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Arizona Diamondbacks 2015 Offseason: Payroll and Roster Breakdown

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Welcome Venom Strikes readers and Arizona Diamondbacks’ fans to the day after the World Series! The MLB offseason for all 30 clubs is officially upon us. The hot stove season is about to heat up so get ready for a long and intense journey filled with excitement and sleepless nights.

The first order of business for general manager Dave Stewart and Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa is free agency. As of 7 A.M. Arizona time, three Diamondbacks became free agents and can test their value on the open market: RHP David Hernandez, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and RHP Brad Ziegler. I will discuss in more detail what I think the D-backs should do regarding these three players, but for the purposes of this post, these three guys are free men.

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The first five days after the World Series are known as the “quiet period.” All interested parties can talk, but players are not allowed to sign any new contracts with a new club until this Friday at 7:59 P.M. Arizona time. I want to emphasize the word new because a player can sign with his old team at any time.

Options are another key part of the offseason’s first week. There are two different options, a player and a team option, and they mean completely different things but are self-explanatory.

A player option gives the player the right to decide if he wants to stay with his current club for another year at whatever the price of the option is, or he can elect for free agency and test his value. A team option gives the club the right to decide whether to accept or decline the option. If the team decides to decline, then they pay what is called a buyout, and that differs from player to player.

Now that the offseason is upon us, lets start by taking a look at the Diamondbacks’ current payroll and roster, and the facts about the decisions the front office will have to make in the coming week.

Payroll

The Diamondbacks will be active this offseason, and they will have the money and the wiggle room to be as aggressive as they want. That might just be the biggest story of the offseason.

Baseball Reference currently estimates the D-backs payroll for 2016 including guaranteed contracts, options, and arbitration projections to be $67.2 million. That is already more than $21 million under the team’s Opening day payroll of $88,187,000. The payroll for 2016 is expected to be close to $100 million. This gives the team potentially $30-$40 million in the budget to use freely.

The key number is $30-$40 million. This will allow the D-backs to be active in free agency which I fully expect as the team tries to improve their rotation and take the next step towards a playoff appearance in 2016.

Roster Breakdown (As it stands right now)

Free Agents (3)

Arbitration Eligible (10)

Under Contract for 2016

Other players such as Chase Anderson, Nick Ahmed. Chris Owings and Andrew Chafin are not yer eligible for arbitration. The Diamondbacks will need to make a decision on the options for both Ziegler and Chacin by this Friday, the fifth day after the World Series. The D-backs must also submit a qualifying offer to their eligible free agents by this Friday.

The one year qualifying offer price tag currently sits at $15.8 million. If a qualifying offer is submitted, and the player decides to decline and test the market, Arizona would receive a draft pick between the first and second rounds of the 2016 MLB Draft.

Before the D-backs can even think about looking externally for pitching, they have many tender/non-tender and option decisions to make first. The next week should tell us a lot about the direction the organization wants to go in.

Next: Arizona Diamondbacks: 3 Closers on the Cheap

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