Earlier in the offseason, I detailed what the SF Giants financial outlook currently looks like. However, that outlook was based on the assumption that Buster Posey would be returning for his 13th season with the Orange and Black.
SF Giants: Amending the financial outlook this offseason
We now know that that assumption is incorrect as Posey, surprisingly, announced his retirement earlier this month. That changes the Giants' beginning payroll quite a bit.
We know that the Giants exercised team options for Wilmer Flores, ($3.5 million), José Álvarez ($1.5 million), and Jay Jackson. These moves were expected, but it bears mentioning that the financial side of Jackson's option is not publicly known.
On the other hand, the Giants declined Johnny Cueto's 2022 option in favor of a $5 million buyout. This move was also expected. The Giants are likely on the hook for Posey's $3 million buyout as well.
Longtime Giants first baseman Brandon Belt has until Wednesday to decide on his $18.4 million qualifying offer. If he accepts the offer, then that will change this projection.
The point of this exercise is to get to where the Giants' payroll sits when they begin to make moves. According to Spotrac, the Giants have approximately $75 million committed to the 2022 roster. This number increases by $16 million when you factor in player benefits and $2.25 million when accounting for minor league conracts.
The brings the Giants' estimated payroll to roughly $90 million against the Competitive Balance Tax (CBT). However, this number assumes that the Giants will tender Alex Dickerson a contract for $3.1 million, which I do not think is a correct assumption after the subpar season he had. Similarly, I think the Giants will nontender John Brebbia as well rather than pay him a projected $1.6 million through arbitration.
He could be re-signed to a minor league contract but it does not make sense for the Giants to tender a contract to the right-handed hurler given how much depth they have in the bullpen.
Furthermore, Spotrac indicates that Curt Casali's projected arbitration salary is $3 million, which is $1 million higher than the projection on MLB Trade Rumors (MLBTR). The projections on MLBTR tend to be very accurate, so I am assuming that $2 million will be his price tag for 2022.
Lastly, Dominic Leone is arbitration-eligible but Spotrac and Baseball-Reference list him as a free agent. He is, in fact, under team control for 2022. MLBTR lists him as arbitration-eligible for a $1.5 million salary for 2022, which is an easy call for the Giants.
If all of these assumptions play out as I have outlined above, then the Giants will start the offseason with roughly $83 million committed against the CBT. Over the last five years, the CBT threshold increased about 1.5 percent annually. If this number holds true in 2022, then the CBT threshold should be $213 million.
This is all to say that the Giants should have nearly $122 million available below the CBT. The Giants have a lot of available money to spend this offseason, and the rumor is that they are expected to be aggressive on the free-agent market. The top offseason priority is starting pitching but they will likely be casting a wide net to bolster the lineup as well. The front office will have a very busy offseason with a lot of money available.