Can Mike Rizzo get the band back together and make the CBT limit work?

Photo by Andrew Lang for TalkNats

Can Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo meet all of his goals for the 2020 roster of penciling in a 90-win team based on the analytics plus stay under the $208 million CBT salary cap, and bring back Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon, Howie Kendrick, and Asdrubal Cabrera? The answer is “possibly” and they have reportedly agreed to bring back catcher Yan Gomes at $5 million a year for two years. It would not be easy though to get most key players back at inflated numbers though and stay under the cap and fill all holes.

When you win a World Series, the fanbase wants the good feelings going, and they want to get the band back together. That will be impossible in part because Gerardo Parra has already signed with the Giants of the Japan league, but every other World Series player for the Nationals who became a free agent is still available.  The CBT is there, but with some creativity it is certainly doable for the players who want to return.

“I have never had a problem with the financial resources I’ve had to utilize,” Rizzo said. “Like I said, earlier this year when we were 19-31, this wasn’t a resource thing, this was a personnel thing. We have certainly had the resources to field a competitive team  since 2012. I do not believe that that’s going to change. They’ve always given me the resources to put together a championship-caliber club, and I do not see that changing in the near future.”

Here is our salary chart below with estimates:

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  $             8,000,000
Catchers B/T
Tres Barrera R/R
Raudy Read R/R
Kurt Suzuki R/R  $             5,000,000
Yan Gomes R/R  $             5,000,000
Infielders B/T
Wilmer Difo S/R  Arb 1  $1,000,000
Carter Kieboom R/R Minimum  $                575,000
Jake Noll R/R
Adrian Sanchez R/R
Trea Turner R/R Arb 2  $             7,750,000
Anthony Rendon R/R
Free Agent 1B  $             3,000,000
Free Agent 3B  $          32,000,000
Utility infielder  $             6,000,000
Utility infielder  $             3,750,000
Outfielders B/T
Adam Eaton L/L  $             9,500,000
Victor Robles R/R Minimum  $                600,000
Juan Soto L/L Minimum  $                650,000
Andrew Stevenson L/L Minimum  $                575,000
Michael A. Taylor R/R $3,800,000
40 man cost est.  $             2,250,000
Player benefits est.  $          15,000,000
Bonuses and incentives est.  $             3,500,000
Total  $        212,647,709
CBT  $        208,000,000

Can Mike Rizzo get this to work? There is some room to work with but literally no buffer except in the bonus and incentives numbers.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who are free agents beyond Anthony [Rendon] and [Strasburg] that group,” Rizzo said. “We’re certainly going to utilize the process that we have in the past, and we have the front office staff to handle it. We’ll make the right decisions on personnel in the near future.”

What would you do with Michael A. Taylor, Ryan Zimmerman, and Hunter Strickland? Can Mike Rizzo shave off $5 million to get under the CBT limit? These numbers also have implications on the 2021 roster and payroll.

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