OK, the Bucs have about drained their minors. That means there may be a bit of a lag before additional cavalry arrives from within the system, but it also means that the team has a pretty wide window as far as player control goes. The contractual status of the team now is:
Free agents 2011: Brendan Donnelly (contract ends 2010), Octavio Dotel (contract ends 2010; club option 2011), Bobby Crosby (contract ends 2010).
Free agents 2012: Ronny Cedeno (3rd year arb 2011), Ryan Church (contract ends 2010, 4th arb year 2011), Ryan Doumit (contract ends 2011; club options 2012-13), Zach Duke (contract ends 2010; 3rd arb year 2011), Paul Maholm (contract ends 2011; club option 2012).
Free agents 2013: Pedro Alvarez (contract ends 2012, club options 2013-14), DJ Carrasco (contract ends 2010, 4th arb year 2012), Javier Lopez (contract up 2010, 4th arb year 2012).
Free agents 2014: Brian Burres (3rd year arb 2013), Joel Hanrahan (3rd arb year 2013), Jeff Karstens (3rd arb year 2013), Andy LaRoche (3rd arb year 2013), Evan Meek (3rd year arb 2013), Lastings Milledge (3rd arb year 2013), Delwyn Young (3rd arb year 2013).
Free agents 2015: Dana Eveland (3rd arb year 2014), Jason Jaramillo (3rd arb year 2014), Charlie Morton (3rd arb year 2014), Ross Ohlendorf (4th arb year 2014).
Free agents 2016: Garrett Jones (3rd arb year 2015), Andrew McCutchen (3rd arb year 2015), Steve Pearce (3rd arb year 2015).
Free agent 2017: Jeff Clement (3rd arb year 2016?), Brad Lincoln (3rd arb year 2016), Jose Tabata (3rd arb year 2016), Neil Walker (3rd arb year 2016).
(Note: "4th year arb" represents players that qualified for Super Two status and earned an extra season of arbitration eligibility. We used the end date of guaranteed contracts as the free agency trigger, and noted if there were any options involved to possibly extend the date.)
Obviously, they're not keeping all their arb-eligible guys or picking up every option, and the roster won't stay static. But they do have enough control that if the heart of the team performs as hoped, they can begin to start filling in pieces instead of the endless position switching, call-ups, deals, and waiver wire dumpster diving.
The first financial test may come in 2012, when Doumit and Maholm enter their option seasons; that will be a $17M hit if the Bucs keep them both, a big maybe right now. They pocket $8.05M in 2010.
All the Indy guys they called up are under team control up to 2016-17; that's a golden widow of opportunity. But they'll hit arbitration en masse in 2013-14; that's when we'll see if Bob Nutting is willing to put his wallet where his mouth is.
(GW thanks Cot's Baseball Contracts for the data.)