The chart below caught my eye, although it’s not THAT powerful. Until you see for how long these guys are signed you really only see a small part of the story. Regardless, Baseball Prospectus has greatly expanded the wonderful Cot’s Contracts information, and the chart below is the Nats payroll according to BP:
What strikes me initially is how much is paid to guys who aren’t playing at all anymore – Pudge, Strasburg, LaRoche and Marquis total over 30%. Although Marquis DID contribute this year, and we’ll definitely see Stephen (and probably Ivan) again in September. Money’s certainly not everything, but that’s close to a waste of 1/3 of the payroll this year (if you believe that Marquis was utterly replaceable, and ignore that paying Strasburg this year is an investment in the future). Imagine what this team can do if the payroll increases, and players who actually contribute make up a higher percentage of it. What strikes you when you see this?