Saturday we found out that Claudio Lopez would be returning to KC for the 2009 season. We also found out that Lopez will not take up a designated player spot next season. Today we hear from Ives Galarcep again with more details on the new deal. According to Ives, Lopez new contract is for 1/4 the cost his contract was last year. Lopez' contract next year will apparently only be $200,000. So not only does Lopez' new contract free up the Wizards designated player slot, but also frees up another $200,000 under the cap. Add that to the $100,000 plus the Wizards were paying of Dave van den Bergh's salary last year, Carlos Marinelli's $115,000 salary, Kerry Zavagnin's $170,000 contract, and the contracts of Ivan Trujillo and Ryan Pore, and the Wizards have plenty of cap space to work with this offseason.
One would think that this would put the Wizards in line to line up another designated player, but in the same article, Ives says that the Wizards appear unlikely to lose that slot and instead strengthen the full squad. But with somewhere close to $600,000 in cap space and the now smaller roster size, I'm personally a little worried that the Wizards may play the 2009 season with quite a bit of cap space. Now some of that money will be going to salary increases, like Jack Jewsbury's new deal that likely puts him over the $100,000 a year mark. Still there would appear to be a lot of money still available in the cap and I just struggle to see how the Wizards use most of that cap space. But we shall see.