Tag:Boston Red Sox
Posted on: November 28, 2009 10:50 pm

GM for a Day: Boston Red Sox

second I'll do the enemy, the Boston Red Sox.
Prospects:  Clay Buchholz, Casey Kelly, Ryan Westmoreland (can't be traded), Junichi Tazawa, Michael Bowden, Ryan Kalish, Josh Reddick, Lars Anderson

Potential major losses: Jason Bay

Major Free Agents after 2010: Josh Beckett, Victor Martinez, Mike Lowell, David Ortiz (club option)

Infield:  Victor Martinez, Kevin Youkilis, and Dustin Pedroia put together a very good infield.  But Mike Lowell is on the decline and I doubt that Jed Lowrie is the long term answer at SS either.  The Sox would love to put Youk at 3B and move Lowell's contract.

Outfield:  Despite the possible departure of Jason Bay, the Sox outfield would look decent if the season started today.  Ellsbury may have become the best leadoff man in the AL, Drew has been solid for years and maybe a change of scenary and a hitter friendly ballpark could turn Jeremy Hermida into the superstar he was always projected to be.  But with Hermida's uncertainty and Drew's potential for injury at the least they'll bring back a solid fourth option.

Rotation:  Beckett and Lester are grest at the front.  DiceK is right with them if healthy (although reports of him and the organization fighting over conditioning can't be good).  Buchholz has all the talent in the world if given the chance.  Wakefield is always around, although he's probably better suited for the bullpen at his age.  Tazawa and Bowden are ready for the majors as well giving the Sox one of the deepest crops of starting pitching in baseball. 

Bullpen:  Papelbon is Papelbon in the 9th.  Bard should be the 8th inning flamethrower.  Okajima is solid but should probably see less innings this year.  Delcarmen is consistent and Ramirez really got the job done last year.  I'm sure they'd love a veteran setup man back there as Saito and Wagner are both departing

Holes to fill: 3B, SS, OF.  SP isn't really a hole with their depth but you know that Boston will be looking to upgrade.

Bad Contracts:  If Mike Lowell can stay healthy his $12 million contract isn't bad.  Similarly if David Ortiz rebounds he would be a steal at $12.5 million.  I never liked the JD Drew deal, and $28 million over the next two years is a lot for him.  I'm not thrilled with what DiceK is still owed but the equivalent of $9 million a year isn't that bad considering the price of free agent pitching.  I just don't think he has three good years left in a major league uniform. 

Salary Increases:  Lester gets an extra $3 million, Victor Martinez and Varitek make a combined $5 million more than last year.  Pedroia gets $2 million more.  Hermida is probably at $4 million after arbitration.  Papelbon will probably get a $4 million raise in arbitration.  Youk gets an extra $3 million this year.  Beckett an extra $1.5 million but Wakefield takes a paycut that cancels it out.  Kotchman is likely to get $5 million.  Delcarmen and Ramirez probably cost an extra $3 million combined.  If my math is right that's an extra $27 million.  For Penny, Smoltz, Bay, Saito, Baldelli and the other FA I have the costs at $20 million, meaning that Boston is already $7 million over last year's payroll before resigning Bay or bringing in somebody like Halladay.  I really can't see them adding a big contract and ending up spending an extra $20 million in this economy so I'm going to have to start with cost cutting moves...

The Moves to Make:

1.  Sign Josh Beckett and Victor Martinez to extensions.  Get your ace and the second best offensive catcher in the league signed long term before they hit the open market. 

2.  Non-tender Casey Kotchman.  He's not an everyday player and shouldn't be paid $5 million to sit on the bench. Victor Martinez will be getting a little time at 1B/DH anyway.

3.  Trade Matsuzaka to the Brewers for Corey Hart and prospects.  I don't trust Drew to play more than 130 games and you don't know what you are getting from Hermida.  I do not think that paying $18 million a year for Bay is the right move and Hart should only cost about $5 million this year.  He had a bad 2009 but two good seasons before and will only be 28.  The Brewers need pitching and the Red Sox have young arms ready to stand in for Matsuzaka.   As I alluded to earlier, I don't think Matsuzaka can hold in the longer MLB season if all this talk about his conditioning is true.  Pick up an outfielder you can use now and reload on prospects you can use for trades later.  I had a few other options with this including to Colorado for Brad Hawpe or to Texas for Nelson Cruz but I see Hart as the best option. 

