This is an offseason like no other. The Angels are up for sale and we don’t really know how much autonomy Angels general manager Perry Minasian has at the moment. We don’t know when new ownership might be in place. And we have no idea how the mercurial Arte Moreno will act until the sale is complete.
However, we do have a solid track record of payrolls sitting right above $210 million once benefits and minor league contracts are considered. In fact, the Angels payroll for luxury tax purposes was $212 million last season per Spotrac.
Arte obviously prefers to work in this zone, the franchise is up for sale and attractive to buyers at this level, so we will keep it the same.
Rule Number 1: Payroll after all goodies is to be $210 million. We are currently at $171.6 million so you have $38.4 million to spend. Do so wisely.
Rule Number 2: No trading Ohtani. I know it is so tantalizing and the best way to add payroll flexibility. But the Angels have publicly stated they are not trading the superstar so we will follow suit.
Rule Number 3: No contracts longer than 3 years. With the team for sale the last thing Arte is going to sign off on is another monster contract. Really, 1 and 2 year deals are likely going to be the Angels reality but we’ll extend it to 3 years here to allow for a much wider pool of available players.
Rule Number 4: Use either MLBTR’s estimated free agent salaries or their counterparts at FanGraphs. This keeps the entries fair and fairly realistic. If you want to sign a player not in the top 50, use some common sense when determining a salary.
Rule Number 5: Keep in mind you can clear some payroll and roster space by non-tendering players. Here is the list of arbitration eligible players with estimated salaries from MLBTR.
Rule Number 6: Run all trades through baseballtradevalues.com and make them as realistic as possible. The site isn’t perfect, but it is better than most people think.
I know there will be great discussion about the payroll, so here’s the explanation. The club went up for sale with a $212 million payroll and a long history of payrolls in that ballpark. The impact of this year’s payroll will have a minimal impact on the sales price as long as the bottom line is in line with preceding years. So, all in all maintaining the status quo makes sense.
However, long term debt is not appealing to buyers. It is one thing to step into a one or two year deal you don’t like and a completely different thing to inherit a 10 year deal for Aaron Judge. So let’s try to keep the deals as short as possible and cap them at three years.
This is supposed to be fun, not a nuts and bolts exercise on the sale of a multibillion corporation. So start perusing the market, playing with the trade simulator, and typing up pieces of your own while the staff here does the same. We’ll roll these out over the next week or so and sprinkle yours in as they are ready. You can help us out by commenting in the links or other Perry pieces to alert us your piece is ready for publication.