Here's a fun exercise to kill some time at work today before the weekend: Create a team out of the free agents on the market.
Now that the free agents are able to negotiate with any team out there, theoretically a wretched team like the Royals or Nationals could blow it up and start all over again. So here's your shot to be Theo Epstein for a day.
Roster: Pick 25 players. The Extra Bases All-Stars are in the AL, so you need a DH. Let's go with 12 pitchers and 13 position players.
Money: Is no object. We'll go with the Scott Boras theory that every team has plenty of money to spend.
Positons: Stick to what makes sense. No putting Vlad Guerrero at second base. Corner outfielders, for this discussion, are interchangeable. You also need a backup catcher, a backup infielder and a backup outfielder. Your fourth bench guy is your choice.
Pick a closer and include at least one lefty in your pen.
Manager: Has to be somebody not currently managing a MLB team. So Grady Little is available and probably always will be.
The pool of players: Use Cot's Baseball Contracts.
The prize: What, you want a prize? Tell you what, if I like your team best, I'll send you the next baseball book I get in the mail. You have until Sunday at midnight to post a team. The judging will be based my wholly unscientific selection. None of my relatives are eligible.
Post your team as a comment on this post.
Here is my team:
1B: Nick Johnson
2B: Felipe Lopez
3B: Chone Figgins
SS: Marco Scutaro
C: Bengie Molina
DH: Johnny Damon
CF: Marlon Byrd
LF: Matt Holliday
RF: Jason Bay
SP: John Lackey
SP: Ben Sheets
SP: Andy Pettitte
SP: Rich Harden
SP: Randy Wolf
Closer: Jose Valverde
RP: Brandon Lyon
RP: Mike Gonzalez
RP: Rafael Soriano
RP: Fernando Rodney
RP: LaTroy Hawkins
RP: Darren Oliver
Backup catcher: Rod Barajas
Backup infielder: Melvin Mora
Backup outfielder: Randy Winn
Utility: Mark DeRosa
Manager: Bobby Valentine.
We're a little too right-handed and could use power, but this team has decent speed and should be at least somewhat respectable defensively. I may let my MIT-educated assistant GMs talk me into Hideki Matsui instead of Damon.
The rotation would be Lackey, Sheets, Pettitte, Harden and Wolf. I'd use Gonzalez and Lyon to set-up Valverde and Oliver would be my second lefty/long man. DeRosa would get a lot of playing time.
Health is a concern with Johnson, Sheets and Harden. But DeRosa can play first base once Johnson has the inevitable injury.
What would be your choices? You have, at last count, 142 or so players to pick from.