Re: 2018-19 Offseason Thread
Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:33 am
What’s your budgeted payroll for 2019?
Anthopoulos: We’re not going to say it for obvious reasons what our budgeted payroll is, but we still have a lot of room. We have room to go north of that — well north of that. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to do this just for the sake of doing it. There were players last offseason people thought we should’ve signed, but from a baseball standpoint it just didn’t make sense. AAV-wise (average annual salary), we can shop anywhere. The issue becomes the totality of the deal — how many years, what’s the total guaranteed dollars, ages, do we believe in them, are there other bells and whistles in the deal. That’s ultimately what the hangup ends up being. We’ll sign someone or trade for someone if we believe in the deal. I know that might be tough for some people to hear. But we have not had any restrictions. We just don’t believe in some of the deals right now.
Where are you at now budget-wise for the 40-man roster and other things you factor in?
Anthopoulos: It just doesn’t help my negotiating position right now to say. As much as people want to make moves now, and we do, too, we have to make sure we believe in them. There’s always windows to spend, whether it’s now or July or August.
Can you at least say whether your 40-man payroll is above or below where you were a year ago at this time?
Anthopoulos: I don’t remember exactly where we were to start last season.
McGuirk: We’re above that.
Anthopoulos: I can tell you this: We were in the bottom 10 last year by the end of the year. Our budgeted number absolutely is trending toward the middle. I know we have the ability to do whatever we want to do.
McGuirk: Those are really all the headlines. Knowing the amount of dead money we had on the books, if we were at $126 million in total, the real money on the field was $85 to $90 million. We still have an appreciable amount of dry powder ready to go. The winter to us is certainly relevant. But the psychological value when you add to your team at the trade deadline is appreciable. We build that into the budget now. I’ve been here a long time. I can never remember us not having dead — a lot of dead money. We’re being very careful, just to make sure we don’t make that mistake. I saw on social media the last few days, somebody listed the number of deals done between $120 million and $240 million since 2007, and almost all of them have a disaster part in the end. Our goal is not to just be good; it’s to be good a long time.
Where do you see your payroll going in the future?
McGuirk: Spending now is about winning. It’s not about building as much. Alex’s mandate is to advance the ball from where we were last year in the playoffs. I read where all of the prognosticators have us winning 82 or 84 games. I love being the underdog. The fact that we can take that $126 million and put it on the field, plus an appreciable move beyond that, is unprecedented for us. We’ve been a bottom-10 payroll team for a couple of years. We’ve messaged that we want to get to the middle, and I think this year begins to get us to that neighborhood. I expect that we push beyond that in the coming five years.