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2013 Contract Issues Rumors
The Dodgers are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:
Eligible For Free Agency (5)
- Andre Ethier - The Dodgers would like to sign Ethier long-term, but it might require a $100MM commitment.
- James Loney - Loney doesn't hit much relative to other first basemen, so the Dodgers may let him walk in an attempt to improve their offense.
- Adam Kennedy - The 36-year-old will have to provide some offense to go along with his defensive versatility.
- Jamey Wright - Teams always need middle relievers, though Wright turns 38 this offseason.
- Bobby Abreu - Five games into Abreu's Dodgers career it's too early to know if he'll return in 2013.
Contract Options (3)
- Juan Rivera: $4MM club option with a $500K buyout. The Dodgers don't seem to trust Rivera against right-handed pitching, and given his struggles their hesitation is justified. $4MM is expensive for a platoon bat with little defensive value.
- Todd Coffey: $2.5MM club option with a $300K buyout. Coffey spent much of April on the disabled list, but he could earn a place in the Dodgers' 2013 'pen with a strong finish.
- Matt Treanor: $950K club option with a $150K buyout. The Dodgers may prefer to make Tim Federowicz their backup and save a little money.
Arbitration Eligible (2)
Recently hired director of baseball contracts Alex Tamin will likely be up against one of the smallest arbitration classes in the game next offseason. Two players are eligible for the first time and that's it.
2013 Payroll Obligation
The Dodgers have a $105MM payroll this year, and they've already committed $103MM to next year's team, not including arbitration eligible players. It's a good thing new ownership expects payroll to rise, because the Dodgers are getting expensive.
The Giants are next in MLBTR’s 2013 Contract Issues series:
Eligible For Free Agency (6)
- Melky Cabrera - Cabrera, still just 27, will present the Giants with a dilemma if he repeats his 2011 success in San Francisco. They'd likely have to offer a multiyear deal or let him walk.
- Freddy Sanchez - The Giants have learned to cope without Sanchez, who's on the 15-day disabled list recovering from shoulder surgery.
- Jeremy Affeldt - The Giants evidently value Affeldt's left arm and could offer him another deal in the $4-5MM range if he turns in a typical season.
- Angel Pagan - Just one year after restructuring their outfield, two of the Giants' starting outfielders will hit free agency. It's too early to predict the Giants' interest in re-signing the 30-year-old center fielder.
- Ryan Theriot - Off to a slow start at the plate, Theriot's place on the 2013 Giants is anything but secure.
- Guillermo Mota - Mota has been suspended for 100 games following a positive test for a performance enhancing substance. He'll be eligible to return late this season even if the ruling stands following an appeal. A suspension would reduce Mota's free agent value and may diminish the Giants' interest in retaining the 38-year-old.
Contract Options (1)
- Aubrey Huff: $10MM club option with a $2MM buyout. The Giants can be expected to buy Huff out, since he's no longer a $10MM player.
Arbitration Eligible (10)
- First time: Buster Posey, Joaquin Arias
- Second time: Sergio Romo, Nate Schierholtz, Gregor Blanco, Emmanuel Burriss, Eli Whiteside
- Third time: Clay Hensley
- Fourth time: Brian Wilson, Santiago Casilla
Assuming the Giants tender Wilson a contract, he'll lead the way with a salary that could fall in the $8.5MM range. Posey's 2013 salary can be expected to fall in the $2-3MM range, which would make him the Giants' highest-paid position player going year to year. In total, the team's arbitration eligible players could cost $20MM-plus, with the usual caveat that some of the players above will become non-tender candidates.
2013 Payroll Obligation
The Giants have already committed more than $80MM to next year's payroll, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. The team's payroll has surpassed $115MM in 2011 and 2012, and it's currently hard to envision a substantial payroll drop for 2013. The Giants will likely need to spend on outfielders this winter and if GM Brian Sabean is going to have any flexibility after retaining his arbitration eligible players, the payroll will have to stay above $100MM.
Each year, MLBTR looks ahead to the contract issues facing the 30 MLB teams. We’ll lead off with the Padres this year:
Eligible For Free Agency (3)
- Mark Kotsay – Kotsay signed a $1.25MM contract with the Padres this past offseason and has eight hits and a homer in a limited role so far in 2012. He'll turn 37 this December, but the Padres figure to have interest in retaining him on a minor league deal if he continues hitting.
- Jeff Suppan - One start into the season it's too early to say whether the right-hander will have a role on next year's team. Perhaps another minor league deal will work for both sides.
- Jeremy Hermida - Like Kotsay, Hermida's an extra outfielder who won't necessarily have a place on the 2013 Padres. At 28, he's the younger of the two.
Contract Options (3)
- Huston Street: $9MM mutual option which the club can decline for $500K. Dan Mennella recently discussed the Padres' choices, reminding us that a midsummer trade is possible.
- Jason Bartlett: $5.5MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout. Though the option can vest during the season, Bartlett doesn't appear to figure in to the Padres' long-term plans.
- Orlando Hudson: $8MM club option with a $2MM buyout. Again, it seems unlikely that the Padres will commit a significant part of their payroll to an aging middle infielder whose offensive production has dropped off.
Arbitration Eligible (13)
- First time: Kyle Blanks, Everth Cabrera
- Second time: Clayton Richard, Luke Gregerson, Will Venable, John Baker, Joe Thatcher
- Third time: Chase Headley, Tim Stauffer, Edinson Volquez, Dustin Moseley, Chris Denorfia, Micah Owings
Headley leads a large Padres arbitration class that could theoretically cost $30MM in 2013. It's unlikely that they'll all be tendered contracts, however, and Moseley and Owings might already be considered non-tender candidates. Padres director of baseball operations Josh Stein will still have enough arb cases on his hands to keep busy next winter.
2013 Payroll Obligation
The Padres have a 2013 payroll commitment of just $11.475MM, according to Cot's Baseball Contracts. GM Josh Byrnes figures to have some payroll flexibility once arbitration raises are accounted for even if the team's payroll remains relatively low.