Though there’s no further word Thursday morning if Atlanta’s Tim Hudson is on the move, the Journal-Constitution’s Dave O’Brien illustrates precisely why the Braves never got around to making Tom Glavine a bona fide offer.
You want to know why the Braves must trade Marcus Giles and/or Adam LaRoche (above) in order to improve their pitching staff and stay within budget? I™ll tell you. Rather, I™ll show you.
Because seven guys are eating up 80 percent or slightly more of the $80 million payroll. Yes, seven guys.
So that you good blog denizens don™t have to try computing it in your heads, I™ll give you the approximate payroll figures for each of the Big Seven, which includes _ this is important _ the prorated part of any signing bonuses.
The figures aren™t exact _ because the Braves won™t divulge them _ but they are close enough to give you an idea of the bad situation the Braves are in.
They are in this situation largely because of commitments made to a few players back when the payroll was about $20 million higher with no indication that it would be reduced _ which it was three years ago, to the $80 million figure that™s remained stagnant in a booming baseball economy. Damn you, Time Warner.
Andruw Jones ($13.5 mill)
Chipper Jones ($12 mill)
John Smoltz ($11 mill _ FYI, that™s $8 mill and half his $6 mill signing bonus)
Mike Hampton ($9 mill)
Tim Hudson ($8.5 mill _ remember, he got a $10 mill signing bonus)
Bob Wickman ($6.5 mill)
Edgar Renteria ($6 mill; Red Sox paying part of his $9 mill average salary).
Add it up and weep: $66.5 mill.
Think about it, that™s more than 80 percent of the total payroll, and you haven™t even figured in arbitration-eligible Braves including Giles, who can expect more than $5 mill, LaRoche ($3 mill or more), Horacio Ramirez (about $3 mill) and Oscar Villarreal (about $1.5 million).
Add it up and weep more: $12.5 million for those four, give or take. Add that to the other seven guys and you get $79 million.
But seriously, that payroll obviously is dysfunctional in its top-heaviness. You can™t sign the rest of your roster for about $1 million.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, having yet another sleepless Winter Meetings, reports the Dodgers and free agent OF Luis Gonzalez are close to signing a one-year, $7 million deal. That should kill any possibility of Brad Penny and James Loney being being swapped for Manny Ramirez, not to mention any chance of reuniting the Sultan Of Surly with Lt. Dangle. Which, of course, I was rooting for more than world peace.