So, I generally work 12-hour days in Washington D.C. and having three children at home keeps me from having a whole lot of time to myself. However, over an entire week off for Christmas, I tried my son's Wii game that allows me to GM a franchise and I decided to try to build my own Sox team for 2013 within the same basic budget constraints Rick Hahn has indicated he is facing. Feel free to roll your eyes and click away at this point, but if you are bored and would like to read how this experiment panned out, thank you and please read ahead.
First, I realize that this could hardly be considered a real good simulation as I was able to trade Adam Dunn to the Astros, which they would probably not do while rebuilding. I also had to pay Peavy a lot more to bring him back and Chris Sale only cost me an additioanl 500,000 in arbitration. In any case, here is the rundown followed by projected lineups.Free Agency
As I mentioned, I re-signed Peavy (3 years at $42 million, no backloading) I also brought back A.J. (1 year, 7 million) Then I went shopping and brought home Melky Cabrera (two years, 18 million) Kelly Johnson (two years, 10 million) and Maicer Izturis (one year, 4 million).
Like I said, I was a little surprised the game let me send Adam Dunn home to Houston, but they are in the AL now, so maybe they do want a DH. In any case they gave me Bud Norris and pitching prospect Paul Clemens for him. This shed 15 million from the payroll. It also gave me a strike out machine in Norris, which should play well in the cell. I looked up Clemens and while he barely cracks the Houston top 20 prospects list, he does project as a back of the rotation starter with three established pitches he needs to refine. Maybe Coop can also give him a cutter for the out pitch the reports say he needs, but he is in the minors for now anyway.
I acquired Adam Moore and Aaron Crow from Kansas City for Tyler Flowers and Jesse Crain. Moore is the back-up to A.J. and I viewed Crow as an upgrade to Crain for 1.5 million less. He could probably close if Addison Reed doesn't work out. Sadly, Tyler will still be stuck in a back-up role to Salvador Perez. Sorry Tyler.
I shopped Gordon Beckham for prospects to cut the 3 million he was projected to cost in 2013. (Yes, I would rather bet on a resurgent Kelly Johnson than keep waiting for Beckham) The Dodgers took him for pitchers Josh Lindblom and Stephen Fife. Lindblom had the higher rating, but reading their scouting reports had me more interested in Fife as an extreme groundballer suited for the rotation, whereas Lindblom was projected as a reliever. In either case, more pitching to stock the minors and more payroll cut.
Finally, I sent John Danks, Jordan Danks and Matt Thornton to Boston for Ryan Sweeney, Matt Albers and Greg Cecchini, dumping the last of the salary I needed to, while improving the outfield bench, giving us a possibility at third for the future and adding bullpen filler if needed. I don't trust shoulder injuires so letting Danks and his 14.5 million go wasn't nearly as hard as sending Dunn packing.
So, after all the tinkering. I ended up with the following team.
As you can see the idea is to use the DH spot to rest and rotate outfielders so they stay fresh. I know Ozzie probably killed a rotating DH for most on this site, but it would work much better when Mark Teahen is not a key component. I can forgive Cabrera for the PED thing once and I believe his bat is for real. I also ended up with Maicer Izturis instead of Keppinger at 3rd, but both are mid 90s in their OPS+ so that's about a wash. Even in the virtual market, 3B was hard to fill within 110 million budget constraints. At least I do have a plan for the future with Cecchini, (that credit goes to U-God though) and Izturis should be servicable for a year. Dealing Danks and Dunn saved a ton of money and those are probably moves Hahn can't make in a real market, but I could.
Care to critique my team building? After 800 words, you earned it.