The party is over….for now; The business side of baseball takes over!

Some players from the World Championship roster will not return for 2020

The “Hot Stove” fully lit up the second after Daniel Hudson struck out Michael Brantley for the final out of the World Series. Prior to that there were 28 teams that were early entries into the offseason, and now it is official. Free agents have been declared, and options are being picked up and turned down. Opt-outs have been used in a variety of ways. The exclusive period is still open for teams to negotiate with their own free agents, and then qualified offers will be issued before free agents can officially sign with other teams. 

Free Agents: 3B Anthony Rendon, 2B Howie Kendrick, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B Brian Dozier, 1B Ryan Zimmerman (option declined), 1B Matt Adams (option declined), C Yan Gomes (option declined), OF Gerardo Parra, RHP Stephen Strasburg (opted-out), RHP Jeremy Hellickson, RHP Daniel Hudson, RHP Fernando Rodney, LHP Jonny Venters

Pitchers B/T Contract Status CBT Salary
Patrick Corbin L/L  $          23,333,333
Sean Doolittle L/L  $             6,500,000
Roenis Elias L/L Arb 2  $             1,900,000
Erick Fedde R/R Minimum  $                575,000
Koda Glover R/R
Javy Guerra R/R Arb 1  $                950,000
Joe Ross R/R Arb 2  $             1,500,000
Anibal Sanchez R/R  $             9,500,000
Max Scherzer R/R  $          28,689,376
Stephen Strasburg R/R Free agent
Hunter Strickland R/R Arb 3
Wander Suero R/R Minimum  $                575,000
Austin Voth R/R Minimum  $                575,000
Free Agent Starter  $          30,000,000
Daniel Hudson R/R Free agent
Tanner Rainey  $                600,000
Backend Bullpen Arm  $             7,500,000
Catchers B/T
Tres Barrera R/R
Raudy Read R/R
Kurt Suzuki R/R  $             5,000,000
Free Agent  $             7,500,000
Infielders B/T
Wilmer Difo S/R
Carter Kieboom R/R Minimum  $                575,000
Jake Noll R/R
Adrian Sanchez R/R
Trea Turner R/R Arb 2  $             8,000,000
Anthony Rendon R/R
Free Agent 1B  $             4,500,000
Free Agent 3B  $          32,000,000
Utility infielder  $             3,500,000
Utility infielder  $             3,500,000
Outfielders B/T
Adam Eaton L/L  $             9,500,000
Victor Robles R/R Minimum  $                600,000
Juan Soto L/L Minimum  $                600,000
Andrew Stevenson L/L Minimum  $                575,000
Michael A. Taylor R/R
Fifth outfielder  $             1,500,000
40 man cost est  $             2,250,000
Player benefits est.  $          15,000,000
Total  $        206,797,709

That is an estimated payroll for the 2020 Nationals. Keep in mind that for 2020, the roster size is at 26 players. My assumption is an 8 man bullpen and a 5 man bench.  There should be enough money there for several players like Rendon and Strasburg, but due to the AAV calculations you see the need for deferrals to bring the numbers in line.

If Rendon and Strasburg do not come to terms shortly, they will both be locked under a $17.8 million qualified offer which they would both decline. This was the first year the QO declined. The amount is determined from an average of the top 125 salaries of the previous season. QOs are due five days after the World Series. Players then have up to ten days to accept or reject.

The competitive balance tax threshold for 2020 is $208 million unless the MLB and MLBPA adjust for the 26 player roster. There looks to be a reasonable opportunity to get under the tax threshold in 2020 and stay competitive in the upcoming season.

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