ERM's Offseason Plan

Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):

Write "tender" or "non-tender" after each of the following names:

Contract options (pick up or buy out):

Free agents (re-sign or let go?):

Free agents

James Shields (five years, $110M) - innings eating big time RH will make the rotation a big strength

Justin Masterson (one year, $10.5M) - trying to reestablish his FA value after a down year, gets to stay in the AL Central

Grady Sizemore (one year, $2.5M, vesting option) - a good risk on a left handed bat for outfield depth. I could see the lineup being Eaton in CF and Garcia in RF/LF everyday and Sizemore and Sierra being plus defensive options for whichever spot is open that day.

Jesse Crain (two years, $5.5M)

Neal Cotts (two years,$4.5M)

Sergio Santos (invitation to camp!)


Acquire Derek Norris and minor league chattel from the A’s for Johnny Danks, Jordan Danks, Josh Phegley, a second round draft pick and $11M cash - it turns catcher into an inexpensive strength through depth if Ventura can handle it. For the A’s, Danks can be a back of the rotation, innings eating boon for little cash investment in their big ballpark and they stockpile some depth as well. If Danks can establish some value, Beane'll find a way to trade him for at least part of the last year of his contract.

Summary: $97M+ payroll

One of the best rotations in the game.

Jones, Guerra, Crain, Cotts, Rondon, Putnam, Petricka, Webb, Santos? et al.
A work in progress, but the combination of less injuries, experience and asking less of all the young arms should lead to improvement. Who knows how good Rondon can be out of the pen for a year.

Sample Lineup:
Eaton CF
Abreu 1B
Garcia LF
Gillaspie 3B
Ramirez SS
Norris C
Viciedo DH
Sierra RF
Johnson/Sanchez 2B

I need to get Abreu more PAs. Period. I cannot abide by not having my best hitter not get enough PAs throughout the season.

Depth: There should be games where Garcia’s in RF and Sizemore is in LF, the DH should generally be the hot bat out of Viciedo and Norris/Flowers or Sizemore/Garcia. Any prospective outfield mix should be plus D unless you let Viciedo play the field ever. Infield should be solid with either catcher behind the plate, whichever 2B gets promoted from within, Gillaspie at 3B everyday (spelled by Semian here and there) and Abreu at 1B everyday (spelled by Viciedo, Gillaspie, ? once in a blue moon).

The weakness of this plan is that the offense hasn't been addressed in any major ways. The strength is that the relative payroll flexibility, the outstanding rotation, good D, and increased depth in the pen and on the bench should make it possible to plug holes during the season to make a real run.

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