2019 Payroll Preview: NL East (Part 2 of 6)

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the AL East and went over how we would calculate the value of projected team payrolls. Today, we will look at the increasingly crazy NL East division

Atlanta Braves

Previous 3 Seasons: $110.6M
Current Salary Commitments for 2019: $78.5M
Projected Payroll: $140M
Arbitration Projections: Kevin Gausman ($9.2M), Mike Foltynewicz ($5.5M), Arodys Vizcaino ($4.8M), Adam Duvall ($3.1M), Dan Winkler ($1.6M), Sam Freeman ($1.5M), Charlie Culberson ($1.4M)

The Braves are in prime position to begin making a run for a World Series title with a young and extremely talented roster. They even managed to bolster their lineup by signing third-baseman Josh Donaldson this winter. Following these arbitration projections, the Braves should be sitting around $110M in salary commitments to 22 or 23 players. It is likely they will simply promote from within to fill out their roster but they could make one or two signings to bolster their bullpen. The Braves also have plenty of money to spend as they are one of the biggest markets in the league.

Off Season Suggestions:
– Craig Kimbrel, RP, 5 years, $70M – While I’m not sure Kimbrel should earn $70M, a reunion with the Braves would be poetic as he can help them push for a World Series, and this price seems to be where the market will be for Kimbrel
– Luis Avilan, RP, 4 years, $24M – The 29-year-old reliever has been fairly productive over his 7 seasons to date, he would be a good option for a 7th-inning guy

Miami Marlins

Previous 3 Seasons: $93.4M
Current Salary Commitments for 2019: $46.9M
Projected Payroll: $85M
Arbitration Projections: JT Realmuto ($6.1M), Dan Straily ($4.8M), Jose Urena ($3.6M), Miguel Rojas ($2.6M), Adam Conley ($1.3M)

Slowly but surely, the Marlins young talent is climbing through the ranks to the MLB, however, their time is still a couple years off. They should continue to save money, sell expensive veterans for young talent, and bolster their coaching staff.

Off Season Suggestions:
– Trade JT Realmuto for 2 or 3 top-end prospects – Realmuto’s career is being wasted in Miami, he’s 27 and will be hitting the end of his prime by the time the Marlins start being good…assuming he stays after his arbitration and the Marlins don’t gain anything from his departure
– Don’t sign any free agents, they won’t do much to make this team competitive in a division with a 4-team race for 1st place in the division

New York Mets

Previous 3 Seasons: $147.3M
Current Salary Commitments for 2019: $102.9M
Projected Payroll: $160M
Arbitration Projections: Jacob DeGrom ($12.9M), Noah Syndergaard ($5.9M), Zach Wheeler ($5.3M), Michael Conforto ($4.4M), Travis d’Arnaud ($3.7M), Steven Matz ($3M), Kevin Plawecki ($1.3M)

The Mets could actually be a very good team this year if they can manage to stay healthy for the first time in years. In a market like New York City, even as the little brother team, the Mets will have plenty of money to spend with a projected $145M or so in commitments after arbitration. They could make a splash in Free Agency to fill out their lineup considering their stellar rotation and good bullpen.

Off Season Suggestions:
– Avisail Garcia, OF, 3 years, $20M – The Mets have a weak point in their lineup with Juan Lagares (great in the field with a questionable bat), by signing Garcia, they can play Conforto at center and have a corner outfielder in Garcia who showed outstanding promise with his bat in 2017 before dealing with injuries in 2018
– Adam Ottavino, RP, 2 years, $12M – Bring in Ottavino to sure up the bullpen and teach their young, new closer – Edwin Diaz

Philadelphia Phillies

Previous 3 Seasons: $104M
Current Salary Commitements for 2019: $82.7M
Projected Payroll: $170M
Arbitration Projections: Cesar Hernandez ($8.9M), Aaron Nola ($6.6M), Maikel Franco ($5.1M), Vince Velasquez ($2.6M), Hector Neris ($2.0M), Jose Alvarez ($1.7M), Jerad Eickhoff ($1.7M), Aaron Altherr ($1.6M), Adam Morgan ($1.1M)

The Projected Payroll for the Phillies is questionable because they have plenty of money to burn through in the third largest market in the league. In addition, they have saved a lot of money over the past 3 seasons, and are ready to contend. One or two additions may send this team over the top. And not to mention, they have the money to sign Machado and Harper.

Off Season Suggestions:
– Bryce Harper, OF, 8 years, $300M
– Manny Machado, SS, 8 years, $300M
– Adam Ottavino, RP, 2 years, $12M – Bullpen help never hurt anyone, and his experience could be of use to help Seranthony Dominguez

Washington Nationals

Previous 3 Seasons: $167.7M
Current Salary Commitments for 2019: $112.7M
Projected Payroll: $185M
Arbitration Projections: Anthony Rendon ($17.6M), Trea Turner ($5.3M), Michael Taylor ($3.2M), Kyle Barraclough ($1.9M), Joe Ross ($1.5M)

The Nats are in prime position, at least on paper, to make a run for the World Series this year. But, we’ve said that going into each of the last few seasons to no avail. It’s hard to say what is missing for the Nationals, but my best guess would be to find a new second baseman, as Wilmer Difo has not been getting the job done.

Off Season Suggestions:
– DJ LeMahieu, 2B, 3 years, $30M – LeMahieu is an extremely solid defensive player and has accumulated at least 2 oWAR according to in three of the last four seasons

Next to Come:
AL Central

Photo Credit:

Mick Callahan

Hi, I'm Mick Callahan. I'm a native of St. Louis, MO, and a lifelong Cardinals fan. Most of the time, I'm a software engineer, which has left me to be one of the resident Stat Nerds here at Diamond Digest. If you need an example, check out my aRBI+ article.

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