Friday, February 7, 2014

Brewers sign K-Rod; Updated roster and payroll projections

Today the Brewers announced they signed Francisco Rodriguez to a 1 year contract worth $3.25 million.  The deal includes another $550,000 possible through incentives which would raise the total value to just under $4 million.  Ignoring my personal and moral   reservations, from a purely baseball perspective I think this is a fine deal.  K-Rod was pretty awful in 2012 but that was due to a severe drop in his swinging strike rate from a career average around 12% to 7.9%.  That resulted in a large increase in contact rate, from low to mid-70% the previous three years to 80.9%.  Those numbers regressed towards norms in 2013.  His swinging strike rate was 10.2% and his contact rate was 76.6%.  To me this seems to suggest that while he's no longer an elite reliever, he isn't completely worthless.  I think he's losing his edge a bit, and shouldn't be used in high leverage situations anymore, but outside of those he can probably be a perfectly capable middle reliever.  I've seen plenty of people suggest that nearly $4 million is a big overpay, but I would disagree with that.  In this market of increased salaries, the AAV seems to be in line with what middle relievers are getting.  Then when one takes into account the deal is for only 1 year I think it actually starts to look pretty good.  I suspect this is the last significant transaction of the offseason for the Brewers, so it's not like the money was going to be needed elsewhere.  Oh yeah, in a corresponding move they have designated Donovan Hand for assignment to make room for K-Rod on the 40-man roster.

Here's is my updated roster and payroll projection:

C: Jonathan Lucroy ($2 MM)
BN: Martin Maldonado ($500 k)*
1B: Mark Reynolds ($2.5 MM)
BN: Juan Francisco ($1.35 MM)****
2B: Scooter Gennett ($500 k)*
BN: Rickie Weeks ($11 MM)
3B: Aramis Ramirez ($10 MM)*******
BN: Jeff Bianchi ($500 k)*
SS: Jean Segura ($500 k)*

LF: Khris Davis ($500 k)*

CF: Carlos Gomez ($7 MM)
OF: Logan Schafer ($500 k)*
RF: Ryan Braun ($12.5 MM)

SP: Kyle Lohse ($11 MM)
RP: Jim Henderson ($500 k)*
SP: Yovani Gallardo ($11.5 MM)****
RP: Brandon Kintzler ($500 k)*
SP: Matt Garza ($11.5 MM)*****
RP: Tom Gorzelanny ($2.8 MM)
SP: Wily Peralta ($500 K)*
RP: Tyler Thornburg ($500 k)*
SP: Marco Estrada ($3.425 MM)***
RP: Will Smith ($500 k)*

RP: Francisco Rodriguez ($3.8 MM)******
RP: Rob Wooten (500 k)*

Unless otherwise noted, all figures come from Cots Contracts.
*League minimum is $500,000. Actual salaries could be marginally higher.
** Reynolds' contract is for a $2 million guaranteed base with another $500,000 possible with incentives.
***Estrada's base salary is reportedly $3.325 and includes $100,000 in incentives.
****J. Francisco's contracts reportedly contains performance bonuses that are as yet unkown.
*****Garza's deal is for $12.5MM ea. year but $2 MM is deferred. Can make extra $1M w/incentives.
******K-Rod's base salary is $3.25 million with another $550,000 possible through incentives.
*******Ramirez's total salary for 2014 is actually $16 million, but $6 MM of it is deferred. 

The total payroll comes to $96.375 million with no open roster spots.  That includes all incentives, which equal $2.15 million, so the actual total could be less.

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