Admittedly, this is a bit of a self-critiquing exercise in crunching the numbers. Keep in mind, of course, that none of the moves outlined on this page have actually taken place; these only happened in our FanSided MLB Winter Meetings simulation.
The trade of Reddick for Mark Melancon actually brought in an additional $2.5 million of luxury tax salary, putting us right around $216.8 million. That only leaves around $11 million left, and even in my limited free agent spending, I still went over budget.
The deals for Robinson Chirinos ($5 million) and Rich Hill ($8 million) alone put us over the top. Add on deals for Andrew Cashner ($2 million), Danny Salazar ($1 million), Collin McHugh ($1 million) and Luis Avilan ($1 million) and we’re even further over.
We haven’t even gotten to George Springer‘s extension yet. His luxury tax salary under the contract extension would be slightly less than $2 million more than his projected arbitration salary for 2020, so that’s another small bump and even more added to Crane’s luxury tax bill.
Had I been able to clear all of Reddick’s salary, that would’ve left around $4 million in space under that $228 million cap with all the other additions. But then there would’ve been a hole in the bullpen without having acquired Melancon, and there’s no way to bring Will Harris back at $4 million.
As I wrote, clearing Reddick’s salary wasn’t going to happen. That’s what makes this whole operation so difficult, and it’s going to keep Luhnow busy trying to find ways to build a complete team while keeping the financial implications in mind.