Where the Nationals' payroll stands early in offseason

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For nearly a decade, the Nationals had one of the most successful and competitive rosters in baseball. They also had one of the most expensive rosters in the sport.

Each year from 2013-2021, the Nats finished with a payroll that ranked in the top 10 in the majors. Twice, they exceeded Major League Baseball’s luxury tax threshold, all in an attempt to finally win big in October.

That’s not the case anymore, and it probably won’t be the case again for a while.

After tearing down much of their roster during the 2021 season, the Nationals entered this season with a $135.4 million payroll that ranked 17th in the majors. Final figures haven’t been tabulated yet, but that ranking certainly went down by season’s end after Juan Soto and Josh Bell were traded to the Padres.

All of which leaves the franchise with as little commitment to player salaries heading into an offseason as has been the case in a long time.

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What kind of payroll is reasonable to expect from Nats next year?

What kind of payroll is reasonable to expect from Nats next year?
The Nationals' lengthy run as one of baseball's most consistently successful franchises coincided with ownership's willingness to spend like one of the sport's richest franchises. In each of the last nine seasons, dating back to 2013, the Nats had one of the majors' 10 highest payrolls. They peaked, appropriately, in 2019, spending more than $205 million on players' salaries en route to their first World Series championship. And while the final tally has fluctuated a bit year to year, it...
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Nationals finished with seventh-highest payroll in 2020

Nationals finished with seventh-highest payroll in 2020
The Nationals finished the 2020 season with the seventh-largest payroll in Major League Baseball, down three slots from their position during their World Series run the previous year but still leaving them among the sport's biggest spenders. The Nats paid out a grand total of $76.2 million to all players on their 40-man roster this season, according to figures obtained and published by the Associated Press on Saturday evening. That ranked seventh in the majors, behind the World Series champion...
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A few notes and takes on the addition of José Iglesias

A few notes and takes on the addition of José Iglesias
The Orioles filled one box on their to-do list yesterday when they agreed on a contract with free agent shortstop José Iglesias. The former Red Sox, Tiger and Red got a one-year deal for $3 million with a club option for 2021 at $3 million, although the deal has not yet been officially announced by the team. The deal provides the club a plus defender at short and you have to like the terms. It's a lower-dollar deal but also provides shortstop protection for two seasons if they want to bring...
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Where does the Nationals' payroll stand at this point?

Where does the Nationals' payroll stand at this point?
With one really expensive re-signing of one of the staff aces along with several calculated re-signings or additions of role players to fill the holes in their roster, the Nationals have been one of the most active teams across baseball so far this winter. They're not done, of course, because they still seek a replacement for Anthony Rendon at third base, they still need a first baseman (or two) and they could still use at least one more reliable arm to strengthen a bullpen that's better but...
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Nats payroll up slightly, Scherzer has top MLB salary in 2019

Nats payroll up slightly, Scherzer has top MLB salary in 2019
Even with Bryce Harper coming off the books, the Nationals entered the season with one of Major League Baseball's largest payrolls and the sport's highest-paid player for 2019. The Nationals' opening day payroll of $185 million ranks fifth in the majors, behind the Red Sox, Cubs, Yankees and Dodgers, according to the Associated Press' annual calculations. The payroll total is up slightly from last year's $180 million figure, which ranked fourth in the league at that time. Max Scherzer,...
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Nationals' luxury tax bill is nearly $2.4 million

Nationals' luxury tax bill is nearly $2.4 million
The Nationals' luxury tax bill this season is slightly less than $2.4 million, a not-insignificant amount to pay for exceeding Major League Baseball's pseudo-salary cap, but probably not a steep enough penalty to deter the club from making an offer to Bryce Harper that would catapult it over the threshold again in 2019. The Nationals' final payroll for luxury tax purposes was roughly $205 million, according to a report over the weekend by the Associated Press, $8 million above MLB's 2018...
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How much money do the Nats have to spend this winter?

How much money do the Nats have to spend this winter?
How much money do the Nationals have to spend this winter? It seems like a simple question, but the answer isn't even close to simple. Major League Baseball payroll calculations have become far more complicated than they used to be, thanks to the luxury tax (officially known as the competitive-balance tax), deferred salaries and bonus clauses that are cropping up more and more in players' contracts. But we're going to do our best to try to figure this one out here, because it's kind of an...
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Nats' opening day payroll ranks fourth in majors

Nats' opening day payroll ranks fourth in majors
CINCINNATI - The precise figure varies depending on your preferred method of calculation, but here's one fact that holds true no matter the math: The Nationals have one of the highest payrolls in baseball this season. The Nationals' opening day payroll of $180,193,628 (by USA Today's calculations) ranks fourth in the majors, trailing only the Giants ($220,881,444), Red Sox ($206,247,686) and Cubs ($182,560,002). The Associated Press has the Nats tied with the Dodgers for fourth place, behind...
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Where the Nationals payroll stands heading into the winter

Where the Nationals payroll stands heading into the winter
The annual GM meetings are taking place this week in Orlando. It's the kind of event where a lot of stuff is discussed but very little is actually done. Most clubs and most players prefer to wait until the Winter Meetings in December to start getting serious about contract negotiations or blockbuster trades. But this is the unofficial beginning of the Hot Stove League, with general managers and agents beginning the conversations that may ultimately lead to actual transactions down the...
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Nats' $162 million opening day payroll ranks ninth in majors

Nats' $162 million opening day payroll ranks ninth in majors
The Nationals' opening day payroll was up 16 percent from last season and ranks ninth among all Major League Baseball clubs, according to figures compiled by USA Today. The players who made the Nats' opening day 25-man roster or disabled list have a combined salary of $162,742,157. That ranks ninth in the majors, behind the Dodgers, Tigers, Rangers, Giants, Mets, Red Sox, Yankees and Cubs. The Nationals' average salary of nearly $6.3 million ranks fifth in the sport, while their median...
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Nationals agree to terms with all 22 pre-arbitration players

Nationals agree to terms with all 22 pre-arbitration players
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The Nationals announced tonight they agreed to terms with all 22 of their pre-arbitration players, ensuring everyone on the roster is under contract with a set salary for the season. The players who agreed to terms: right-handers Blake Treinen, Joe Ross, Trevor Gott, A.J. Cole, Koda Glover, Rafael Martín, Austin Adams, Jimmy Cordero and Austin Voth; left-handers Sammy Solis, Enny Romero and Matt Grace; infielders Clint Robinson, Matt Skole, Trea Turner, Wilmer Difo...
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Nats' opening day payroll all but certain to go up from last year

Nats' opening day payroll all but certain to go up from last year
Whether fans want to hear it - or believe it - teams are always going to be dealing with payroll guidelines. Even the most free-spending clubs have a budget they need to conform to; it's just that some clubs' budgets are much larger than others, either because they have to be or because owners want them to be that way. The Nationals don't divulge their annual payroll budget, but it's not hard to make a reasonable estimate by looking at their pattern of spending over the years. Here's a...
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How much payroll can the Nationals add this winter?

How much payroll can the Nationals add this winter?
Yesterday, I raised the subject of the Nationals possibly pursuing a big bat this winter, someone who could be inserted into the heart of their lineup between Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy and add some more consistent firepower to a batting order that was effective this season but seemed to be lacking at times. Some have since raised an important question that ties into that subject: Do the Nationals have enough money to sign a big-name batter like that? So let's delve into that matter,...
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Nats' opening day payroll down for first time since 2007

Nats' opening day payroll down for first time since 2007
ATLANTA - For the first time in nine years, and for only the second time in club history, the Nationals' opening day payroll is down from the previous season. The Nationals' current roster (the 25 active players, plus those on the major league disabled list) is earning a combined $141,652,646 this season, ranking 11th in baseball, according to figures calculated by USA Today in its annual salary survey). That's down nearly $25 million from last year's opening day payroll, which ranked sixth...
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