As the off-season nears my first thoughts are about who will be in an Angel uniform next spring. That has quite a bit to do with how much cash we have to spend. So rather than look at who may or may not be available and for how much, I wanted to take a couple minutes and see what our payroll obligations look like, what the luxury tax obligations look like and take some guesses at what the team's income might be. This can help us as we start looking at directions the team may go.
2016 Pending Free Agents
David Freese, Shane Victorino, Chris Iannetta, Wesley Wright, Mat Latos, Matt Joyce
Major Holes- LF, DH, 3rd Base, Catcher, Relief pitching, 2nd base
2016 Payroll Obligations
Player Avg Annual Value Actual 2016 Payments
|David Murphy||$6.00||$6M/ $1M|
|David DeJesus||$5.25||$5M/ $1M|
|Kole Calhoun||$3.50||Super 2|
*24 Million to Josh Hamilton
2016 Luxury Tax Payroll-
$160.6 mil, Luxury Tax threshold 189 Mil. Penalty rate for 1st time offenders: 17.5%
Luxury Tax will be reworked as part of the new collective bargaining agreement for the 2017 season.
Actual 2016 Payroll Obligations-
$136.33 + 24M to Texas for Hamilton; 160.33M total
2017 Pending Free Agents-
Weaver, Wilson, Aybar, Smith, Salas, Ramos, Dejesus*, Murphy* (*assuming 2016 options are picked up)
Current 2017 Luxury Tax Payroll Obligations-
57 Mil + 24Mil to Hamilton
2017 Actual Obligations-
55 Mil + 24 Mil to Hamilton
This section is more speculative since the team is closed with their financial data, but is fairly accurate based on MLB data and other sources.
Gate Receipts: $90M
TV Deal and MLB internet profit sharing: $250M
2016 Playoff Revenues: 0
Total Revenues: $390 Mil- The team has plenty of revenue to accomplish just about whatever it wants to do money wise. They are among the top earning teams in the MLB.
What does it mean?
The team has obligations of around 160 Mil for 2016 that plummet down to about 80 mil for 2017. Eppler will have the opportunity and task to quickly rebuild the team and Arte's comments about being willing to pay the tax one time make much more sense since we can see payroll takes a huge drop going into 2017 and with the renegotiation of the CBA, the tax threshold is likely to go up (or away) anyway.
If Arte decides to go on a spending spree to try and fix our problems, he could hypothetically sign Wieters to catch for 10 mil a year, Murphy for 18 mil a year at 3rd, Heyward for 25 mil a year for LF, a couple relievers at 5 mil each a year and Price to top the rotation for 25 mil a year, our 2016 payroll would be 248 Mil with an additional 10.3 mil in lux tax payments. Our 2017 payroll would then be 190 mil-ish (incl Hamilton) with the only major hole to fill at SS. We could also trade away wilson, salas, ramos, perez, etc... to get some prospects back and restock the farm a bit.
As crazy as it seems, this may be a hole that we can spend our way out of. Trout makes this team competitive by himself so the idea of rebuilding doesn't sit right. We just need to surround him with better than league average guys and we should make the playoffs every year. Additionally, We have insignificant penalties for overspending this year, major holes to fill for the following year (in addition to some major holes to fill this year). We also have no real hope coming from the farm.
The Angels dont have many guys worth locking up long term and have pretty solid pitching depth so there isnt much to save money for. Im in favor of seeing the team go after some guys in their prime and try to win now. At some point because of the lack of impact hitters on our farm teams, we will have to sign a free agent. If we are going to do it (and give up draft picks in the process), we might as well do it all at once. Each additional pick we forfeit is worth less and less in terms of value and this year is fairly ripe with very good talent.
This is the off-season that Arte needs to pop the wallet out and fix his mistakes. The TV deal alone has been paying our payroll, If Arte goes over a bit playoff revenues can be huge and easily offset the additional costs. I'm expecting an exciting couple of months leading up to March.