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Payroll Preview: NL West (Part 6 of 6)

This is the final installment of this winter’s payroll preview, featuring the National League West division. In the NL West this year, the LA Dodgers look to continue their dominance, Colorado looks to continue their breakout from the 2018 season, Padres look to emerge from their rebuild, while the Diamondbacks and Giants enter a phase of rebuilding their rosters.

Just yesterday, figures for Arbitration cases were released by teams and players, so the Arbitration Projection numbers will be provided by those numbers from mlbdailydish.com


Arizona Diamondbacks

Previous 3 Seasons: $114.6M
Current Payroll Commitments for 2019: $101.3M
Payroll Projection: $115M
Arbitration Projections: T.J. McFarland (asking $1.675M, offered $1.275M)

The Diamondbacks are at a point of starting to rebuild. In the last few years, we’ve seen teams like the Tigers, Royals, and Orioles go into a rebuild and lose over 100 games, but I don’t think the D-Backs will fall that far. They’ve made a couple moves since the end of the season to bring in young, MLB-ready talent with new catcher Carson Kelly, as well as RHP Luke Weaver who looks to redeem himself from a 2018 full of struggles. The team may struggle to find some identity without their former face of the franchise in Paul Goldschmidt, but they do have some good pieces and could return to the forefront of the division within 2 or 3 seasons.

Off Season Suggestions:
On the surface, this team seems to look like their about set with their Opening Day lineup, however, I think they may still have one or two moves left.
– Trade Zack Greinke for young pitching talent – Greinke is owed a colossal $34.5M this season. Any way to unload that money for the D-Backs would be huge for their progress
– Trade Alek Thomas for a first baseman – Thomas is the Diamondbacks’ top outfield prospect, but the team has a lot of depth in the minor leagues at OF, with 3 more in their top 15 prospects. Thomas could have a lot of trade value at only 18-years-old and “plus” ratings in contact, speed, and fielding.


Colorado Rockies

Previous 3 Seasons: $130.4M
Current Payroll Commitments for 2019: $114.3M
Projected Payroll: $150M
Arbitration Projections: Nolan Arenado (asking $30M, offered $24M)

The Rockies are looking to continue the success they had last year, and considering the other teams competing for a Wild Card position, they might fall into one with the NL Central and East competitors beating up on each other. Their two big losses this winter were DJ LeMahieu and Adam Ottavino, who despite being great players, are not fully irreplacable.

Off Season Suggestions:
Asdrubal Cabrera, 1 year, $9M – After the departure of LeMahieu, the Rockies have 24-year-old Ryan McMahon slated to start at second base. While McMahon is young and promising, bringing in Cabrera to mentor the young infielder may be hugely impactful for his young career.
Tyler Clippard, 2 years, $8M – Clippard had a very successful 2018 with a 115 ERA+ as well as a 23-85 BB-SO ratio. The Rockies have a thin bullpen after the departure of Ottavino, and Clippard could be useful in a setup role.


Los Angeles Dodgers

Previous 3 Seasons: $242.5M
Current Payroll Commitments for 2019: $179.4M
Payroll Projection: $200M
Arbitration Projections: All Arbitration hearings were avoided

The Dodgers are going to win the division again. There’s no two ways around it. They wouldn’t have to do anything else, but they want to. The division means nothing to this team, all that matters is the World Series for the Dodgers. There is hardly a weak spot in their lineup and a solid rotation and bullpen to go along with it. They were early favorites in the Bryce Harper rumors, but seem to have trailed off a bit in the discussions.

Off Season Suggestions:
Tyler Clippard, 2 years, $8M – As I said with the Rockies, Clippard could be a great fit into the Dodgers’ bullpen. He has good experience and could fill multiple roles, whether as a setup for Kenley Jansen, or simply middle relief if that is what’s needed.


San Diego Padres

Previous 3 Seasons: $88.4M
Current Payroll Commitments for 2019: $72.1M
Payroll Projection: $90M
Arbitration Projections: All Arbitration hearings were avoided

The Padres seem to believe that now is the time to start turning a corner in their rebuild and letting their young studs take over the team. They have a decent collection of veteran leadership and a young rotation that could put up some solid numbers this year led by Joey Lucchesi and Eric Lauer.

Off Season Suggestions:
Mike Moustakas, 2 years, $17M – The Padres have been quietly involved in Moustakas’s services this winter, and I think they may make an offer to bring him in. The team currently does not have a starting third-baseman and Moustakas has the talent to help out any team he goes to.


San Francisco Giants

Previous 3 Seasons: $191.2M
Current Payroll Commitments for 2019: $156.6M
Payroll Projection: $165M
Arbitration Projections: All Arbitration hearings were avoided

The Giants have had a quiet winter outside of their hiring of Farhan Zaidi as their President of Baseball Operations. Zaidi is a very intelligent executive and could restore some of the success the Giants had in the early 2010’s. It appears, however, that success may have to wait a couple seasons as it appears they may enter into a rebuild with Zaidi at the helm.

Off Season Suggestions:
– Trade Madison Bumgarner for high-level prospect talent – MadBum is aging quickly and a rebuild would effectively waste the rest of his career. Trade him to a contender for young talent and let him get back to his post-season success


Featured Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Mick Callahan

I'm a fifth year student in a five-year Electrical Engineering program at RIT in Rochester, NY. Originally from St. Louis, MO. Big Redbirds fan, and a fan of the game as a whole. If you're new to my articles, spoiler alert: I like math. Many of the things I write focus on breaking the game down to the mathematics that explain why and how baseball works the way it does. Yes, I'm a huge nerd.

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