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Money, money, money!

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*Cue Ted DiBiase theme music*

All we've heard about is how the Giants have set a hard budget for themselves, and opinions on this stance have been all over the map. Most people aren't buying it, largely in part because of the belief that this team is swimming in money after a World Series victory just 13 months ago. Ticket sales, merchandise, and just about everything else undoubtedly skyrocketed after that joyous November evening. The Giants shelled out roughly $118 million in salary for the 2011 season according to ESPN, and this year they have indicated that amount is going up to $130 million. However, after doing some research and looking into this claim that the budget is "maxed out", Sabean and Co. aren't bluffing.

Guaranteed Money: $79.75 MM (7 roster spots + Rowand)
Barry Zito (19), Matt Cain (15), Aaron Rowand (12), Aubrey Huff (10), Brian Wilson (8.5), Freddy Sanchez (6), Jeremy Affeldt (5), Javier Lopez (4.25)

Arbitration Players (12 or 11 spots) $43.8 MM (MLBTR projections)
Tim Lincecum (19.2), Angel Pagan (4.8), Melky Cabrera (4.4), Pablo Sandoval (3.2), Jeff Keppinger (2.7), Ryan Vogelsong (2.5), Santiago Casilla (1.9), Mike Fontenot (1.3), Sergio Romo (1.3), Nate Schierholtz (1.2), Eli Whiteside (700k), Emmanuel Burriss (600k)

Total: $123.55 - this leaves $6.5 mil for the remaining minimum salary players on the roster.

The people above account for 18 spots, so add 7 @ 500k each, and that's $3 million they have in flex room. This is also assuming that all projections from the arb group are exactly correct, but it's not going to be much different. This also does not include minor league players and guys who are on the 40 man but optioned, because I don't know what you're required to pay those guys, so that's gonna eat away from the small wiggle room they already have. The point is, there you have the proof of the payroll. I'm speculating that the allocation of funds is what lead Neukom to step down, so when the powers that be say the payroll is gonna be $130 mil, that's what it's gotta be.

HOWEVER... Let's look at 2013. Let's assume that the Giants retain everyone listed above, even though we pretty much know they aren't keeping both Keppinger and Fontenot. If they did, next season 8 current people will be free agents and will come off the books, barring extensions or trades: Cain, Huff, Sanchez, Affeldt, Pagan, Cabrera, Keppinger, and Vogelsong. Only one pre-arb player, Buster Posey, will become eligible next year. The people I just listed above currently cost $62.4 million. That's nearly half the current payroll walking out the door next year.

You've noticed by now that the group includes Matt Cain. Still, even factoring in an extension for him, and assuming a slight raise from the $15 mil he earns this year, they will still have about $45 million free dollars. All the arb guys will require bumps from where they are, but needless to say with Huff and Rowand and two-thirds of the outfield coming off the books, they will have much more breathing room next winter... more than enough to give Timmy some money and whoever else. Notable free agents next year? Josh Hamilton, BJ Upton, Andre Ethier, Howie Kendrick, maybe Brandon Phillips... other random people who will only sign one year deals this off-season... I don't know if anyone in the group excites anyone, but my point I'm trying to make is just... be patient. Pagan and Cabrera aren't the sexiest additions to the team, but they still look very competitive in the grand scheme. And if you're unhappy with the penny-pinching... just wait until next season.

**note, please delete my previous post, if possible. It didn't post correctly.*

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