With the trades of late we lost our 2013 starting 2b and 3b, plus two extention candidate pitchers. This post is going to be looking at where we currently are with money and production on the field, what holes need to be addressed, the resources we have to address the holes, and future considerations we need to make while addressing the holes.
(Full Size: http://i45.tinypic.com/o0wbnk.jpg)
-* means arbitration eligible/guess payroll
-Replacement level team is worth 48 wins, so add 48 to the WAR total for total team wins
-Those WAR numbers are very rough, as are minimum numbers - Some $ will be added to the likes of Stanton and such - But this is meant as a rough view and not completely 100% accurate. Just enough to paint a picture.
-If they're making the minimum, their name really doesn't matter (This especially goes for bench/bullpen). It's just used as a filler piece since it's already rather interchangeable.
So going into this off season, we'll have about 25m to spend and need roughly 13 wins to buy 3 positions (Let's throw another 1 WAR at the bench and just make an average of 4 WAR needed per position) in order to get to 90 wins.
They could probably fit something like:
Angel Pagan 2/14 2.5 WAR (Trade him after year 1, ease Yelich in carefully, or basically have a 4 man OF rotation if Stanton's knee never gets better)
Kelly Johnson 1/6 2 WAR
CF of choice out of the four 4/48 4 WAR
Which would give us a 100m payroll and we're looking at about 86-87 wins. Not terrible and a break out from Turner, Morrison (I'm already being pretty lenient with his WAR, hoping his defensive woes stop with the move to 1b), Eolvadi, Nolasco (:lol), or whoever would put us where we'd need to be (90+ wins), but it's not incredibly promising.
In other words, playing for 2013 with the roster as is isn't a terrible idea but it's not a great one either. Being able to ditch Bell and Nolasco before this deadline would give us another about another 38 million total to play with (I.E. a 4 year, 9.5m per contract). With that we could buy a SP to replace Nolasco with better production (2ish WAR) and just replace Bell from within/MILB FA.
This would also really help us after 2013 since we'd only have Buehrle going forward if we don't re-up JJ.
We could also optimally trade John Buck before the deadline and save about 9.5m, and then spend about 3-4m on a C that would give equal production and spend the rest on an upgraded bench.
If we can ditch Buck, Bell, and Nolasco's contracts and get nothing in return it's a huge, huge upgrade for us and something that greatly needs to be looked at doing.
This team will likely be very similar to 2013. CF and 3B still need to be filled but Yelich should be ready by then. Some upgrade via free agency I would really like are:
-C (Throwing a rookie C out opening day who hasn't been all that good in the minors isn't likely a good idea, get a RH veteran behind/ahead of him)
-SP (WAY too many young guys. However Fernandez and Conley should be ready to come up around mid season and could even be opening day starters.).
If filling CF and 3b is about 20m total, that gives us about 10m for the above things. We are again looking like a mid to upper 80's win team that needs a break out to be a playoff contending team.
Still a hole at 3b and now we lost Bonifacio to free agency so that's two IFers needed with nothing currently in the system.
We could save a good bit of money by clearing the bench and the bullpen (Replacing Sanchez, Ruggiano, Webb, Dunn and Leblanc with minimum guys saves about 5m). Hopefully by this point Brantly/Realmuto can handle the C and Yelich doesn't Hermida/Logan. Also still very young SP rotation, getting a veteran 5 not a bad idea.
But again, looking like a mid to uppers 80s win without a break out
Last year of Logan, Stanton, and Cishek if no extensions and last year of pre-arb probably for Yelich and likely a bunch of SP. Buehlre is now gone at this point, so we would really need a SP break out at this point. Same holes as previous years, nothing changed.
We're currently set up as a ~.500 team that currently has several positions to fill. If we stick around 100m payroll and fill those holes efficiently, we are probably a mid-to-upper 80s team without a break out from one of our players. Dumping Nolasco and Bell before trade deadline helps considerably.
Makes me think more highly of a JJ trade although still only if it's an ace ransom.