The Bucs are losing 35 years of pretty good baseball between the pair and in AJ's case, a pretty fiery leader.
Under contract: (2016 salary, FA date):
- Frankie Liriano ($13M - FA 2018)
- Cutch ($10M - FA 2018/club option)
- Charlie Morton ($8M - FA 2017/club option
- Michael Morse ($4.167M - FA 2017, $8M minus $3.833M from LA))
- Josh Harrison ($5M - FA 2019-20/club options)
- Starling Marte ($3M - FA 2020-21/club options)
- Jung-Ho Kang ($2.5M - FA 2019/club option).
They'll all be back. The questions are how soon JHK will be baseball ready again and if Charlie rebounds or is replaced by All-Star time when the young guns are ready to join the show. Just these seven guys will collect $$45.667M in 2016.
Free Agents: (2015 salary):
- Joakim Soria ($7M)
- JA Happ ($6.7M)
- Antonio Bastardo ($3.1M)
- Corey Hart ($2.5M)
- Sean Rodriguez ($1.9M)
- Joe Blanton ($1M).
Hart may be ready to hang 'em up; his bum knee has never recovered. Soria has stated a desire to close, and is expensive for his role. The Bucs will try to re-up the rest; we'll see if Happ & Bastardo have priced themselves out of the Bucco comfort zone. We'd assume all will declare for FA five days after the World Series, the starting date..
Under Team Control - Arb (Current Salary; 2016 Salary Estimate by Matt Schwartz of MLB Trade Rumors):
- Neil Walker ($8M) – $10.7M
- Mark Melancon ($5.4M) – $10.0M
- Pedro Alvarez ($5.75M) – $8.1M
- Tony Watson ($1.75M) – $4.6M
- Jeff Locke ($531K) – $3.5M
- Vance Worley ($2.45M) – $2.7M
- Francisco Cervelli ($987.5K) – $2.5M
- Travis Snider ($2.1M) – $2.4M
- Jared Hughes ($1.075M) – $2.2M
- Jordy Mercer ($538K) – $1.8M
- Chris Stewart ($1.225M) – $1.6M
- Travis Ishikawa ($1.1M) – $1.2M.
Under Team Control (Pre-Arb):
- Gerrit Cole
- Gregory Polanco
- Arquimedes Caminero
- Pedro Florimon
- Jaff Decker
- Bobby LaFromboise
- Andrew Lambo
- Rob Scahill
- Brandon Cumpton
- Casey Sadler.
Cole, Polanco, and Caminero are of course roster shoo-ins. LaFromboise may earn a look if the Bucs lose Bastardo and the Bucs may elect to keep Decker, who is out of options, as a cheaper alternative to Travis Snider. Maybe they'll still have some love for Florimon, too, as a depth piece. Cumpton will travel a tough road to overcome his injuries, and the other guys, if they hang on, are just depth right now.
- Jameson Taillon
- Nick Kingham
- Elias Diaz
- Alen Hansen
- Tyler Glasnow
- Josh Bell
- Keon Broxton
- Harold Ramirez,
- Tony Sanchez,
- Gift Ngoebe
- John Koldzkum
- Willie Garcia.
Bell was the only Indy player to make the Baseball America Top Twenty Prospect List, but we'd expect the first half dozen players on the bullet list to arrive on a mid-2016-to-mid-2017 timetable.