One Contract Mulligan Per Team

What if every team was given the power to remove one contract from their payroll?  Here's what we might see…

  • Angels: Brian Fuentes earns $9MM this year and has a vesting option for '11 at the same salary.  The Halos would also have to evaluate whether they're confident enough in Ervin Santana to pay him $26.2MM over the next three years.  We'll exclude Gary Matthews Jr. since he's technically not on the team anymore.
  • Astros: They might miss his bat, but they'd have to erase the three-year, $55.5MM remaining commitment to Carlos Lee.
  • Athletics: Eric Chavez has one year and $15MM left on his deal.
  • Blue Jays: Vernon Wells is on the hook for $98.5MM over five years.
  • Braves: Derek Lowe, owed $45MM over three years, would get the axe.
  • Brewers: Jeff Suppan is a goner, owed $14.5MM for one year.
  • Cardinals: Kyle Lohse would be a likely candidate, with $32.625MM owed over three years.
  • Cubs: Easily Alfonso Soriano, owed $90MM over five years.
  • Diamondbacks: I'll nominate Chris Young, who's owed $25.25MM over four years.  Chris Snyder at two years and $11.25MM would merit consideration.
  • Dodgers: Manny Ramirez is owed $20MM this year, and the honeymoon is over.
  • Giants: They'd have to wipe out the $83MM owed to Barry Zito over the next four years. That amount could become $94MM over five years.
  • Indians: The Tribe is still on the hook for $40.25MM over three years for DH Travis Hafner.  It might be a while before we see a DH get a $50MM deal again.
  • Mariners: Milton Bradley and has $21MM over two years would be on the chopping block, though taking on that deal allowed the Ms to move Carlos Silva.  If we exclude Bradley it might be Ian Snell at $4.25MM.
  • Marlins: They're not paying Nate Robertson's contract, so there's really no fat to trim.
  • Mets: How would you play this one?  You probably don't remove your ace Johan Santana, though he'll make $98.5MM over four years (not including deferrals).  Similar story for the $26.5MM owed to Francisco Rodriguez over two years.  Carlos Beltran is looking at $37MM over two years, and he still may be worth that.  The easy choices don't result in maximum savings: Oliver Perez at two years and $24MM and Luis Castillo at two years, $12MM.
  • Nationals: They'd probably choose Cristian Guzman's $8MM.
  • Orioles: I'll assume the Orioles would not remove a contract they brought on during the offseason.  Instead maybe they'd ditch Koji Uehara's $5MM or Ty Wigginton's $3.5MM.
  • Padres: No obvious candidate.  Chris Young at $6.25MM would be a possiblity, though not if they feel he's primed for a solid, healthy year.
  • Phillies: They'd be likely to erase Brad Lidge's two years and $24.5MM.
  • Pirates: Ramon Vazquez, owed $2MM, has already been designated for assignment.
  • Rangers: Michael Young will make $64MM over the next four years, though money is deferred.  Would the Rangers let this contract stand?
  • Rays: They'd free up the $9MM owed to Pat Burrell.
  • Reds: Closer Francisco Cordero is owed $25MM over the next two years.
  • Red Sox: Would they get rid of the $12.5MM owed to David Ortiz or $12MM to Mike Lowell?
  • Rockies: Even with the reworked deal, would the Rockies remove Todd Helton's contract?  Do they have regrets over Huston Street's three-year, $22.5MM extension, given his injury?  The $5.75MM owed to Jeff Francis?  The $7MM Manny Corpas gets over the next two years?
  • Royals: They've got Jose Guillen at $12MM, or a more useful player in Gil Meche at two years, $24MM.
  • Tigers: Miguel Cabrera's $126MM over six years is steep, but he'd be impossible to replace.  Magglio Ordonez gets $18MM this year and possibly $15MM in '11, but the Tigers passed on a chance to let him go.  Carlos Guillen would be a good choice at two years, $26MM; that would be more beneficial than removing a $12MM contract with Jeremy Bonderman or Dontrelle Willis.
  • Twins: The reality is that they've have to consider Joe Nathan's $24.5MM over two years, especially if it's not insured.
  • White Sox: Would they wipe out Alex Rios at $59.7MM over five years, or Scott Linebrink at $10.5MM over two?
  • Yankees: They could remove a big commitment, like A.J. Burnett's $66MM over four years.  That'd make more sense than Jorge Posada at $26.2MM over two or Damaso Marte at $8.25MM over two.

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