The Padres are next in our 2012 Contract Issues series.
Eligible For Free Agency (3)
- Heath Bell may not finish the season with the Padres, though he hopes for a three-year extension. If he reaches the open market he'll be joined by several other solid stoppers.
- The Padres chose to tender a contract to Ryan Ludwick, paying him more than he'd have earned on the open market. So far, he hasn't done anything in his Padres career.
- Jorge Cantu took an 86% pay cut this year as he attempts to re-establish himself.
Contract Options (3)
- Aaron Harang: $5MM mutual option with a $500K buyout. The mutual option is basically a way to transfer some money to the next fiscal year. Rarely do both sides pick one up.
- Brad Hawpe: $6MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout.
- Chad Qualls: $6MM club option with a $1.05MM buyout. Though this is a club option, the goal here again appears to be pushing off some money to next year. Qualls would need a really strong season for the Padres to pick this up.
Arbitration Eligible (14)
- First time: Clayton Richard, Luke Gregerson, Nick Hundley, Will Venable, Joe Thatcher, Rob Johnson, Eric Patterson
- Second time: Chase Headley, Tim Stauffer, Dustin Moseley, Chris Denorfia, Alberto Gonzalez
- Third time: Mike Adams, Pat Neshek
Though not all 14 will get to the point of being tendered a contract, the Padres have many raises due. As a whole, I think the Padres' arbitration eligible players could be paid as much as $25MM in 2012.
2012 Payroll Obligation
The Padres have a 2012 payroll obligation of just $13.55MM, according to Cot's, most of which is for their middle infield. Add in their arbitration eligible players and payroll could approach $40MM before the minimum salary players are accounted for, which is normal for this club since '09.