only a propoent of the rule, but maybe it's staunchest advocater.

2006-01-23 04:50:28
7.   Marc Normandin
I'm still not so sure about Zito outside of the A's stadium. He is extremely BABIP dependent and moving to Wrigley isn't going to help that I don't think. Then again, I don't have Wrigley's BABIP tendencies memorized, so make sure to correct me if you know something I don't.

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