MLB Trade Rumors does arbitration projections for arbitration-eligible players every offseason, based on an algorithm Matt Swartz developed, and their projections for 2020 arbitration salaries are now out.
Nomar Mazara is the highest projected arb-eligible guy, at $5.7 million. Joey Gallo is at $4 million, Danny Santana is $3.9 million, Delino DeShields is $2.4 million, Rafael Montero is $900,000, and Jesse Biddle is $600,000.
Biddle is likely to be a 40 man roster casualty, but everyone else seems like to be tendered, though Nomar could be traded this offseason, as has been discussed at length.
Some of the more interesting projections include George Springer at $21.4 million, Kris Bryant at $18.5 million, and Mookie Betts at $27.7 million.
If we assume that the Rangers keep all their arb-eligible guys except for Biddle, that means they would be expected to have $16.9 million in arbitration salaries on the 2020 payroll. Cots currently has the Rangers at $86.999 in salaries committed for 2020, including $9 million for Prince Fielder (deducting $9 million for insurance and $6 million from the Tigers on the final year of his $24 million contract). Shawn Kelly has a $2.5 million club option for 2020 with a $250,000 buyout that is factored into Cots’ figure — if the Rangers exercise the option on Kelley, that would put them at $89.25 million in guaranteed salaries for 2020.
The combination of those two numbers would put the Rangers at $106.15 million for salaries committed for 2020. I would think that, with a new stadium coming online in 2020, a payroll of at least $150 million, and potentially as high as $160-170 million. That would mean that the Rangers would seem to have anywhere from $35-55 million available to spend in free agency.