Thought experiment: How many MLB teams would wipe the slate clean?

63 Comments

Baseball news is slowing down for Thanksgiving and for some reason this idea randomly popped into my head while on Twitter, so I figured I’d ask it here: How many MLB teams, if given the option, would say yes to being taken off the hook for all guaranteed contracts currently on their books?

In other words, all or nothing. Wipe the slate clean. Every player signed for guaranteed money is no longer on your team and you’re no longer responsible for their contract. You get to keep all players not signed to specific, non-minimum salaried contracts, which means pre-arbitration eligible players basically.

For instance, my beloved Twins would wipe six players off their books: Joe Mauer, Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Glen Perkins, Kurt Suzuki, and Mike Pelfrey. Hughes would hurt a lot, since he was great in 2014 and is reasonably priced, but Mauer, Nolasco, and Pelfrey would be easy calls to jettison. Overall the Twins would probably be better off with a clean slate.

Another example is the Yankees, who’d be wiping these players off their books: Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez, Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Brett Gardner, Martin Prado, Brendan Ryan, Chris Young. Obviously some of those would hurt, but as a whole the Yankees would seemingly jump at that chance to wipe the slate clean.

Which other teams would do the same?

Phillies, J.T. Realmuto working on a long term deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies “are quietly trying to hammer out” a contract extension with J.T. Realmuto. He says it may take some time to be done — nothing is imminent — but that the sides are working on it.

Realmuto still has one final year of arbitration, and he’s likely to get $10 million or more for 2020 if nothing is done. It sounds as though he and the Phillies are both eager to cement a long term pact, however, that’ll keep him from hitting the free agent market next winter. Salisbury says the deal, once reached, could be for 4-5 years and $20+ million per season. He says an extension would likely not kick in until 2021. He and the club would agree to a separate one-year deal to cover 2020.

Realmuto, who is considered by most to be the top all-around catcher in the game at the moment, will turn 29 before the beginning of the 2020 season. He hit .275/.328/.493 with 25 homers and 83 driven in this past season, winning the Silver Slugger Award and a Gold Glove.