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ObsidianXIII's Offseason Plan

ObsidianXIII’s Offseason Plan

Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):

  • Todd Frazier, $13.5M - tender

  • Brett Lawrie, $5.1M - tender

  • Avisail Garcia, $3.5M - noooope

  • Miguel Gonzalez, $2.6M - tender

  • Dan Jennings, $1.2M - tender

  • J.B. Shuck, $1M - non-tender

  • Jake Petricka, $900K - tender

  • Zach Putnam, $900K - tender

  • Daniel Webb, $600K - tender

Explain the toughest calls if necessary:

It's time for Avi to go away. It seems nobody wanted to pick him up last year and he's just a year older now after showing no improvement.

Frazier keeps 3b solid with defense and power

Lawrie is a bit of a risk from a health standpoint, but the price isn't bad, so we'll give him a shot. We've got okay backups with Sanchez and Saladino if he falters.

Gonzalez is a good one to pencil in as a 5th starter.

Dan Jennings is currently our only lefty reliever and did fine this past season.

Shuck was put in a bad situation last year and had to play more than he should have so he's probably better suited for that smaller role. But we'll be filling that role with Charlie Tilson, who has more upside and who is almost certainly better at CF.

The 3 righty relievers are worth keeping around at less than $1M each. Webb will be recovering from surgery and we'll see how it goes around July for that $600k.

Contract options (pick up or buy out)

  • Matt Albers: $250,000 buyout – He gave us some fun times for a bit, but his implosion later on is probably closer to form

Impending free agents (re-sign, let go or qualifying offer)

  • Austin Jackson: Made $5 million in 2016. - let go

  • Alex Avila: Made $2.5 million in 2016. -Offer contract of $2.5M to be backup catcher

  • Justin Morneau: Made $1 million in 2016, although he signed during the season. -let go

Elaborate if needed:

Austin Jackson was injured for far too long and Morneau won't fit and will want more money.

Avila had the injury bug, but provided decent production when he was here. Lets give him a small contract to be the backup and hope the reduced workload helps his health. I'm okay with Naravaez as the 3rd catcher.

So where we stand now, we've got a about $100M in commitments and we'll need a full time Catcher, a starting Outfielder, the DH slot (be it a full time DH or a rotating spot, we'll still need another full time player), 2 bullpen spots, and a starting pitcher. Damn the James Shields trade, this would be a lot easier with an extra $10M.

Free agents

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. A good-bad example:

Dexter Fowler for $68M over 4 years. (15.5M, 16M, 16.5M, 17M, 17M with 3M buyout) - He was in my offseason plan last season and looks like a good fit again this season. He's probably played himself into a better contract this past season. He'll be the primary CF. This year I'm willing to give up the pick if he's given an offer, because well, look at the trades, it's not like we're going to have much of a farm anyway.
Michael Saunders for $25M over 2 years. (11M, 12M, 13M with 2M buyout). He offers above average offense and will be the primary LF, pushing Melky to DH primarily.

Trades

With Jerry wanting us to go for it again on a smaller than necessary budget, we're going to have to gut the farm system. Disclaimer: I am bad with prospects and what it would cost to acquire players. Please mentally adjust to what is necessary to get these pieces, because I decided on a target and tried to come up with the cost afterward.

Welington Castillo from the Diamondbacks for Jacob May, Jordan Guerrero, Courtney Hawkins: Castillo will provide good defense with decent offense for a catcher. Provided 1.7 fWAR last year. At the affordable arb of $5.9M for his last year of control. Would try to extend to a 2 or 3 year deal, but not necessary. Diamondbacks get a couple of decent prospects, plus Hawkins for 1 year of control.
Drew Smyly from the Rays for Adam Engel, Spencer Adams, Tyler Danish: Smyly has 2 years of control and is estimated at the affordable arb price of $6.9M. He had a strand rate of only 67% last year, so that should even out a bit. It'll take a bit more to get Smyly than Castillo, so we've got higher upside guys and 3 real prospects instead of 2.
Trade David Robertson and Jordan Stephens to the Nationals for Sammy Solis: I'd prefer to keep Robertson, but we have bigger problems elsewhere to put the money. Also, gets us a young lefty specialist for the pen. I initially picked Solis because he looked like a good lefty killer, but further looking into it he's probably better than I thought, so Nats probably want more than an expensive (but good) closer, so I threw in a prospect.
Probable Failed Trade: James Shields and $9.5M per year for anything.

Summary

Position Player Salary (in M$) 2016 fWAR 2016 bWAR
C Welington Castillo 5.9 1.7 2.4
1B Abreu 10.5 1.6 2.8
2B Lawrie 5.1 0.9 1.3
3B Frazier 13.5 2.4 3.4
SS Anderson 0.5 2.4 2.8
LF Michael Saunders 11 1.4 1.3
CF Dexter Fowler 15.5 4.7 4.2
RF Eaton 4 6.0 6.2
DH Melky Cabrera 15 1.6 2.6
Backup C Avila 2.5 1.1 1.0
Backup IF Saladino 0.5 1.2 1.8
Backup IF Sanchez 0.5 -0.3 0.0
Backup OF Tilson 0.5 0.0 0.0
SP1 Sale 12 5.2 4.9
SP2 Quintana 6 4.8 5.2
SP3 Rodon 0.5 2.7 1.5
SP4 Drew Smyly 6.9 2.0 0.0
SP5 Miguel Gonzalez 2.6 2.7 2.0
LHP1 Jennings 1.2 0.9 1.5
LHP2 Sammy Solis 0.5 0.8 1.1
RHP1 Jones 1.9 1.8 2.3
RHP2 Petricka 0.9 -0.1 0.0
RHP3 Putnam 0.9 0.4 0.7
RHP4 Kahnle 0.5 0.0 0.7
RHP5 Ynoa 0.5 0.3 0.4
Injury Webb 0.6

DFA Shields 10

Buyout Albers 0.25

Totals
$130.00 46.2 50.1

As for the chart, I expect the overall total WARs to be a little lower overall, but I like the overall look of the roster for $130M. An extra 10 or 20 million dollar would have helped a lot on the free agent market, but we have to work with Jerry's budget. Again, damn the Shields acquisition..

We've filled all of the problem production spots, mostly. Outfield defense improves with Saunders replacing Melky in LF and Melky moving to primary DH. The addition of Dexter Fowler and his average CF defense allows us to keep Adam Eaton's stellar RF defense. In addition Charlie Tilson can back up any of the three OF positions and has far more upside than the previous backup, JB Shuck.

Our infield stays the same, and a lot of value rides on Anderson's sophomore season. Lawrie is still an injury risk, but between Saladino and Sanchez, we should be covered for some short DL stints.

Catcher is solidified with the acquisition of Castillo and only counting on Avila for backup duties.

We should have a solid rotation with the addition of Smyly, but the vulnerability here is depth. There is no clear long term 6th starter if one of the top 5 goes down for an extended length of time.

Bullpen looks okay, but again depth is sort of thin if some stuff doesn't pan out.

James Shields is shopped around and probably kept through Spring Training, then unless something drastic happens, is DFAed



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