“Marley was dead, to begin with.
There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it. And Scrooge’s name was good
upon ‘Change for anything he chose to put his hand to.
Old Marley was as dead as a doornail.”
~First paragraph in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol
Unlike ol’ Jacob Marley, who was in fact dead, literally, Michael Brantley and Andrew McCutchen are figuratively dead to the Braves. There’s no signing them. No acquiring them. And there’s most definitely no reason to complain about not getting them.
Those ideas are as dead as a doornail.
But there are other ideas, and while they may be in the “dream big” sense, they, unlike Jacob Marley, Michael Brantley, and Andrew McCutchen, they’re not quite dead yet. They might be a reach. They might be darned near impossible, but it’s not enough to deter me from mentioning them and writing 800 words and 5 billion tweets on their possibilities.
Figuring the Atlanta Braves Payroll
When all was said and done last year, the Braves, along with every piece of dead money, every call-up, and everyone manning the 40-man roster, spent about 136 million dollars.
As currently constructed, with arb-estimates, pre-arb players, and players occupying the 40-man roster, the total committed money is about 109 million.
Therefore, even if the Braves do not spend a single dime more than they did last year, the money to spend right now is…
27 million dollars.
It’s vital to understand there are sources that have the Braves total spending from last year as less than that and also have the total spent for 2019 as less than that. However, the final tally still rings true and that figure remains the same.
27 million dollars.
For this exercise, we need more…and I’ve got a plan.
Step 1 to re-make the Atlanta Braves: Trades and DFAs
- Trade Julio Teheran for prospects. Julio is fine, but he’s not fine for this team. Braves can get his production from pitchers that literally cost 5% of what he’s going to make in 2019. He still has some value and could bring back 2 prospects to stock the farm, but the major need is to put his salary back in the bank for big moves.
- DFA/trade Adam Duvall: He’s a bargain at 3.1 million dollars, but he’s not a bargain the Braves need at this time. With both Johan Camargo and Charlie Culberson on this team and their ability to play the corner OF positions, Duvall is redundant and that money can be used elsewhere. If the Braves can trade him for a prospect, great. If not, let him go to a team that will be able to utilize him.
41 million dollars.
Step 2 to re-make the Atlanta Braves: Acquisitions
- Trade for J.T. Realmuto. If Braves send Tyler Flowers, Austin Riley, and another piece in a deal to acquire J.T., the Braves will only be increasing their payroll by 2MM. However, for the sake of this exercise, I’m going
to assume that the Braves did not send Flowers, and therefore assumed J.T.’s full salary without subtractions.
- Sign Bryce Harper. Don’t you dare tell me it’s over. There’s room for a significant addition. Anthopoulos hasn’t ran from signing big-named free agents, and Harper is still out there, and is as an attractive of a free agent option that will likely hit the market outside Mike Trout (in a few years). I don’t know the contract, but I’d assume it’d cost an AAV of 30MM so that’s my sum.
41-(6+30)= 5MM left
Ebeneezer Scrooge’s change of heart was near impossible to imagine until something extraordinary happened. Dare to dream, Braves fans.
Realmuto and Harper are still out there and there’s $ to spend.
Go Braves. And God Bless us…Everyone.