Saturday, July 13, 2024
HomeBaseballCan The Rays Reduce Payroll With out Transferring Tyler Glasnow?

Can The Rays Reduce Payroll With out Transferring Tyler Glasnow?

Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow’s title has been floated steadily within the rumor mill this offseason, and it’s not arduous to see why. Tampa Bay’s highest Opening Day payroll in franchise historical past, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, was a determine slightly below $84MM in 2022. In the meantime, RosterResource tasks the Rays for a considerable enhance over that determine, with a $126MM projection for the membership’s 2024 Opening Day roster as issues stand. That disparity of greater than $40MM has led to a widespread perception across the league that the membership must slash payroll this offseason, and Glasnow’s $25MM wage in 2024 is way and away the most important wage on Tampa’s books for 2024.

That mentioned, the Rays are dealing with an excessive amount of query marks concerning their beginning rotation resulting from vital accidents to lefties Shane McClanahan and Jeffrey Springs as properly was right-hander Drew Rasmussen final season. Every of the three required season-ending surgical procedure in 2023 and determine to overlook a lot, if not all, of the 2024 marketing campaign as properly. That leaves the Rays with simply three sure-fire beginning pitchers getting into the 2024 season as issues stand: Glasnow, Aaron Civale, and Zach Eflin.

The membership may get further assist subsequent 12 months from kids Taj Bradley and Shane Baz (the latter of whom is coming off a misplaced season resulting from Tommy John surgical procedure in 2023) in addition to righty Zack Littell, who pitched solidly as a swingman for the Rays in 2023, however the membership’s many pitching accidents this previous season function a reminder of the significance of sustaining beginning pitching depth. Buying and selling Glasnow would characterize a serious blow to that depth, notably after he completed second to solely Eflin in innings on the Rays final 12 months regardless of not making his season debut till the top of Might.

It’s value noting the likelihood the Rays’ state of affairs isn’t as dire as it might appear. In spite of everything, president of baseball operations Erik Neander has indicated that the membership can be open to operating the next payroll in 2024 than they’ve in earlier years with a view to preserve extra of the membership’s 99-win 2023 roster collectively. Specifics on precisely how excessive of a payroll membership possession is prepared to abdomen aren’t clear, however slicing projected payroll to $100MM would place them twenty second amongst majors league golf equipment in projected payroll for 2024, simply behind the Brewers ($101MM) and simply forward of their southern neighbors in Miami ($96MM). Whereas the membership has sometimes run a bottom-five payroll amongst MLB golf equipment lately, precedent for the Rays rating larger does exist, as Cot’s signifies their 2010 payroll was twenty second within the majors as properly.

Given the membership’s pitching and monetary conditions, it’s honest to not solely ask if the Rays can afford to maintain Glasnow in 2024, but additionally if they’ll afford to half with him. Whereas there are not any easy solutions to the second query, it’s value trying into the primary: if the Rays are prepared to run a payroll of $100MM in 2024, is there a path to retaining Glasnow as a member of the Opening Day roster?

Glasnow isn’t the one Rays participant who’s seen his title seem within the rumor mill this offseason; outfielder Manuel Margot’s title has percolated nearly as steadily because the hulking right-hander’s, with the Mets and Yankees amongst his identified suitors. Transferring on from Margot, who has posted roughly league common numbers (97 wRC+) on the plate over the previous 4 seasons alongside stellar protection within the outfield, would doubtless be a should if the Rays are to trim their present payroll to $100MM whereas retaining Glasnow. Margot’s $10MM wage in 2024 is third-highest on the group, behind solely Glasnow and Eflin. Buying and selling two years of Eflin, who’s beneath contract for a mixed $29MM over the subsequent two seasons, with a view to retain one 12 months of Glasnow would make little sense for the Rays past an exorbitant commerce return for Eflin’s companies.

Margot isn’t the one outfielder who’s seen his title floated steadily as a possible Rays commerce chip this offseason. Righty slugger Harold Ramirez has additionally seen his title floated as a possible commerce candidate because of the similarity of his position to that of fellow slugger Luke Raley. Whereas Ramirez’s projected $4.4MM wage in 2024 (courtesy of MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz) is an inexpensive worth to pay for his companies, Raley’s presence as a .249/.333/.490 hitter who crushed 19 homers in simply 406 journeys to the plate final season fills the same area of interest to Ramirez on the membership’s roster at a pre-arbitration charge. That makes Ramirez considerably expendable for the Rays regardless of a stable .306/.348/.432 slash line over his two seasons with Tampa.

