PAYROLL - WHAT CAN WE SPEND?
Now that the Cubs have resigned Aram, it's time to figure out just what the team can and can't do, within the boundary conditions of their payroll. If the Cubs are, in fact committed to upping their payroll over 100 million (and some have said to 120 mil) then it would appear that we have a lot of flexibility and room to go out and get the free agents we need to compete.
Let's say that the entire payroll for the Cubs including coaches comes to 75 million as of now--committed. That still leaves approximately between 25 million and 40 million left to spend. With that kind of money, we should be able to sign 2 quality starting pitchers, and 1 big bat, preferably Soriano - or 2 bats (Drew and Wells) + 1 quality starter -- ? It all depends on just how much more $$ the Cubs will have to sign guys. I like the idea of Soriano, Wells, and then assuming we're not going to get Matsuzaka, Schmidt or Zito--fill in the # 3 and #4 starters appropriately - A big hitch: If we do get Matsuzaka, then he will sign for significantly less than Zito or Schmidt. Could be interesting.
Seems to me you get one superstar + parts, or you spread it around. I say we go for Schmidt, Wells (in a trade), Wilson and a serviceable 2B. That we could do for b/t 25 and 30 million.
With this kind of flexibility, and based on these numbers, what would you do?
3B Aramis Ramirez 14,000,000.00
1B Derek Lee 13,000,000.00
SS Cesar Izturis 4,150,000.00
OF Jacques Jones 4,000,000.00
C Michael Barrett 3,000,000.00
OF Matt Murton 380,000.00
OF Angel Pagan 380,000.00
IF Robby Cedeno 380,000.00
IF Ryan Theriot 380,000.00
IF Freddie Bynum 380,000.00
C Geovany Soto 380.000.00
POSITION PLAYER TOTAL 40,430,000.00
SP Carlos Zambrano 6,500,000.00 (arbitration?)
RP Ryan Dempster 5,000,000.00
RP Bob Howry 4,000,000.00
SP Mark Prior 3,650,000.00
RP Scott Eyre 3,500,000.00
RP Glendon Rusch 3,250,000.00 (injured)
SP Wade Miller 1,500,000.00
RP Kerry Wood 1,000,000.00 (incentives)
RP Will Ohman 610,000.00
RP Michael Wuertz 380,000.00
RP Roberto Novoa 380,000.00
RP David Aardsma 380,000.00
SP Sean Marshall 380,000.00
SP Rich Hill 380,000.00
PITCHER TOTAL 30,910,000.00
TEAM PAYROLL TOTAL 71,340,000.00
-Zambrano will get more $$ assuming he goes to arbitration
-Rusch is obviously injured, and we have to eat his contract
-Wood's money could be more depending on contractual incentives