Richie Call Me Dick’s Offseason Plan.
First the tenders and non-tenders. Everyone is tendered except All Alburquerque. With a low payroll, and a rebuild in place, the decisions are easy to tender Abreu, both Garcias, Sanchez, Rodon, and Farquhar. Petricka, Alburquerque and Putnam are more difficult. Two of them can't stay on the field and the other one should never be on it. I'm going to say non-tender Alburquerque and keep the injury prone Putnam and Petricka for one more run. Maybe they can be traded at the deadline if Ricky doesn't pitch them too much to see if their arms fall off.
Free agency is also pretty easy. To Soto, we say Bye Bye. Pelfrey isn't much better so bye bye.
The rotation is far from set and adding Hector Santiago may be the best move we could hope for right now. He can start and he can relieve and the flexibility allows us to move him to the bullpen or trade him in the future. Last year, the Sox gave Derek Holland Six Million for one year. Santiago should get $6 million a year for two years.
What does that do for the rotation?
Well, Giolito, Shields, Lopez, Fulmer and Santiago would form the front five. Rodon starts on the DL and won't be back until the dog days of summer. When he comes back, I'm suggesting he slides into the Andrew Miller Role in the bullpen. Kopech will be hurting the hands of catchers at AAA and could be a late season call up. If so, Santiago can move to the bullpen.
But why stop there? Why not go all in as Kenny liked to say. In this case, all in is kind of cheap since the restriction on signing Shohei Otani is ridiculous. Otani, if the rules can be fixed in time, is ready to walk away from about $200 million dollars at the age of 24. That's the kind of mind we need in Chicago. He's young enough to be part of the rebuild and his two way skills as a hitter and pitcher make him an instant draw for Jerry's Kids. He'll have to trust Jerry's wink and a nod to make some money down the line.
Let's be honest, Otani is a longshot but he definitely would be better off in the American League. Without letting my south side bias show, it also seems painfully obvious that Japanese pitchers wear out by the playoffs because they are used to pitching once a week rather than every fifth day. So Otani is the Plus One that we are inviting to this new season. Let's baby our Japanese star and the young guns with valuable arms.
We will have a five man rotation plus one: Shohei Otani! All of our pitchers, with the exception of Big Game, will be restricted on innings pitched. Why not use a six man rotation for this year and sort it out later? The chances are that one of the young pitchers will have to move to the bullpen eventually. I'm guessing it will be Lopez when Kopech and Hansen lead the second wave up to the majors.
We don't really have the option for making trades so I'm going to pass on that idea with the hope that something may develop near the trade deadline. I'm also not playing with the budget since we are way under the budget.
So, what do we have left when it is all said and done? Otani is part of the six man rotation and he bats clean up when he is in the lineup. Other spots look familiar but we are giving the injured masses (Tilson and Cordell) a chance in center. Sanchez is the super utility guy so Saladino probably has to be traded for a cup of coffee and a donut.
1. L. Garcia LF /CF
2. Moncada 2B
3. Abreu 1B/DH
4. Delmonico 1B/DH
5. Avi Garcia RF
6. Anderson SS
7. Davidson 3B
9. Tilson CF
Sanchez 2B/3B/ SS
We have some versatility in the lineup since Delmonico can play third, first, left and right. The bullpen will get better as time goes on with Rodon joining in and/or Santiago being able to drop back in between starts. Infante and Minaya form the set up and closer roles until help arrives. Petricka and Putnam along with Bummer are back. Covey and Farquhar can provide needed innings unless someone steps up. Of course, if anyone steps up they can be traded. I'm also locking up Avi to a long term deal, which should disappoint the people who participated last year and almost to a man said, "don't tender". Avi wants to know, "How do you like me now?"
That's it as we try to get to .500 or better. Shoot low and you probably won't be disappointed. Jimenez ends up in AA or maybe AAA but won't see action until September probably. Everyone else continues to develop with an eye toward the future.
Nobody is asking but Renteria stays and we don't fire him for Joe Girardi. After all, we're not the Cubs.