4.  Trade Lars Anderson, Casey Kelly and other low/mid level prospects for Adrian Gonzalez.  Jason Bay isn't worth the money but Gonzalez is an absolute steal making a combined $10.25 million in the next two years.  He hit a combined 50 HR in his last 160 road games and would be a lock for 45 in that park.  He's not only cheaper than Bay but better.

5.  The most controversial of my moves.....  Trade David Ortiz to the Oakland Athletics for prospects.  I think he's done as being an elite player and you need to cut salary.  Adrian Gonzalez will easily outproduce him this year anyway.  Oakland traded for Holliday last year and may be willing to make a move again, but I really don't see another fit for Ortiz.  You can probably still get a pretty good return including an extra arm for the bullpen (Wuertz?).  You know they are going to try and move Mike Lowell but I view him as untradeable at this point.  You'd have to eat 3/4 of his salary to find a taken and if you are only saving $3-4 million you are better off with Mike Lowell in the lineup. 

6.  Trade Bowden, Kalish and prospects from the Ortiz and Matsuzaka trades for Josh Johnson.  There is no way it's worth it for the Red Sox to give up prospects for Halladay and then pay him $20 million a year with the extension.  I do not believe any of the hype.  Johnson is younger and cheaper.  Theo has a great relationship with the Marlins.  It all makes sense.

7.  Sign Marco Scutaro to be your SS. 

2010 Lineup
c. Victor Martinez/Jason Varitek
1b. Adrian Gonzalez
2b. Dustin Pedroia
3b. Kevin Youkilis
ss.  Marco Scutaro
lf. JD Drew/Cory Hart
cf. Jacoby Ellsbury
rf. Jeremy Hermida/Cory Hart
dh. Mike Lowell/Cory Hart

1. Josh Beckett
2. Jon Lester
3. Josh Johnson
4. Clay Buchholz
5. Tim Wakefield
extra:  Junichi Tazawa

Closer:  Jonathan Papelbon
Major Bullpen Arms:  Daniel Bard, Hideki Okajima, Manny Delcarmen, Ramon Ramirez. Michael Wuertz

Final Notes:  The only thing I really had in my head coming into this was some kind of trade for Josh Johnson.  I simply didn't think it was worth trading for Halladay if the price is as high as reported.  Plus if they extend Halladay and give him $20 million they probably can't afford to keep Beckett next season who will be making at least $15 million a year.  That's effectively giving up Beckett and Buchholz for Halladay which is just stupid.  In the scenario I've laid out, Beckett signs a four or five year extension and the Sox control their first four guys, all of whom have ace stuff for three years or more. 

I realize there is probably no one behind the trading Ortiz idea and trading Matsuzaka would have mixed reactions at best but that saves a lot of cash and gives you enough in extra prospects to bring in both Adrien Gonzalez and Josh Johnson.  Probably every Sox fan on here is going to say there is no way you can trade Bay but I can't see how they can afford him.  Even with me getting rid of the $20 million from Ortiz and Matsuzaka, payroll would still increase about $10 million with the Scutaro signing and Josh Johnson's arbitration raise.  I do expect them to raise payroll some this year, but the most they could possibly add on is $10-15 million, which with the salary increases really only leaves about $8 million to work with.  That's basically only enough for Marco Scutaro and a 4th outfielder.  I honestly wouldn't be surprised if signing Scutaro was the biggest move the Red Sox make this year.  It's tough when you have payroll restrictions. 

To sum things up.  Gonzalez and Martinez are replacing Bay and Ortiz as the big bats.  Josh Johnson replaces Matsuzaka in the rotation.  Hart and Hermida replace Bay and Baldelli in the OF.  Scutaro is a big upgrade at SS.  Added a power arm in Michael Wuertz in the bullpen to replace the departed Saito.  Basically just made moves to get younger and cheaper but leaving the team with a similar makeup.  You still keep your best hitting prospect in Ryan Westmoreland and best pitching in Clay Buchholz.  I choose to keep Tazawa over Bowden first because I think he's better and second because I think the Sox are trying to keep Japanese players on the team to be a more attractive destination for Yu Darvish in a few years.

This was kind of a rush job, I might edit more of it later.  I'm sure I'll take a lot of heat for saying that neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox should go after Bay, Holliday, Lackey or Halladay.

