Over the past couple days, and inspired by the infamous U.S.S. Mariner post and the on-going reader input over at Sox Machine, I've been putting together my off-season plan. I tried to keep it as realistic as possible (no video game trades), especially in terms of payroll. Feel encouraged to leave your own roster plans in the comments section. U-God's 2010 plan lies after the jump.
Free Agent Acquistions:
DH- Nick Johnson, 1 year/5.5 mil
I love Jim Thome and always will. He is my back-up plan. With that being said, I would be thrilled if KW went out and got Nick Johnson. The 31 year old lefty has a career .849 OPS fueled largely by his .402 career OBP. Johnson also allows us to rotate Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin in at DH as well. He does come with injury-risks, but using him mainly as a DH in combination with one of the premier medical staffs in baseball should counteract that. The injury risk combined with the down market should allow the Sox to grab him at a reasonable price for a year.
RF- Marlon Byrd, 1 year/4.5 mil
Byrd would be a very refreshing change of pace out in rightfield. He has posted an OPS above .800 each year since joining the American League and has been an above-average defender in right as well. His career high 20 homers last year will guarentee him a raise, though probably a modest one. Byrd also provides a nice stop-gap for our outfield prospects.
C- Brian Schneider, 1 year/1.5 mil
Schneider's days as a starter are over. He's a lefty-catcher who has had good success stopping opponent's run games (38 CS%). Being a backup drops his price tag and lowers his risk of getting hurt again.
1B/OF- Mark Kotsay, 1 year/1.5 mil
Bring him back. He was good after we traded for him and gives Ozzie more flexibility with his bench and lineups.
Offer John Danks the Jon Lester deal (5 years/30 mil). It's a back-loaded contract that buys out John's arbitration years and allows him to hit free agency at age 31. It may take more money to lock him up, but for simplicity's sake, I'm just going to use the Lester deal.
DH- Nick Johnson, 3B- Gordon Beckham, LF- Carlos Quentin, 1B- Paul Konerko, C- A.J. Pierzynski, CF- Alex Rios, RF- Marlon Byrd, SS- Alexei Ramirez, 2B- Chris Getz.
That OBP in front of Beckham gives me dirty thoughts.
C- Brian Schneider, 1B/OF- Mark Kotsay, UTIL- Jayson Nix, OF- Alejandro De Aza
Nix gives pop off the bench and De Aza gives Ozzie a speedy pinch-runner for late in the game.
Jake Peavy-RHP, Mark Buehrle-LHP, Gavin Floyd-RHP, John Danks-LHP, Freddy Garcia-RHP
I like the idea of having Peavy and Garcia pitch back to back.
Bobby Jenks-CL, Matt Thornton-LHP, Scott Linebrink-RHP, DJ Carrasco-RHP, Tony Peña-RHP, Jhonny Nuñez-RHP, Randy Williams-LHP
I wanted to trade Jenks, but his value is too low right now and I don't want a repeat of the Nick Swisher trade.
$1 mil buy-out for Jermaine Dye
$.35 mil for Mike MacDougal, damn him
$96.65 mil, only .55 higher than last season's opening salary. All figures (except my FAs and arbitration guesstimates) taken from Cot's Baseball Contracts.