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Dexter Fowler trade: Updating the payroll impact of adding Luis Valbuena, Dan Straily

How much money do the Astros have left? How much could they spend on another upgrade?

Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Lots of things happened in the last five days that made Houston's payroll situation much clearer.

The Astros traded a trio of prospects to the Braves for two players. They signed a bunch of guys to one-year deals, avoiding arbitration. They also trade Dexter Fowler to the Cubs. That freed up a ton of money and gave us a clearer picture of what Houston's 25-man roster should look like.

Fowler's arbitration salary was the biggest domino to fall. While the team and player could have reached an agreement before things went to salary arbitration, his contract figured to be at least $8.5 million and could have been for up to $10.8 million.

Figure the Astros had about $9.5 million penciled into the budget tentatively for that, but they added just about $4.8 million between Luis Valbuena and Dan Straily. Evan Gattis, the other big acquisition, is set to make league minimum this year, too. Where does that leave the Astros?

Here's a look at what the current 25-man roster will make in 2015:

Scott Feldman - $10 million

Jed Lowrie - $8 million

Luke Gregerson - $6.5 million

Pat Neshek - $5.5 million

Luis Valbuena - $4.2 million

Chris Carter - $4.175 million

Jason Castro - $4 million

Chad Qualls -  $3 million

Jose Altuve - $2.5 million

Tony Sipp - $2.4 million

Jon Singleton - $2 million

Alex Presley - $1.1 million

Hank Conger - $1.08 million

Marwin Gonzalez - $1 million (projected)

Carlos Corporan - $975,000

Matt Dominguez - $550,000

Will Harris - $550,000

Dallas Keuchel - $550,000

Josh Fields - $550,000

Jake Marisnick - $550,000

Collin McHugh - $550,000

Brett Oberholtzer - $550,000

Dan Straily - $550,000

Evan Gattis - $550,000

George Springer - $550,000

That gets you to $62 million total for the 25-man roster. Not all of these players will be on the Opening Day roster, but their replacements (like James Hoyt) should at least provide comparable salaries.

Last year's Opening Day payroll had contributions from 28 players, including the $5 million in deferred Wandy Rodriguez money, which is now off the Astros' books.

Last season's payroll was at $50,485,800. Assuming the Astros really had $20 million over that 2014 payroll to spend, they could go another $8 million in free agency or trade to fix this roster. Could that mean they make a run at James Shields? Could they save that and make an impact trade at the deadline?

The market is dwindling right now, but one report over the weekend suggested that one reason teams haven't broken the bank for guys like James Shields is that their budgets are maxed out.

It does not appear that the Astros are in that situation. Maybe they can do like Jeff Luhnow said and sit pat to Opening Day.

But, if they want to improve this team more, they should have the payroll flexibility to do so.