Posted on: November 25, 2009 8:54 am
Edited on: November 25, 2009 4:33 pm

GM for a Day: New York Yankees

I'm starting these up with the same format I ended last year's with.  Not sure if I'll get through the whole league this year but we'll see.  Starting with my World Champion New York Yankees.  Reminding everyone, this isn't what I think will happen, but what I think should happen.

Prospects (for these I will only be listing the elite guys with high trade value or guys who should make an impact this year):  Jesus Montero, Austin Jackson, Zach McAllister, Ian Kennedy

Potential major losses: Andy Pettitte, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Jose Molina

Major Free Agents after 2010:  Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera

Infield:  Arod, Tex, and Cano are all locked up for at least another 4 years, and despite Jeter being in the last year of his contract there is no chance he's leaving NY.  Molina is a FA and Posada will likely spend more time at DH this year meaning catcher is the only area in the infield that will need to be addressed.

Outfield:  Matsui and Damon are FA's, in their late thirties and already fading defensively.  I'd be inclined to let them both walk if they are expecting 8 figures.  Last year aging corner OF came on the cheap to those who waited and there isn't much reason to think it won't be the same this year.  That leaves Swisher, Melky, Gardner and prospect Austin Jackson.  There is room to upgrade.

Rotation:  Sabathia and Burnett have spots locked up.  Joba and Hughes will be fighting for a spot.  Will Pettitte be back?  Can Chien-Ming Wang rebound?  I doubt Kennedy would last with how the balls fly out of right field.  Is Zach McAllister ready for New York?  I don't think Hirsh, Gaudin, Mitre or Igawa are real options.  They could use a replacement for Pettitte if he leaves. 

Bullpen:  Marte was bad.  Bruney was on the DL twice.  Joba and Hughes could end up both needed in the rotation yet.  Mo has one year left.  He'll be 41 at that point and with (at least) 5 World Series rings and an automatic trip to Cooperstown I think you can expect a retirement.  The rest of the young arms were up and down most of the year.  There is room to add, and with so many closers available in free agency and via trade, you'll probably get a better deal on Rivera's closer this year than next year.

Holes to fill: C, OF, SP, RP

Bad Contracts: Kei Igawa is owed $8 million over the next two years.  Marte is owed the same but will actually contribute.  Swisher and Burnett are overpaid, but considering this is the Yankees they are looking better than they have in years.

Salary Increases: I'm estimating about $8-10 million total.  Cano gets a raise of three, Melky is at his first year of arbitration and nobody else should get more than one to one and a half.  But they save $35 million from Matsui, Damon, Nady and Molina alone.  Plus another $5.5 from Pettitte and the total gets to about $45 million with the other random players (Hinske, Guzman, Hairston, etc.).  So there should be at least $30-35 million to spend if they plan on setting last year's payroll as the cap. 

The Moves to Make:

1.  I like Lackey but I don't think paying him $17-18 million is the right move.  There is a lot of money tied up in CC and Burnett already and they be able to get someone either cheaper or better next year in a loaded free agent market (Beckett, Halladay, Lee, Webb, Vazquez, Lilly).  If Pettitte comes back for $5-8 million take him although I think he retires so we'll leave him out.  The only one of the top trade candidates (Halladay, Hernandez, Johnson) that really makes sense is Felix.  If a deal can be made I'll move Montero, Hughes, and whatever other second tier prospects it takes.  Otherwise the Yanks should pass on the top tier options.  (I realize my first move of my first GM says to not do something, but it just makes more sense to start with that).

2.  Sign Erik Bedard.  2 years $14 million plus incentives.  Main reasons for Bedard over other injury recovery pitchers like Harden and Sheets are that he should be cheaper, he's already proved he can handle the AL East, and that we another LHP with all the home run balls to right field.  I honestly think he signs for 2-4 million less than this but I'm overestimating for the purposes of this.

