When you've got no pressing matters at work and a computer at your disposal, sometimes a second offseason plan can be considered a productive use of time.
Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):
Write "tender" or "non-tender" after each of the following names (note: you can trade before or after tendering a contract):
- Tyler Flowers, $3.5M—tender
- Avisail Garcia, $2.3M—tender
- Nate Jones, $900K—tender
- Zach Putnam, $800K—tender
- Dan Jennings, $800K—tender
All cheap and productive members of the team. Flowers works well with the staff so I see his replacement as less of a priority than other spots.
Contract options (pick up or buy out)
- Alexei Ramirez: $10M, pickup option
Jerry is loyal, he will reach deeper into his wallet if it means giving a potentially overpriced extension to a guy whose been a class act with the organization for almost a decade. Plus having two Cubans in the starting lineup couldn’t hurt when it comes to courting Cespedes. Alexei will be coming back.
Impending free agents (re-sign, let go, or qualifying offer?):
- Jeff Samardzija: $15.8M qualifying offer, qualifying offer, hopefully he rejects it, we don’t need that extra money clogging up the payroll but the compensation pick would be nice to get.
- Matt Albers: Made $1.5M in 2015—resign ASAP, because of his track record of injuries I see him only getting a one year deal. I’m gonna make my estimate at 1 year/4 million.
- Gordon Beckham: Made $2M in 2015—let him go, the Gordon Beckham era is over (again).
- Geovany Soto: Made $1.5M in 2015—I’d be nice to bring him back but there’s better options out there.
Adam LaRoche and 7 million to Colorado for whatever 30 year old AA player they feel like giving us. Like in my other plan, the goal is to free up a roster spot and save a few million.
Three Team Trade:
Sox send Chris Beck, Jake Petricka, Daniel Webb and Spencer Adams to LAD
Sox send Avisail Garcia to OAK
OAK sends a mid-level SP prospect to LAD
LAD sends Yasiel Puig to the Sox
LA needs relievers and pitching to shore up the back end of the rotation. They seem to be shopping Puig so this is not entirely unlikely. Chris Beck has potential to be a 5th starter in 2016 with room for improvement beyond. Petricka would be a solid setup man and the additional prospect from OAK along with Adams are hope for the future. The logic of bringing OAK in on the trade is their pitching is currently decent but their offense is very weak. Garcia would be a good experiment for them. I chose to give up Garcia because Puig needs an outfield spot and it made more sense than giving up Erick Johnson or Frankie Montas, that would thin out the competition for our 5th starter spot a little too thin.LA doesn't need outfielders so giving them Garcia made no sense.
Free Agent Signings:
Ben Zobrist: 3 years 37 million. He starts at 3rd base, if Saladino proves he's good enough to start and neither Sanchez or Johnson are good enough, move him to second. Provides versatility and solid defense. Or maybe Matt Davidson fulfills his potential out of nowhere and Zobrist becomes super utility. This is a very versatile signing which is why it makes sense.
Yoenis Cespedes: 6 years 122 million. Yeah the outfield is full with the addition of Puig but Puig's biggest issue is his work ethic and maturity level. Put Puig on a team with other Cuban superstars like Cespedes and Abreu, along with a longtime vet like Ramirez and the front office presence of Jose Contreras (correct me if im wrong but i remember hearing somewhere he's a team ambassador) and Puig just may shape up and become a better player than he's ever been. Considering the injury risk and the Scott Boras factor, Matt Wieters may be too expensive of a gamble. Signing Cespedes puts more power in the lineup and makes leaving Tyler Flowers in the lineup acceptable.
Pitching Staff: Sale, Quintana, Rodon, Danks and Johnson/Montas/Fulmer
Relievers: Carroll, Albers, Jones, Putnam, Jennings, Duke, Robertson
This is much cheaper than my other offseason plan so perhaps its more likely. Or perhaps we can't give what the Dodgers are looking to get for Puig. We don't know at this point. The final payroll here is around 132 million.