The season is over, Frank McCourt fired Ned, and made you the General Manager. Gave you a budget of 100,000,000 to build a team for 2011. That budget includes prior commitments of around 17,000,000 so you have around 83,000,000 to build your 2011 team. Using Eric Stephen's payroll widget as your guide, build your team.
Pickings are slim this free agent year. Not much help can be found for position players. As I was creating this team I kept fighting with removing the core or keeping the core. If I keep the core I can't afford any external help. If I move the core I'm basically rebuilding while hoping to be competitive. This is not a good year for free agents, or trading for players other teams can't afford since we can't afford them either. I don't envy Ned. Do you gamble on your core, or do you gamble by trading the most valued core players?
I've been through a few iterations and have yet to find a team I'm satisfied with. In fact this whole post has been delayed because I've yet to come up with a team I'm happy with.
But since I'm the GM this is what I'd do.
1. Move Kuo back to the rotation and let him stay there until his arm falls off. We need starting pitching, we know he can start, I refuse to believe that doing bullpen work is better for his arm then starting every five days.
2. Move Broxton back to the closer role, he is to expensive to trade, so we really don't have much choice other then cross our fingers and hope like hell he can rebound.
3. Sign Kuroda to a one year deal of 10 Million
4. Trade Dee Gordon/Xavier Paul for Alex Gordon and make Alex Gordon the everyday 3rd baseman
5. Trade Casey Blake to the Braves for Nate McLouth. Basic swap of salaries, Nate has one year left at 6.5 Million and then a buyout in 2012 of only 1.25 Million. He was terrible in 2010, was a very good player for two years, I'm going to gamble on him.
6. Trade James Loney/Chris Withrow for Wandy Rodriguez
7.Sign Casey Kotchman to replace Loney, same production, same defense, probably 2 Million will get it done.
8. Non Tender Theriot
9. Sign Akinori Iwamura to one year deal of 1.25 Million
10. Sign Eric Hinske to 1 Million
9. Offer Lilly arbitration, expect him to decline
I won't kid you, this is still not a good offensive team, but I do like the rotation. It is very dependent on Gordon/Kotchman/McLouth bouncing back, Kemp having a big rebound year, and Andre doing more of pre pinky damage. Still I think this rotation will keep us in every game. Iwamura is a the rare left handed hitting 2nd baseman, who can also play 3rd base. I expect his price will be cheap given his production in 2010.
So in the end I kept the core other then Loney. I wanted Wandy, and Loney would seem to be a decent chip for the Astros for him. Remember as much as some don't like Loney, those runs batted in have plenty of value in the trade market.
Kotchman can pick it, and is basically Loney without the runs batted in or larger contract. I do like the idea of Boom Boom Betemit for 1st base, but I think the Royals will offer him arbitration and make him a DH or 1st baseman when they promote Moustakas to play 3rd base next year. Meaning I don't think he is available.
I have to count on Elbert to help in the bullpen and be a big presence as the left hand set up man. Leach will need to make the team as the other left handed pitcher. Gaudin is here to be a swing man as he can spot start on occasion.
I know it ain't great, but it is the best I could do. I may be kidding myself with the Loney trade, but that is a starting 1st baseman, and a top prospect pitcher for a guy the Astro's have had trouble with. I'd rather have Wandy at 7 Million then sign Lilly to something like 20/2.
If Broxton does not bounce back then this team might be screwed, we can easily transition Jansen into the closer role but we won't have the arms to get to him.
In the end I'm not happy with this team, hope someone can do better, but try to be realistic and not trade our prospects as though they are worth diamonds. They are flawed and you will only get flawed players in return. I'm not really sold on Alex Gordon but he certainly is worth Dee Gordon. The Royals are loaded with pitching and corner guys but not a SS so I'm hoping they'd go for it.
|SP||Kuroda||8,000,000||Defer 2 Million to 2012|
I'd hope with this team to get some help mid season from Sands, Trayvon Robinson, Rubby De La Rosa, Lindblom, Link, and Schlichting. However only De La Rosa could help in the rotation.
You can cut and paste this spreadsheet into excel by using paste special/html if you want to use it as the basis.