Even with rumors about the possibility of Freddy Freeman The Braves’ departures have increased since the start of the season, with big market clubs with deep pockets – the Yankees, Dodgers and Blue Jays – seen as the primary threats to lure him away. However, MLB Network’s John Heyman Reports That Ray not only showed her interest in Freeman, but made him an offer before Commissioner Rob Manfred implemented the current shutdown.
It’s surprising to hear about Rays even doing any degree of play for a Freeman-caliber factor, and many fans are sure to scoff and suggest Tampa Bay’s small comic numbers. However, it’s at least worth detailing the possibility, because when looking at Rays’ long-term payroll, Freeman’s massive commitment may not be as far-fetched as it seems.
It is currently expected to be Rays 2022 By Jason Martinez from Roster Resource for $83 million payroll. They are also expected to perform field shows for veterans such as Kevin KiermayerAnd the Manuel MargoAnd the Austin Meadows And the Tyler Glasno, among others, after closing, which could drop that number back below the team’s opening day record of $77 million. The mere mention of “franchise payrolls” in the $77-83 million range serves to underscore why fans scoff at the idea of a Reese/Freeman match, but looking forward to the next season it becomes easier to imagine.
Beginning in 2023, Rays only has three decades on the books. 2nd base player/player Brandon Lowe You’ll earn $5.25 million, left-handed Brooks Raleigh Guaranteed $4.5 million, a thriving star Franco’s walk 2 million dollars. That’s not the $11.75 million total for players eligible to referee, and Rays has their fair share of names that could push up the payroll total.
Glasno, Forecast by MLBTR contributor Matt Schwartz To earn $5.8 million in 2021, he will repeat that salary in 2022 if he doesn’t make an offer this year while rehab from Tommy John’s surgery. South Bow Ryan Yarbro It will be in line with a nice increase on top of this year’s forecast of $4.4 million. If he struggles in 2022, he will be a non-tender candidate. If he recovers from the ugly 2021, he could emerge as a commercial candidate, given the subsequent rise and significant lifting depth of the Rays. The promoter is set to make a solid pay bump compared to this year’s forecast of $4.3 million, but then again, he’s already seen it as a commercial candidate. Margot is a free agent after the 2022 season.
Beyond that group, Rays’ arbitration obligations should generally be modest. Uni Sherinos He is expected to be priced at $1.2 million this season and will earn a raise depending on how well he bounces back from Tommy John’s surgery for 2020. Catcher Backup Francisco Mejia He would be due a raise, but he was only expecting $1.5 million this year. Ji Man Choi He’ll be in line for the last climb on next year’s $3.2 million salary, but it could very well be impacted if Rays’ team manages to shock and sign Freeman.
In other words: Rays could have a massive arbitration class in 2022, but that’s unlikely to be the case in 2023. Trades, non-bidding and free agency will be rolled out from the current pool, and the only players set to reach arbitration in ’23 are painkillers Fairbanks HouseAnd the Colin ButchAnd the Ryan Thompson And the JT Chargua. Notable names like Randy ArosarinaAnd the Drew Rasmussen And the Louis Patino It’s on track to reach arbitration in 2024, but by that point the top end of the arb class will have waned.
The conventional wisdom behind the inability of a small-market club like Tampa Bay to “afford” a huge deal for someone of Freeman’s caliber is that it will restrict them from making further additions. It is clear that tying such a large percentage of a team’s salary into one player can be dangerous. However, the following ray core is already showing more or less in place and is not likely to be expensive any time soon. Franco signed $182 million contract extension for 11 years And he won’t see his salary reach peak levels until 2028 — seven years from now (and one year shorter than the six years Freeman is said to have sought).
The Rays’ turn was a patchwork set in 2021, but looking into the future, they’re hoping to get a mix of Shane McClanahanAnd the Shin Buzz Patino could lead the way. McClanahan and Buzz won’t reach arbitration until 2025. Tampa Bay has several other outstanding promotional opportunities coming up: Bradley’s crownAnd the Seth Johnson And the Cole Wilcox between them. It is possible that the organization still had high hopes for choosing the best pre-injury pick Brendan McKay like that.
Looking up and down the lineup, Franco shuts out the Shortstop, and Brandon Lowe is on a friendly deal with the team at second base. Lowe earns $4 million in 2022, $5.25 million in 2023 and $8.75 million in 2024. Rays holds club options worth $10.5 million and $11.5 million thereafter. If the team ever think Lowe’s contract is impractical, he could flip in a deal, with a high probability Vidal Brogan Step up into the second base. Brujan can work in the indoor or outdoor mix at other locations before then, and Taylor Walls Tampa Bay is giving another solid opportunity, ready for the MLB to consider. Highest external probability Josh LoweAnd, in the meantime, he looks likely to advance to midfield before long – perhaps even on opening day, if Kiermayer’s contract is transferred after closing.
Obviously, not all of these players will turn out to be stars or even regular players, but for the next several seasons, the Rays can build their roster around the likes of McClanahan, Baz, Patino and Rasmussen at the side of the court and around Franco, Arosarina, and both. Lowes and possibly Brujan at the center player side. No one from this group will reach arbitration until at least 2024 (most not until 2025), and the Rays will likely succeed when it comes to persuading at least one or two of their pre-arbitration stars to sign an adequate extension of the club. Tampa Bay doesn’t even have $15 million in contracts secured on the books in any single season from 2023-25 right now — a three-year period that would represent two, three and four years of Freeman’s theoretical deal.
None of this means that a Freeman-to-the-Rays scenario is possible. In fact, calling it a “far-reaching” possibility might be an act of philanthropy. Tampa Bay will face stiff competition from the current Braves team as well as a host of big market teams looking to add a marquee bat to the lineup, and Rays’ margin for error in a contract of this size is very slim compared to that of an A-team like the Dodgers, Yankees or even the Braves. But, when considering the Rays’ minimal long-term commitments and the wealth of MLB referee-ready talent already stocked in the fold, it’s at least possible to stare and see how they could put Freeman into the mix — even if he earns upwards of $30 million a year.
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