Apparently, new management is already willing to junk the projected 2011 payroll it had in favor of a larger figure that might accommodate the re-signing of Cliff Lee.
"The original model we had has been discarded," he said Friday afternoon. "Our payroll projections are much more aggressive."
That could allow for making a bid for Lee, who is likely to command upward of $20 million per year, much more realistic. During the bankruptcy process, it was revealed that management had suggested payrolls of $77 million for 2011 and $84 million for 2012.
Based on existing long-term contract obligations, upcoming salary arbitration hearings and the free agent market, it would likely take between $85-90 million to keep the current club together if Lee is offered a contract with an annual value of $20 million or more and other key free agents (Vladimir Guerrero, for example) are retained.