Guaranteed Contracts: 7 (8th)
Current Tax Payroll: $121.6M (12th)
Projected Arbitration: $62M
Projected Pre-Arbitration: $2.3M
Projected Tax Payroll: $186M (6th)
Projected Tax Space: $47M (25th)
The 111-win Dodgers hit the offseason much sooner than anyone expected, and now fact a few difficult (and potentially expensive) decisions. How much will LA choose to run it back?
Julio Urias (SP, 26)
Urias is headed for a final year of arbitration, scheduled to earn around $13.5M in 2022. He’s posted back to back Cy Young consideration seasons, including a 2.16 ERA, 0.96 WHIP this past campaign. He projects to a 6 year, $133M extension in our system.
The Dodgers will be in the market for a bonafide Starting Pitcher this winter (especially with Walker Buehler shelved until 2024). If LA is going to reel in a Pablo Lopez type player, it’ll cost high profile youngsters. Ryan Pepiot could be a package centerpiece.
Cody Bellinger (OF, 27, $18M)
The former NL MVP has fallen off of a cliff since receiving the honor, and it’s impossible to imagine the Dodgers keeping him around at a projected $18M price tag. Will another team bite via trade? Possibly. But most will wait out the non-tender move from LA before considering his services.
Guaranteed Contracts: 7 (9th)
Current Tax Payroll: $152M (3rd)
Projected Arbitration: $49M
Projected Pre-Arbitration: $4.7M
Projected Tax Payroll: $230M (2nd)
Projected Tax Space: $2.8M (29th)
A strong finish to the regular season paid off with a deep postseason run for the Padres, who at the very least justified their recent moves to cap off the year. 2023's going to be expensive, no matter how they slice it. Can they add a piece or two to get them to the finish line?
Robert Suarez (RP, 32)
Suarez holds a $5M player option but is largely expected to opt out of it and hit the open market. A late bloomer, he found his footing in the middle of the Padres pen this past season, and with 3 other arms around him headed for free agency, San Diego should consider keeping Suarez from walking. He’s a 2 year, $13M player in our system, but it might take a 3rd year to keep him from the market.
None. This team might be fresh out of trades after a wild 3 years. But never say never.
Jorge Alfaro (C, 29, $3.3M)
Alfaro handled DH duties more than not as Austin Nola took over behind the plate for the Padres. It seems likely that San Diego can operate without him as he approaches a final year in arbitration. Especially if it saves them a few million.
Guaranteed Contracts: 6 (11th)
Current Tax Payroll: $104M (16th)
Projected Arbitration: $31M
Projected Pre-Arbitration: $3.9M
Projected Tax Payroll: $141M (16th)
Projected Tax Space: $91M (15th)
The Giants finished 3rd in the NL West last year, but they immediately become one of the must-watch teams of the winter, as they've been set as the betting favorite to land Aaron Judge this offseason. Will that acquisition be enough to leap the Padres & Dodgers in front of them?
Logan Webb (SP, 26)
Webb has gotten better every year, posting a 2.90 ERA, 1.15 WHIP in 31 2022 starts. With Carlos Rodon heading for free agency (though a return to SF should make sense for both sides), Webb is likely to be vaulting into the SP1 role going forward. He’s arbitration eligible for the first time this season, and projects to a 5 year, $120M extension in our system.
Mike Yastrzemski (OF, 32)
Yastrzemski is eligible for round two of four arbitration salaries this winter, projected to earn around $6M. His power numbers dipped quite a bit from a breakout 2021 campaign, and the Giants clearly have much bigger fish in mind to replace him.
Zack Littell (RP, 27, $900k)
A strong 2021 campaign was not repeated this past season (5.08 ERA, 1.37 WHIP). He’s out of options and likely seeking a new team this winter.
Guaranteed Contracts: 5 (15th)
Current Tax Payroll: $66M (22rd)
Projected Arbitration: $27M
Projected Pre-Arbitration: $8.7M
Projected Tax Payroll: $101M (24rd)
Projected Tax Space: $131M (7th)
Arizona is nowhere close to ready to contend in this division, but the young pieces starting to surface are extremely promising. There's a plethora of outfield talent in this system. If some of it can be flipped for MLB-ready starting pitching, the wins could start to pile up.
Corbin Carroll (OF, 22)
Put Carroll in conversation of “players who could get a huge contract extension before ever taking a MLB at bat”. The 21 year old outfielder has 600 minor league plate appearances, and he’s gotten better at every level. Luis Robert’s 6 year, $50M deal in Chicago seems a likely starting point here, though Carroll may want a year in the big league’s to show his talents before signing anything. Don’t let the current MLB standings fool you. Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, and recently drafted Dru Jones are all legit positional talents, and 6 of Arizona’s Top 10 prospects are pitchers. This is a team prepping for a run.
Christian Walker (1B, 32)
With two years of arbitration remaining, and a projected $7.4M salary for 2023, This isn’t a “must happen” situation by any means, but the D-Backs do have a really strong crop of position players ready to rise up from the lower levels. If the name of the game is bringing in big league pitching to complement them, then selling high on a player like Walker has plenty of value.
Keynan Middleton (RP, 29, $1.7M
Middleton has been around the 5 ERA mark for 3 straight seasons, with negative WAR values to boot. His final arbitration salary shouldn’t break the bank, but an upgrade for baseball reasons seems the best path forward.
Guaranteed Contracts: 10 (4th)
Current Tax Payroll: $151M (4th)
Projected Arbitration: $13M
Projected Pre-Arbitration: $6.3M
Projected Tax Payroll: $170M (9th)
Projected Tax Space: $62M (22nd)
Notable Options: Scott Oberg (RP, $8M club)
The Rockies spent big both in free agency & in retaining their own players prior to 2022, and were rewarded with a 68 win performance, 43 games out of the division lead. They now project to own the 9th highest tax payroll in MLB, and are already rumored to notable pending free agents.
Brendan Rodgers (2B, 26)
Rodgers has probably done enough in back to back seasons to be considered as the Rockies’ 2B for 4-5 more seasons, including a 4.2 WAR to finish 2022. He’s likely never going to live up to a #3 overall draft selection, but an extension in the $10M-$12M per year range probably isn’t out of line.
Randal Grichuk (OF, 31)
Grichuk was brought over from Toronto with hopes of adding power to the outfield, but he didn’t deliver as such. Colorado will assuredly be active in the free agent market for home runs, and with the Blue Jays paying nearly 50% of his $9.3M final salary, Grichuk should be on the trade block.
Garrett Hampson (SS, 28, $2M)
With top prospect Ezequiel Tovar (SS) now at the MLB level, Colorado can (and should) start to trim some of the fat off wherever possible. Hampson’s not an overpay at $2M, but with little production in 2022, cutting him loose is still the better business option.