If I could preface that I'm just spitballing the idea of Lee, or someone of that caliber including that type of salary. Even with $$$ coming off the books next year, coupled w/ the fact that the guys we might assume are taking their place [ Ex: Ellsbury's $9M to Bradley's 500k?, Drew's &9.5M to Iglesias' $2.6M (or is it $3.56M?) ], and the players that they're already paying league minimum to (Ex: Middlebrooks, Nava, Doubront), not to mention it's conceivable Boegarts might win a position next year which would mean not having to sign another over-priced FA. Lee's contract still might cripple them? That my friend is disappointing to say the least. I'm hearing the horns shouting: " Wha!...wha!...Whaaaaaa....".
"Crippling" might be a bit of hyperbole, but $25M takes up a lot of budget space (about 1/7th).
Here's how next year's budget looks (using average contract yearly salary):
$16.5M Lackey (then club option at min. wage*)
$13.25M Dempster (then FA)
$13M Victorino (then $13M for 2015 and then FA)
$13M Ortiz (then FA)
*$13M Club Option on Lester (with $.25M buyout
$7.5M Buchholz (through 2015 with club options for $13M '16 & $13.5M '17 w .5M buyout)
$6.75M Pedroia (signed through 2014 with 2015 club option @ $11M w $.5M buyout)
$5M Gomes (then FA)
$3.1M Breslow (then FA)
$3.1M Ross (then FA)
Sub Total: ~$81.5M without Lester (9 players)and $93M with Lester (10 players).
Uehara (3 of 3) made $4.25M in 2013 > $6M
Bailey (3 of 3) made $4.1M > $5.5M
Aceves (3 of 3) made 2.65M > $3M
Bard (2 of 3) made $1.86M > 1M (or DFA'd)
Iglesias (IFA signing) made $2M > $3M (?)
Morales (3 of 3) made $1.49M > $2M
Miller (3 of 3) made 1.48M > $2M
Tazawa (1 of 3) made $815K > $1.25M
Carp (1 of 3) made $508K > $1.25M
Sub Total Arb estimate: $25M (9 players)
Doubront (pre- arb, then 3 arbs) made $518K
Nava (pre-arb, then 3 arbs) made $505K
Mortensen (pre-arb, then 3 arbs) made $505K
Kalish (pre-arb, then 3 arbs) made $498K
Middlebrooks (pre-arb) made $498K
Pre-arbs that make $490K this year: Bradley, Britton, Butler, de la Rosa, de la Torre, Hassan, Holt, Lavarnway, Vazquez, Wilson, and Wright.
Sub Total Pre-Arb estimate: $8M (16 players)
TOTAL : ~ $127M (35 players with Lester) / 115M (34 players with no Lester)
That's a total of 31-35 players depending on Lester and Bard, but a few other players might be dealt or cut (Butler, Hassan, Wright)
5-10 players (Rule 5 pending) that might be added to 40 man roster this winter or lost: add about $3-4M to the total.
40 man roster total: ~$130M with Lester/ $119M without Lester
The following players will be eligible for the 2013 Rule 5 Draft if they are not added to the 40-man roster by November 20, 2013:
Mario Alcantara, Michael Almanzar, Chris Balcom-Miller, Carson Blair, Xander Bogaerts, Bryce Brentz, Chris Carpenter, Garin Cecchini, Keith Couch, William Cuevas, Keury De La Cruz, Luis Diaz, Leonel Escobar, Derrik Gibson, Dreily Guerrero, Jeremy Hazelbaker, Jayson Hernandez, Chris Hernandez, Peter Hissey, Brandon Jacobs, Jeremy Kehrt, Aaron King, Aaron Kurcz, Juan Carlos Linares, Mario Martinez, Heiker Meneses, Boss Moanaroa, Nefi Ogando, Gerardo Olivares, Yunior Ortega, Oscar Perez, Rafael Perez, Mathew Price, Anthony Ranaudo, David Renfroe, Pete Ruiz, Felix Sanchez, Brandon Snyder, Alfredo Soto, Kyle Stroup, Francisco Taveras, Raynel Velette, Jose Vinicio, Kolbrin Vitek, Stefan Welch, Shannon Wilkerson, Brandon Workman, Madison Younginer
So, basically our luxury tax budget will be between $119 and $130M depending on Lester, plus the player pension ($11.1M?) and the Dodger payment of $3.9M for 2014 (then one more for 2015).
The final number will be about:
$134M without Lester
$145M with Lester
If you add Cliff Lee's :$25M, :$25M,:$27.5M club option ($12.5M buyout) He is actually guaranteed $62.5M for 2014 and 2015, but I think his luxury tax number is $24M per year ($120M/5).
That would put us at $158M without Lester and $169M with Lester. That doesn't leave too much room for other FA signings or extensions of current players, but it is doable.