If the Rays half methods with each Margot and Ramirez this offseason, that might trim slightly below $15MM from the membership’s payroll with out doing an excessive amount of injury to the membership’s outfield depth, which might nonetheless embody Raley along with Randy Arozarena, Jose Siri, Josh Lowe, and Greg Jones. That also leaves the membership with greater than $11MM in payroll that might must be trimmed to get the membership’s payroll all the way down to $100MM, nevertheless. Whereas dealing a veteran reduction arm like Jason Adam or Andrew Kitteredge may save the membership $2-3MM whereas opening up a roster spot for a teenager like Manuel Rodriguez or Colby White, the membership’s bullpen depth would undergo for it and the Rays would nonetheless have to half methods with a extra vital piece.

The 2 most definitely candidates to depart in such a deal can be outfielder Randy Arozarena and second baseman Brandon Lowe, however parting with both participant opens up vital query marks inside the membership’s positional group. Arozarena has develop into a face of the franchise lately because of his regular manufacturing and postseason heroic. In 2023, the 28-year-old delivered a 20/20 season whereas posting a 127 wRC+ because the membership’s common left fielder, manufacturing that might be troublesome to interchange with out including much more in payroll than Arozarena’s projected $9MM wage. That being mentioned, there’s no less than an argument to take heed to presents on Arozarena’s companies given the membership’s finances crunch and the truth that he figures to solely get costlier in future journeys via arbitration as he enters his thirties.

Lowe, then again, may very well be simpler for the membership to interchange. The 29-year-old had one thing of a bounceback season on the plate in 2023, slashing .231/.328/.443 with a 117 wRC+ in 109 video games this previous 12 months after posting roughly league common numbers on the dish in 2022. Like Arozarena, Lowe figures to solely get costlier within the coming years because the Rays maintain a pair of membership choices on his companies for 2025 and 2026, valued at $10.5MM and $11.5MM respectively. With loads of younger infielders like Junior Caminero, Curtis Mead, and Jonathan Aranda approaching the large leagues, Lowe’s manufacturing may very well be simpler for the membership to interchange internally than Arozarena’s, as properly.

That being mentioned, a Lowe commerce comes with its personal pitfalls. Lowe flashed the offensive manufacturing of an influence participant from 2020-21, when he slashed .253/.346/.532 (140 wRC+) with 53 residence runs in simply 205 video games. Whereas he’s now two years faraway from that offensive outburst, it’s value noting that Lowe has been slowed by again points over the previous two seasons. A wholesome 2024 marketing campaign may see Lowe return to the All-Star caliber manufacturing from earlier in his profession and considerably enhance his worth, each to the Rays and on the commerce market. A Lowe commerce would additionally exacerbate the uncertainty Tampa’s infield is dealing with as a result of off-the-field problems with franchise shortstop Wander Franco and the offseason surgical procedure of slick-fielding backup Taylor Partitions, although it’s no less than attainable one or each gamers may very well be again in time for Opening Day.

For the Rays to make appreciable cuts to their 2024 payroll whereas additionally retaining Glasnow, the membership would doubtless must half methods with no less than 4 gamers in Margot, Ramirez, one in all Adam or Kitteredge, and one in all Arozarena or Lowe. Whereas transport out Margot, Ramirez, and a reduction arm would all be completely defensible actions that subtract from areas of considerable depth for the membership, dealing Arozarena or Lowe would entail giving up a slugger with a number of years of group management within the midst of his prime years who the membership may battle to interchange the manufacturing of. That’s a steep worth to pay with a view to retain the companies of Glasnow for the 2024 season, notably when he figures to depart in free company subsequent winter both method.

After all, there’s loads of components this train doesn’t take note of as properly. Chief amongst them is the potential commerce returns the Rays may garner, not just for Glasnow, but additionally for a longer-term piece like Lowe or Arozarena. If the Rays discover themselves shocked by a suggestion for any of the items talked about right here, the choices at their disposal may actually change. It’s additionally honest to notice that the Rays may no less than plausibly be prepared to hold a payroll that exceeds even the $100MM determine used on this train; in spite of everything, the membership made a suggestion to famous person first baseman Freddie Freeman throughout the 2021-22 offseason and had curiosity in dealing for two-way famous person Shohei Ohtani, each of whom would have doubtless required monetary commitments north of Glasnow’s $25MM wage. Since then, the Rays have additionally hammered out an settlement on a brand new stadium in St. Petersburg, probably additional incentivizing the membership to loosen the purse strings.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments