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The Astros Payroll Now

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

The trade deadline has passed. The Astros acquired Kendall Graveman and Justin Verlander. They have improved their postseason odds.


Today, we are going to also look at the financial implications of all of the moves and also look to the future.


Financial details of the trades

Verlander

verlander trade

Graveman

graveman trade

What does it all mean?

Here is how I would project the Astros payroll now for the next several seasons after the trade deadline deals.

Trade financial consequences

I have listed three critical roster events that this team will face in 2025 or 2026.

  • Re-signing Altuve after the 2024 season for the 2025 season. Estimated at $32M AAV (10% over current payroll).

  • Re-signing Bregman after the 2024 season for the 2025 season.

  • Extending Tucker BEFORE he becomes a FA after the 2025 Season. Ideally this extension SHOULD be before the 2025 season. Estimated at $28M AAV for 10 years.

Scenario 1- Sign Everyone


This scenario (shown in detail below) would lead to a 2025 payroll of $293M which would put the Astros into CBT3 penalty levels. This would lead to an additional $23M tax. Therefore, the effective payroll cost would be $316M in 2025. I believe there is ZERO chance this happens.


Scenario 2- Let Tucker walk after 2025


This scenario would lead to a 2025 payroll of $265M which would put the Astros into CBT2 penalty levels. This would lead to an additional $7.7M tax. Therefore, the effective payroll cost would be $273M in 2025.


Scenario 3- ONLY Re-sign Altuve- Bregman and Tucker walk


This scenario would lead to a 2025 payroll of $233M would allow the Astros to stay below the CBT.


Therefore, the trades have set the Astros to NOT be able to pursue all three of these critical needs. Has ANYONE told you about that wrt the Verlander trade? I just did.


DO NOT expect major deals this offseason. I show them to be barely over the CBT next year now. I think they will be pinching pennies to get below the CBT in 2024.

CBT Description

I attached the description of the CBT from MLB.com to the right.


You may not agree but I have assumed that the following with be let go:

  • Maton- after 2023

  • Stanek- after 2023

  • Maldonado- after 2023

  • Brantley- after 2023

  • Neris- after 2024

  • Graveman- after 2024

The other players will necessitate a decision after the critical payroll 2025 season.


The trades also make a Tucker extension MOST likely AFTER the arbitration has been settled for the 2024 season. The 2024 Tucker CBT salary needs to be at the lower Arb level to possibly get 2024 below the team CBT too.


I have projected the future arbitration numbers based on six years of deep diving into this space. The total will be close.


The Astros directed in the Verlander deal significant funds be sent to the Astros. Perhaps, you really understand why now. Again, the Verlander trade does help the postseason odds of the team.


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Below is the current Astros payroll detail for 2023 to 2028.

Astros Payroll Detail

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