The following are payroll obligations of the Jays for the 2010 as it stands today, including both salary and bonus obligations obtained from Cot's.
1. Vernon Wells - $16,142,857 ($26,643,000 in 2011)
2. Roy Halladay - $15,750,000 (FA in 2011)
3. BJ Ryan - $10,000,000 *no return on this "investment"
4. Lyle Overbay - $7,950,000 (FA in 2011)
5. Edwin Encarnacion - $5,175,000 (Arb 3 in 2011)
6. Scott Downs - $4,000,000 (FA in 2011)
7. Aaron Hill - $4,000,000 ($5,000,000 in 2011)
8. Jose Bautista - Arb 3 $2,400,000 or higher (Arb 4 2011)
9. John MacDonald - $1,500,000 ($1,500,000 in 2010)
10. Jason Frasor - Arb 4 $1,450,000 or higher (FA 2011)
11. Brian Tallet - Arb 3 $1,015,000 or higher (Arb 4 2011)
12. Jeremy Accardo - Arb 2 $900,000 or higher (Arb 3 2011)
13. Shawn Camp - Arb 3 $750,000 or higher (Arb 4 2011)
14. Brandon League - Arb 2 $640,000 or higher (Arb 3 2011)
15. Alex Gonzalez - $2,750,000 ($2,500,000 option in 2011)
Sean Henn, Dustin McGowan, Travis Snider, Shaun Marcum, Scott Richmond, David Purcey, Jesse Carlson, Brian Wolfe, Joe Inglett, Adam Lind, Casey Janssen, Bret Cecil, Brian Dopirak, Reidier Gonzalez, Dick Hayhurst, Mike McCoy, Brad Mills, Josh Roenicke, Randy Ruiz, Marc Rzepczynski, Luis Perez, Robert Ray, Ricky Romero, and Jarrett Hoffpauir will all make between $400,000 and $450,000. I'll average it out to $425,000.
For a minimum total of $84,622,857 + $2,000,000 for Cito Gaston = $86,622,857
Payroll in 2009 stood at $80,538,300, meaning that even if the Jays did nothing from now until the season begins, they'd still have no starting catcher, no starting short stop, and no chance of winning.
However, this will not be the case because of pending or possible trades. Assuming the Jays can save 3 to 4 million by dealing Lyle Overbay and replacing him at 1B with a Dropirak and Ruiz combo, and that Roy Halladay is dealt for a sub 1 million player and prospects, the commitment looks as follows (these numbers are completely arbitrary and are only being used to make some projections and predicitons):
A. No longer pay Doc's $15,750,000, add $500,000 maximum for young player we get in return = $15,250,000 in salary relief. (Buchholz $415,000; B.Wood $405,000; Hughes $407,650; Joba $432,575; Happ $405,000 ect..)
B. No longer pay Lyle's $7,950,000 and pay player we get in return $4,000,000 = $3,950,000 in salary relief.
Total salary relief would be in the range of approximately $19,200,000
That kind of money buys a lot of players, or one great player. Rumours are about that the Jays will attempt to keep butts in the seats by signing Jason Bay at that exact range.....interesting, but unlikely that he would choose to be the scape goat of a Doc trade. The Jays attendance has been rising and our dollar is stronger than ever in Canada, so could it be that the Jays spend a little more in salaries going forward? I would say that it's not out of the realm of possibility, but it is unlikely to be in order to sign players long term since the Jays have been bitten too often with recent obligations. (BJ Ryan and AJ Burnett) It is more likely that they sign 1, 2 , or 3 FAs that need to prove themselves healthy or to prove they haven't lost what they had due to age. Ben Sheets, Miguel Tejada, Chad Tracy, Hank Blalock, Fernando Tatis, Khalil Greene, Bobby Crosby, Randy Winn, Joey Gathright, Coco Crisp, Geoff Jenkins, and Aubrey Huff are all possibilities. However, it is Erik Bedard and Rich Harden that interest me more. These two could be foreseeable acquisitions by the Jays if they spend a bit more than the money saved from dealing Doc and Overbay. They are both Canadian, both have something to prove, and both have stated publicly that they would like to play for the Jays at some point in their careers.
Let's say the salary relief is as above, or $19,000,000
Rich Harden made $7,000,000 in 2009. He has a ton of health questions surrounding him, so there isn't pressure to sign him long term. Say the Jays pay him $13,000,000 for 1 year.
Erik Bedard made $7,750,000 in 2009. Same deal, lots of questions about his arm, although his are lesser since they are recent and not yet long term issues or reoccurring (as they are with Rich). Let's say the cost here is $14,000,000 for 1 year.
The grand total cost for the two players would be $27,000,000, or $8,000,000 due to the salary relief they got from dealing Doc and Lyle. Sure, both are high risk signings due to health concerns, but both have huge upside and will get butts in the seats as long as they're healthy. Erik and Rich can both walk away if they want in 2011 with the knowledge that they fulfilled their hopes of playing for the Jays. It's win-win really.
An $8,000,000 increase would put payroll at $84,622,857 +$8,000,000 = $92,622,857
That figure is still below 2008's obligations of $97,973,900, well worth the investment if the Jays want to remain competitive.
If this actually happened as stated above (again, extremely doubtful), the Jays would have a rotation of:
1. Erik Bedard
2. Rich Harden
3. Ricky Romero
4. Bret Cecil
5. Marc Rzepczynski (Shaun Marcum returns to long relief to build up arm strength)
- plus whoever the Jays get from the Doc deal
Also allows McGowan, Litsch, Purcey, Mills, and others time to develop and heal.
This is a big dream, but one that I believe is plausible if Erik and Rich are approached simultaneously and told that intentions are to bring both of them to Toronto.
49 minutes ago