I'm writing this as I'm watching the Cubs lead game 6 of the W.S. and hoping this light's a fire under management's behind. When an organization has a 1-2 punch in the rotation that has Chris Sale and Jose Quintana you don't half-ass it. I mean, can you imagine going into a 7 game series with an almost absolute guarantee of having 3 wins? And if you pitch them on short rest, you might just have 4 wins in the bank before taking the field. But, the window is rapidly closing (some would say it has been shut completely) and something drastic needs to happen. I don't believe the F.O. would trade Sale and/or Quintana so let's do something before all they get from Sale is a 2020 compensation pick. So, who's ready to throw out some cash?
Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):
Write "tender" or "non-tender" after each of the following names. Two notes: 1) You can trade before or after tendering a contract, and 2) we’ll just assume Jose Abreu is in the fold for roughly $11 million regardless of whether he chooses the arb route.
- Todd Frazier, $13.5M Tender
- Brett Lawrie, $5.1M Tender
- Avisail Garcia, $3.5M Non-Tender
- Miguel Gonzalez, $2.6M Tender
- Dan Jennings, $1.2M Tender (only because he's cheap)
- J.B. Shuck, $1M Non-Tender
- Jake Petricka, $900K Tender
- Zach Putnam, $900K Tender
- Daniel Webb, $600K Non-Tender
Contract options (pick up or buy out)
- Matt Albers: $3M for 2017 or a $250,000 buyout Buyout
Impending free agents (re-sign, let go or qualifying offer)
- Austin Jackson: Made $5 million in 2016. Nope
- Alex Avila: Made $2.5 million in 2016. Nope
- Justin Morneau: Made $1 million in 2016, although he signed during the season. Nope
Peruse the list of potential free agents and name two (or more) you would pursue, the max offer you would extend to them, and a brief explainer.
This is where it gets good! Like I said, the window is closing fast and this team needs to make an impact. Cleveland looks like they'll be a competitor for a few more years and Detroit isn't going anywhere. The time to strike is now!
1. Yoenis Cespedes LF (4 yrs, $115mm)
This team needs an impact player and with the rumors that he's opting out of his contract it's time to strike! The $115mm might not be enough and if that's the case give him more. If he wants an opt out after 2 years, fine, give it to him. He's flashy, he's explosive, and he gives this team an edge. Put him in the middle of the line-up and watch the runs pile up!
2. Dexter Fowler CF (4 yrs, $65mm)
He's been an OBP machine the last 2 years and has become a better defender in CF. He's been worth $15mm/yr the past couple years so I gave him a little more. I'd go up to $70mm to make it happen.
3. Jason Castro C (3 yrs, 18mm)
I want a catcher that can actually play catcher. He'll steal strikes for the pitchers and get the job done behind the plate. Any offense from him will be gravy.
4. Boone Logan LHRP (1yr $6mm)
1. Fowler CF
2. Eaton RF
3. Cespedes LF
4. Abreu 1B
5. Frazier 3b
6. Cabrera DH
7. Lawrie 2b
8. Castro C
9. Anderson SS
Saladino, Narvaez, Coats (or May, or Engel)
5. Shields (And if/when he poops the bed, cut bait and bring in Carson Fulmer)
I have no idea how much this costs because I was slightly inebriated when I put this together, so in a way I spent money like a drunken sailor. And I don't care because that's what it's going to take to make this team relevant. And with the talent acquired, if this team poops the bed then hold a fire sale, starting with the front office. Sale, Quintana, Cespedes, Fowler, Castro, Robertson, Frazier, Melky, et. al. can get back plenty of pieces and lots of lottery tickets and shoot for 2020.