Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Bobby Parnell and Josh Thole are all arbitration eligible, meaning they'll each earn a slight raise next season. However, Ruben Tejada, Justin Turner and Lucas Duda will still earn the league minimum.
To bring back all of the above names from the 25-man roster, I estimate it will cost Alderson around $85 million. This means, based on the post from earlier today, he probably has just $10 million or so to spend on new talent... and I'm afraid that might not be enough.
I understand the reality of money-in, money-out. I get it. But, they do not have any internal options that can guarantee a full, productive, big-league outfield next year.
Fine, I'll give them Duda, who the jury is clearly still out on - I'll play along and assume he can hit 25 HR with a .330 OBP. However, there are still two other spots ... and Bay should not be standing on either of them. And, with all due respect for Matt den Dekker and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, I don't know any one anywhere who believes either (let alone both) could start and give above-average offensive production next season. It is worth noting that scouts I've talked to really like Cesar Puello and Juan Lagares, and they love Brandon Nimmo, but they all say each is at least a year or two away...
So, if Alderson plans to field a productive outfield next year, without giving a two-year deal to some one, and not spending more than $10 million, it means he'll have to pull off not one, but two meaningful trades this winter. I really hope he can pull this off, but I've seen nothing to date that suggests he can. I truly believe money doesn't necessarily equal wins, but it can mean a complete, well-rounded roster... and, at this point, that is as much the goal as anything else.