MLB Financial Offseason Series: NL East

MLB Financial Offseason Series: NL East
Breaking down the upcoming offseason for each 2023 MLB franchise, broken down by division, including projected payrolls, guaranteed contracts, notable free agents, potential extension candidates, & trade/non-tender options. Braves, Mets, Phillies, Marlins, Nationals

Related Offseason Division Pieces

Atlanta Braves

Guaranteed Contracts: 14 (1st)

Current Tax Payroll: $182.8M (2nd)

Projected Arbitration: $25.2M

Projected Pre-Arbitration: $3.9M

Projected Tax Payroll: $212M (3rd)

Projected Tax Space: $21M (28th)

Notable Options: Jake Odorizzi (SP, $12.5M player)

Notable Free Agents: Dansby Swanson (SS, 28), Kenley Jansen (RP, 35), Darren O'Day (RP, 40), FULL LIST

The Braves went on a torrid run through the second-half of 2022 to surpass the Mets and grab another NL East title, only to have their repeat chances dashed by the Phillies a few weeks later. The Braves have been locking up their young talent for the better part of 3 seasons now, and but there's a large SS hole to fill this winter.

EXTENSION CANDIDATE(S)

Max Fried (SP, 28)

Over the past three seasons, Fried is averaging a 2.68 ERA, 159 ERA+, 1.054 WHIP, and 186 strikeouts per 162 games. He’s eligible for two more years of arbitration, including a projected $12M+ salary for 2023. He projects to a 6 year, $140M contract in our system currently.

TRADE CANDIDATE(S)

Kyle Muller (SP, 25)

Muller hit the big league roster for just 3 days in 2022, and the Braves’ rotation is really rounding into form above him. With less than 1 year of service, the team control clock on Muller hasn’t even begun yet, so there should be plenty of trade value in shopping him this winter.

NON-TENDER CANDIDATE(S)

Silvino Bracho (RP, 30, $1.2M)

Bracho is out of options. If Atlanta thinks they can replace him with a younger more flexible arm, they’ll favor that over the $1M+ arbitration salary.

Guillermo Heredia (OF, 32, $1.1M)

A role/depth player at his core, Heredia has remained cheap for 3 years now, and projects to stick at around the $1M mark for 2023, his final year of arbitration. He’s out of options, so there’s a chance the Braves opt to replace this roster spot.

New York Mets

Guaranteed Contracts: 7 (10th)

Current Tax Payroll: $205M (1st)

Projected Arbitration: $29.4M

Projected Pre-Arbitration: $3.9M

Projected Tax Payroll: $238.9M (1st)

Projected Tax Space: -$5.9M (30th)

Notable Options: Jacob deGrom (SP, $35M player), Chris Bassitt (SP, $19M mutual), Carlos Carrasco (SP, $14M club), Taijuan Walker (SP, $6M player), FULL LIST

Notable Free Agents: Edwin Diaz (RP, 28), Brandon Nimmo (OF, 29), Adam Ottavino (RP, 36), FULL LIST

The Mets were one of the best teams in the National League until their late season fade into oblivion. The page turn to the offseason doesn't offer much relief, as 4/5ths of their rotation, and the 7-8-9 pitchers in their bullpen are all slated for free agency.

EXTENSION CANDIDATE(S)

Pete Alonso (1B, 28)

Pete’s now put together back to back seasons that prove he’s more than just a HR Derby champion, posting a combined 8.2 WAR since 2021. He holds two more years of arbitration, scheduled to around $12.5M for the 2023 season. He projects to a 10 year, $328M contract in our system.

TRADE CANDIDATE(S)

James McCann (C, 33)

McCann’s 4 year, $40M contract has been a bit of a disaster, and the 2 years, $24M remaining on it certainly doesn’t help. The Mets will certainly have to eat a large portion of this deal to find a buyer, but with youngster Francisco Alvarez now in the fold, & Tomas Nido a Gold Glove finalist, it’s the right time to bite down and move on.

NON-TENDER CANDIDATE(S)

Dominic Smith (OF/1B, 28, $4M)

Smith was demoted to AAA for much of the 2022 season, and with a $4M arbitration salary sitting in front of him, is a classic non-tender candidate for 2023.

Philadelphia Phillies

Guaranteed Contracts: 5 (18th)

Current Tax Payroll: $138M (10th)

Projected Arbitration: $25.2M

Projected Pre-Arbitration: $7.1M

Projected Tax Payroll: $170M (11th)

Projected Tax Space: $63M (20th)

Notable Options: Jean Segura (2B, $17M club), Aaron Nola (SP, $16M club), Zach Eflin (RP, $15M mutual), FULL LIST

Notable Free Agents: David Robertson (RP, 37), Noah Syndergaard (P, 30), Brad Hand (RP, 32), FULL LIST

The NL Pennant winners will head into the offseason fairly financially healthy, with much of their core players already under contract or cost-controlled. While Aaron Nola's club option seems a no-brainer, the team will have a tough decision on Jean Segura and a few of the free agents.

