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2008 Payroll Update

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As promised...I think it's time to do a thorough job of this.  Here's my predicted 25-man roster, along with their salaries.  Asterisks indicate that I'm guessing, usually in the case of arbitration-eligible players.

Position Players:

Jason Kendall, $4.25MM
Backup catcher, $0.4MM
Prince Fielder, $1MM*
Rickie Weeks, $2MM*
J.J. Hardy, $2MM*
Ryan Braun, $0.4MM
Craig Counsell, $2.8MM
Backup IF, $0.4MM
Kevin Mench, $3.6MM*
Bill Hall, $4.8MM
Corey Hart, $0.4MM
Gabe Gross, $0.4MM
Backup OF, $0.4MM

Pitchers:

Ben Sheets, $11MM
Yovani Gallardo, $0.4MM
Jeff Suppan, $8MM
Dave Bush, $2MM*
Chris Capuano, $3.75MM*
Claudio Vargas, $3MM*

Derrick Turnbow, $3.2MM
David Riske, $4MM*
Guillermo Mota, $3.2MM
Matt Wise, $1.5MM*
Brian Shouse, $1.5MM*
Carlos Villanueva, $0.4MM

Total: $65MM

Last year's opening day payroll was about $70MM, and I'd imagine Attanasio is approving some increase.  That gives Melvin a little more flexibility than I anticipated.  

I certainly see what is tempting about acquiring Rolen--we clearly have the starting pitching to spare (6 starters + Villy and Parra) and we have the payroll room, even if the Cards don't pick up much money.  If you believe Rolen can bounce back, that gives us a quality starter at every position on the diamond with the probable exception of catcher.

The advantage of trade targets in this case is that, if we're going to acquire a 3B, LF, or CF, we might not have to commit to as many years.  In Rolen's case it's three, which is not so good, but better than signing, say, Aaron Rowand for five.  I wouldn't be willing to give up Bill Hall, but I can definitely see where a Joe Crede trade makes sense, as well.

If the payroll room were spent on a 3B/LF, that does mean Melvin would have to be a little more creative solving the closer issue...then again, looking at that pen, especially since Manny Parra isn't on the list, you wonder just how badly we need a 9th inning guy.  We're decently set up for a closer-by-committee except from the management side.

Anyway, as significant changes to this payroll occur, I'll post a new version.