With all these rumblings of the Mariners being prepared to offer Robinson Cano over $200 million and Jacoby Ellsbury getting $150 plus from the Yankees, I thought it was a good idea to take a look at the Nationals’ payroll for 2014 and how it stacks up around Major League Baseball.
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The Washington Nationals, as of right now, have 12 players under contract for next season. Now don’t freak out here. Washington has eight guys, including newly acquired Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg, who have had their contract tendered. This meaning, the Nationals and each player’s representative’s have until January 17th to exchange figures for the player’s salary for the 2014 season. The deadline to negotiate with these players is Februry 1st. Also, the minor league guys who are pre arbitration are still on the roster of course.
The payroll, with the 12 guys under contract, sits at $82.8 million for 2014. Leading the way in salary is Jayson Werth, who is set to make $20.6 million next season. Next is Ryan Zimmerman making $14 million, in the first year of his new contract. One of the players under contract, Ross Ohlendorf, was a player who could have been non tendered, meaning released. But, the Nationals and Ohlendorf came to terms on a one year, $1.25 million deal on Monday night.
If I had to guess, I would say the payroll would be up over $100 million next year by a ton. After the $82.8 million, the Nationals still have those eight tendered guys. MLBtraderumors.com projected those players’ salaries (excluding Fister and Ohlendorf) to be about $36 million why Zimmermann could get close to $10 million of that. Also, Fister made $4 million last year with the Tigers, so you would expect that number to jump as well, to around $7 million. The Nationals could be looking at a payroll north of $120 million, which is a jump from last season’s $118.3 million. On opening day 2013, the Nationals were 12th in the majors in payroll, fifth the NL, and second in the NL East behind Philadelphia. I suspect the Nationals to be right about there again, maybe seventh or eighth in the MLB.
Looking at the payroll, I honestly don’t see the Nationals jumping in and getting another big name free agent, unless there is a trade. The lower name, lefty relievers or bench guys will be the ones Washington is targeting heading into next week’s Winter Meetings.