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Are the Whitecaps Signing Another DP?

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Can the Whitecaps acquire another DP even if no additional DP slots are added?

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

With TFC signing Italian Sebastian Giovinco and, once again, handcuffing themselves by having 4 designated players on the roster there has been discussion surrounding the transfer of Brazilian Gilberto. Obviously, Vancouver Whitecaps fans have been licking their chops at the prospect as the Whitecaps somehow convinced Toronto to take Hassli in exchange for a top 3 SuperDraft pick and then fleeced them for Matias Laba last offseason. However, it has also been pointed out that the Whitecaps already have 3 designated players and to obtain someone like Gilberto would require an additional DP slot being added in the new collective bargaining agreement OR the moving of one of the Whitecaps existing 3 designated players. Regarding the former, if the fourth slot were to arise, the transfer of Gilberto would be moot as TFC would no longer need to move him. Regarding the latter, would you really move Pedro Morales, Matias Laba, or newly signed striker Octavio Rivero? I am sure everyone would agree that the answer is NO. Yet, are those the only options available to the Whitecaps?

Let us set aside the idea of Gilberto and talk more broadly about another high priced player coming in to the fold. While the Whitecaps currently have 3 designated players, there is actually some conceivable wiggle room available for the Whitecaps. This wiggle room comes via the mysterious allocation money and the reduced salary of young designated players. For the first year in their history, the Whitecaps will be taking part in the CONCACAF Champions League this summer. Corresponding with that is a certain amount of allocation funding. How much? It is MLS so no one actually knows. The Whitecaps have also made several trades over the years that have allocation money connected to the deals. Some include money going out, others include it coming in. In addition, the loss of Mehdi to New York FC in the expansion draft provided more allocation funding. Finally, the movement of Camilo the previous offseason should have come with some amount of allocation money, as all transfers do. So, step 1, the Whitecaps currently have some unknown amount of allocation money that, if enough, can be used to pay down a contract.

Step 2: There has been discussion in the past about the idea of paying down Matias Laba’s contract to remove him as a DP. Last season his base salary was $300,000; not a DP salary. We know that there was an unknown transfer fee (estimated to be around 1.5 million) calculated into his salary that resulted in him being labelled as a young DP. This season Matias no longer qualifies as a young DP. As a result, his salary cap hit will be $387,500. However, depending on how the transfer fee is calculated in to the ‘salary’ of the player, it is possible that if the Whitecaps have, or can acquire, a bit of allocation money, it is plausible that they could pay down Laba’s contract and remove him from DP status. If that occurs, the Whitecaps might be able to acquire another young DP, with the lower salary cap hit. It is possible that the Vancouver Whitecaps could begin the season with former DP Mauro Rosales, former young DP Matias Laba, current DP Pedro Morales, young DP Octavio Rivero, and newly signed young DP Unknown Player.

What are your thoughts? Do you see this potentially happening? Do you think it would work? Pipe dream? Let us know.