Here is my crack at it. Yeah, I didn't make the $120M limit, including deferred money, but it was a lot harder than I thought it would be when I started. I think some have commented on other attempts that trades should maybe not be contemplated as part of this exercise, but I went ahead and dealt Ethier, both to save a little money and because I think the team could do just as well without him and he will likely walk as a FA after 2012 anyway. Loney is gone as a non-tender. Kuo would be non-tendered and offerred an NRI due to his elbow injury.
It's late and I'm a little tired, so I hope my math is right. Here is this arm chair GM's team:
C Ellis $435,000
1B Fielder $22,000,000 (6/154m with a 7th year option and $4m buyout)
2B Prado $4,500,000
SS Gordon $420,000
3B Uribe $8,000,000
LF Willingham $7,000,000 (3/26m with 4th year option and $2m buyout
CF Kemp $12,000,000 (8/170m extension)
RF Sands $420,000
OF Gwynn $1,000,000
OF/1B Rivera $4,000,000
IF Sellers $420,000
IF Betemit $1,500,000 (2/5m)
C Castro $1,400,000
Kuroda $8,000,000 (+$2m deferred to 2013)
T. Miller $1,250,000
Total: $107,330 (not counting deferred)
I traded Ethier to the White Sox in a 3 team deal:
White Sox get: Ethier, James Baldwin
I struggled with whether Ethier alone was enough return for the White Sox to make the deal, so I added Baldwin. The Braves need a RH OF and a vet reliever to take up some of the enormous amount of innings their young relievers threw. Linebrink is a FA, and Guerrier basically replaces him. They have that great group of young starters coming up so they can afford to part with Beachy.
I realize two $100m contracts is daunting, but the Dodgers have a bunch of money coming off in the next two years, including Kuroda, Lilly, and Uribe, plus a cost controlled bullpen and cost control in Gordon and Sands, not to mention a bunch of deferred money expiring soon. Even with big contracts to Kemp and Fielder, there still should be money to extend Kershaw next off-season. The rest of the rotation after Kershaw and Bills will be young and cost controlled after 2013, including Beachy, Eovaldi, Webster, Lee, Withrow, and Gould as possibilities.