Re: What would you do this offseason?
posted at 9/25/2013 9:43 PM EDT
1-Unless Ellsbury's foot is fractured, there is no chance of him accepting a QO. That should keep us under. And even at that, most of our contracts are marketable.
I still think some GM is going to way outbid Ben's top offer.
2-I think salty, Drew, and Naps all wind up in the $30-33M/3 range. Ruiz has a career .771 with league-average defense. Two years pairs him with Ross one year, and then he tutors Vazquez in Y2.
Why would Napoli get a pay cut after showing he's healthy, having a career high in PAs and RBIs, and fielding like an 8 year veteran 1Bman?
I would not offer Drew anything: no QO, unless I was 100% sure he'd turn it down.
Ruiz turns 35 in January. Yes, he has a career .771 OPS and is just one year removed from an amazing .935 OPS in 2012 (412 PAs), but his PAs have fallen (472>421>334), and his .699 OPS this year is pretty troubling at that age.
3-They were bridge signings. If we do well, particularly if we win a WS, I think most RS fans would understand of re-investing in the farm. A lot of the success we've had from 2007-2013 is because we allowed everyone from the 2004 team to walk. Even if everyone walked, we wouldn't be going from .600 to .500. Maybe we'd go to .550-.575, with a lot of resources freed up.
I understand your point and do not disagree, but I think we can get creative with the budget, stay under the luxury limit, and sign enough guys to keep us near favorites next year, without giving up the farm. Here's a few ideas:
(Note: I am not saying I am for these ideas, but they could free up budget money to build in higher need areas. I also do not think a lot of these options could or should be used at the same time.)
1) Restructure Lackey's deal from $15.25M in 2014 ($16.5M towards the luxury tax budget) and ~$500K in 2015 as a club option - to - $18M/2 or $27M/3 ($9M towards the lux tax budget). This adds about $7M to our 2013-2014 winter spending budget.
2) Trade Dempster and eat as little of his salary as possible. Creative? Throw in a decent midlevel prospect or two to lessen or cancel out any portion of his contract we may be forced to pay. (Maybe even trade some borderline rule 5 players with Ryan, if possible.) Savings: $6-13M. (Note: Trading Lackey, Lester or Peavy could save us money, but would seriously weaken the strength of our rotation in 2014.)
3) Trade Bailey or do not offer him arbitration, if there are no takers. Savings: $3-5M.
4) Trading several lesser contracts and replacing them with minimum wage in-system players:
Gomes $5M (replace with Carp/JBJ/Brentz or play Nava vs LHPs)
Ross: $3.1M (replace with Lava/Vazquez/Butler- assuming we keep Salty)
Breslow: $3.1M (replace with a returning Miller or Workman, Britton, de la Rosa or others)
Morales: Arb est. $1.8 to $2.5M
Miller: Arb est. $1.8M to $2.5M
5) Give Thornton his option, then trade him, if possible. (Save $1M buyout)
We basically have 3 major slots to fill with plenty of in-house solutions for all of them, but clearly steps down in all of them, unless someone surprises us in 2013:
C: We need to sign a catcher. Going with Ross/Lava/Butler/Vazquez is too big a step back.
1B: We could go with Carp/Nava/Papi @ NL parks, and even Middy, if Bogey moves to 3B, then we'd need to find a SS (or 3Bman, if Bogey stays at SS).
RF/CF: We have Vict & JBJ for CF and Vict & Nava for RF, but I seriously doubt we sign no OF.
I figure we have about $35M to spend if we sign all our arb players and let all our FAs go, including Thornton. That's enough to sign 2 very good players or 3 good ones. Call them "bridge" or whatever you want, but I d not see us taking a significant step back in 2014. I see an opportunity to even improve and still stay under the limit while keeping our farm intact.