EXTENSION CANDIDATE(S)

Aaron Nola (SP, 30)

Nola carries a $16M club option with a $4.25M buyout for 2023. The 6+ WAR, 235 strikeout, .961 WHIP stud isn’t going anywhere - but ripping up the current deal for a new one probably makes sense here. Philly secured a ton of value on his previous $11.25M AAV contract. This time around he projects to a 5 year, $132M extension.

Rhys Hoskins (1B, 30)

Hoskins will enter the final year of arbitration in 2023, projected to earn around $13M for his efforts. Despite some inconsistencies in his first 5 seasons (especially defensively), there’s a $20M+ valuation on Hoskins as he approaches the open market.

TRADE CANDIDATE(S)

Rhys Hoskins (1B, 30)

Yep, he’s an extension & a trade candidate for our books. The Phillies held the 2nd most errors at 1B, and the 3rd worst fielding percentage at the position in 2022. It was a nice bounceback year for Hoskins at the plate, but the Phillies aren’t going to be short on power for the next few seasons. Upgrading this position (and selling Hoskins while he’s a commodity) should be one of the offseason priorities.

NON-TENDER CANDIDATE(S)

Yairo Munoz (SS, 27, $1M)

No big financial commitment here entering year 1 of arbitration, but the Phillies will be looking to save everywhere this winter.

Miami Marlins

Guaranteed Contracts: 4 (19th)

Current Tax Payroll: $64M (23rd)

Projected Arbitration: $34.5M

Projected Pre-Arbitration: $7.1M

Projected Tax Payroll: $106.5M (23rd)

Projected Tax Space: $126M (8th)

Notable Options: Jorge Soler (DH, $15M player), Joe Wendle (3B, $6.6M club)

Notable Free Agents: FULL LIST

Manager Don Mattingly walked away from the Marlins this fall, which could signal another round of major roster changes forthcoming in Miami. This is a pitching-heavy, offense-light roster will look to balance out a bit this winter, but expectations will remain low.

EXTENSION CANDIDATE(S)

Pablo Lopez (SP, 26)

Lopez has been the focal point of blockbuster trade discussions in Miami for the better part of a year now. That won’t change - unless the Marlins zag with a major extension offer. Teammate Sandy Alcantara locked in what should be a $75M extension through the 2027 season last November, then posted the best numbers of his career. What’s to say the same can’t be the case for Lopez in 2022-23? Lopez is slightly less efficient, and doesn’t provide the strikeout at the same rate that Alcantara can, but a contract of similar size and depth should be in the cards.

TRADE CANDIDATE(S)

Garrett Cooper (1B/OF, 32)

Cooper is entering the final year of arbitration, and has leveled off as a “fine” MLB player. His projected $4.3M salary won’t scare many away, and the Marlins should be looking to offload a little active cash in order to spend on a strong open market.

NON-TENDER CANDIDATE(S)

Brian Anderson (3B, 29, $5M)

Anderson doesn’t really have a handle on a position defensively, and his numbers at the plate have decreased annually since 2019. With a $5M salary projected for 2023, his final year of team control, Miami may have to cut bait here.

Washington Nationals

Guaranteed Contracts: 2 (28th)

Current Tax Payroll: $78M (20th)

Projected Arbitration: $25M

Projected Pre-Arbitration: $10.3M

Projected Tax Payroll: $114M (21st)

Projected Tax Space: $119M (10th)

Notable Options: Nelson Cruz (DH, $16M mutual)

Notable Free Agents: Erasmo Ramirez (P, 32), Anibal Sanchez (P, 38), Cesar Hernandez (2B, 32), FULL LIST

The Nats continued to sell off parts in 2022, shipping Juan Soto and Josh Bell to the Padres for a bundle of notable prospects. It's about recharging now in Washington, and with a sale of the team also likely this winter - the changes may not yet be done.

EXTENSION CANDIDATE(S)

Keibert Ruiz (C, 24)

The Nationals probably aren’t thinking too long term with anyone on their roster right now, but of all the young players to be promoted or acquired in the past 18 months, Ruiz has stood out above the bunch. Washington hasn’t been an “early extension” team by any measure, but maybe that page can turn.


TRADE CANDIDATE(S)

Luke Voit (1B, 31, $7.5M)

Voit was brought over in the deal that sent Soto/Bell to the Padres, and didn’t exactly flourish in a dissipated lineup. His $7.5M projected salary for 2023 makes him a non-tender candidate, but with very few other bats to pay in this lineup, the Nats may opt to hang on to him until the July deadline.


NON-TENDER CANDIDATE(S)

Victor Robles (OF, 25)

Robles actually led this Nats team in 2022 WAR when it was all said and done, and his speed makes him a commodity in the “updated rules” next season, but he hasn’t shown he can consistently hit MLB pitching. With 2 more years of arbitration left, and a $3.25M projected salary for 2023, it seems likely that Washignton will be looking to shop or chop Robles this winter.

Erick Fedde (P, 30)

Fedde carries a 5.37 ERA and 1.523 WHIP in 102 appearances, 88 which of starts. While his projected $3.75M salary for arbitration 3 isn’t daunting, it might simply be time to move on here.