3.  The relief market is stacked while starters are thin so my plan is going to be to keep both Joba and Hughes in the rotation and beef up the bullpen.  I'm going to put all the relievers in one post to save space.  First, sign Mike Gonzalez.  3 years, $24 million.  Possible Rivera replacement.  More valuable this year as a left handed set up man.  Wouldn't hurt to have the next closer be left handed in that stadium either.  Sign JJ Putz.  2 years, $4 million plus incentives.  Realize last year with the Mets was bad.  But if this is the price (as I've seen suggested at one rumors site) he's worth a gamble.  The past two years guys like Ron Mahay and Juan Cruz have gone into spring training unsigned and ended up going for $1.2 million and under.  I'd wait for the market to play out and sign the best guy still available at the beginning of camp for whatever they'll settle for.  We'll say one year $2 million.  Three relievers, one potential replacement for Mo and another with previous closing experience for $12 million a year. 

4.   For the OF I'm going defense first and adding Mike Cameron at 2 years $16 million.  The infield will carry the offense.  Cameron still has some pop left and can play CF.  Playing Cameron in CF and some combination of Melky, Gardner and Jackson in LF greatly improves the OF defense. 

5.  Since we skimped on offense in the outfield, we'll address it with catcher.  Sign Benjie Molina at 2 years, $12 million.  Another old catcher to split time with Posada at C/DH.  Offensive numbers could improve some leaving the big park in SF.  Decent option at DH.  If Posada gets hurt again there will at least be a major league quality bat to put behind him this year.  Watching the younger Molina and Cervelli was painful at times last year.  The argument could be made to spend this money on a LF/DH type or this combined the money I spent on Cameron on Bay or Holliday.  But with Posada's recent injury troubles when we already need a back up and the young outfielders already on the roster I feel a quality catcher is more important.  Also if you add the money from Cameron and Molina and take a better backup catcher out of it you are looking at $13-15 million left which isn't enough for Holliday or Bay.  And New York will probably be trying to get down to as close to $200 million as they can this year.

6.  Since we are at $31 million and at the low end of my estimated budget, I'll put another small addition in.  Going to the lower tier of injury starters.  Sign one of Kelvim Escobar, Jason Schmidt, Mark Mulder, Brad Penny or Mark Prior to $1 million plus incentives.  They hopefully would never pitch an inning.  But it's nice to have a vet to fill in for spot starts instead of a mid tier prospect on their Major League debut. 

2010 Lineup
c. Jorge Posada/Benjie Molina
1b. Mark Teixeira
2b. Robinson Cano
3b. Alex Rodriguez
ss. Derek Jeter
lf. Melky Cabrera/Brett Gardner/Austin Jackson
cf. Mike Cameron
rf. Nick Swisher
dh. Jorge Posada/Benjie Molina/one of the outfielders/Possibly Jesus Montero in 2nd half

1. CC Sabathia
2. AJ Burnett
3. Erik Bedard
4. Joba Chamberlain
5. Phil Hughes
extra:  Wang, Kennedy, McAllister, Injury flier

Closer:  Mariano Rivera
Major Bullpen Arms:  Mike Gonzalez, Brian Bruney, JJ Putz, Damaso Marte, Phil Coke, David Robertson

Final Notes:
Not what a lot of fans would want or expect without any marquee addition.  I think filling multiple holes makes more sense right now though.  Especially when it comes to the rotation.  Joba and Hughes both have ace stuff and we need to figure out if one, both or none are gonna put it all together.  I'd rather do that this season when some of those pending free agents will be available at the deadline or next year if things go wrong instead of waiting a year and missing out on the crop of free agents because we took too long evaluating our own guys.  Besides that rotation may not be the most reliable, but every guy in it has ace stuff.  If just one of Bedard/Joba/Hughes reach their potential this season the three man post season roation is there.  And as bad as Wang was last year, he's still a guy thats won 70% of his career decisions.  What other team has a 30 year old with that kind of record waiting in the wings as the 6th starter?

I'd love to trade for Felix Hernandez, I just don't see why the Mariners wouldn't spend another season trying to get him locked into an extension.  Josh Johnson isn't a real option.  The only prospect we can build a deal around is Jesus Montero, and he doesn't make sense for an NL team like the Marlins who already has two all bat, poor defense prospects in Cody Johnson and Logan Morrison clogging 1B and LF.  Halladay looks great.  But unless the price drops to what Santana went for it I doubt it's worth bringing him in.  You can get younger cheaper SP next year without giving up prospects.  The only way I can really see bringing in Halladay as a good thing would be if the Red Sox resign Bay and bring in two more star players like Adrien Gonzalez and John Lackey, and I really don't see that happening.

Feedback is encouraged, especially if there is something I can do to make these easier to read.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com