The simulation officially began on Monday at 9:00am but discussions have been ongoing all weekend. The first task was to decide on all the options and arbitration cases. Following are the decisions I made regarding options and arbitration.
- J.J. Putz - picked up team option for $6.5 million
- Matt Lindstrom - declined team option, paid $200,000 buyout
- Henry Blanco - declined team option
- Ian Kennedy - offered arbitration, est. salary - $4.2 million
- Chris Johnson - offered arbitration, est. salary $2.2 million
- Brad Ziegler - offered arbitration, est. salary $2.4 million
- Gerardo Parra - offered arbitration, est. salary $2.1 million
- Matt Albers - offered arbitration, est. salary $1.7 million
- Wil Nieves - offered arbitration, est. salary $800,000
- Brad Bergesen - declined arbitration
- Mike Zagurski - declined arbitration
I've already made one trade. I traded Chris Young to the Philadelphia Phillies for LH Relief Pitcher Jeremy Horst. Horst has had a fine minor league progression and arrived in Philly in 2012 and had a stellar campaign throwing 32 innings while posting a 1.15 ERA with 40 Ks. The deal clears a bunch of salary and gets us a badly needed left-hand relief pitcher with some upside and cost control.
New Trade 12/3/12: Trevor Bauer and Chris Johnson traded to the Royals for Mike Moustakas and Tim Collins. Moustakas provides long-term answer for 3B, though it does block Davidson who now becomes available in a trade. Tim Collins is another good young left-handed reliever who fills out the left-hand side of our bullpen.
New Trade 12/4/12: Gerardo Parra and John McDonald traded to the Detroit Tigers in exchange for Jhonny Peralta. Peralta only has one year left on his contract at $6 million, but he should make for a fine addition in 2013 and buy time for the arrival of Chris Owings.
I have had some preliminary discussions with several other teams about possible trades. These include the following:
- Indians - are offering Asdrubal Cabrera and they want young starting pitching. Lack of control on Cabrera is a problem and makes it hard to part with one of our good young pitchers. I'm not sure anything will come of this if they're not willing to lower their demands. I can always reach out to the master agent and see if Cabrera is interested in signing an extension, but the master agent has already said he will be leaning against those kinds of extensions, so we'll see.
- Tigers - are offering Jhonny Peralta straight up for Bauer or Kennedy or Miley. He only has one year left on his contract so I don't see how that kind of deal would work for us either without getting a sweetheart extension agreed to with Peralta ahead of any deal. Not likely to land Peralta here.
- Marlins - I've been discussing Parra and Wheeler for Josh Johnson and cash. This was getting close to being agreed upon but then he switched from wanting Wheeler to asking for Davidson. That was a big no. We'll see if he returns to the original idea. Johnson would be a one-year rental but I don't feel that losing Parra and Wheeler would be a big blow. Getting Johnson would really beef up the young rotation in 2013 and with about $5 million cash coming in the deal would likely fit into the budget now that I've unloaded Young's contract.
- Dodgers were having Dee Brown and scraps for Bauer. Big no.
- Mariners wanted Corbin straight up for Charlie Furbush. I couldn't justify that. I like Furbush but Corbin has more value since he can still be a starter.
Free agent negotiations begin Monday morning and I've submitted interest in a number of free agents including:
- Brandon McCarthy - asking if he's available on a 1-year deal
- Sean Burnett - offering 3 years, $15 million. It might take more than that. That will test our budget.
- J.P. Howell - offering 2-3 years at $3 million plus. We'll see.
- B.J. Upton - I know we won't get him but I'm offering 4 years, $52 million. See if he bites on a lesser contract to play with his brother. If I get him I have to move Kubel.
- Melky Cabrera - offering 3 years, $20 million. Might take more than that and if it does I'm not going to go any higher.
- Alex Gonzalez - I'm asking if he's available on a 1-year deal to bridge us to Owings. We'll see. It's going to be tough to trade for a SS.
- Scott Hairston - inquired what it would take to sign him as our 4th outfielder.
I'm projecting a payroll of anywhere between $75 and $85 million. Below is what the roster looks like as of Sunday night and what the payroll is at currently.
C Miguel Montero $10 million
1B Paul Goldschmidt $500,000
2B Aaron Hill $5.5 million
SS Jhonny Peralta $6 million
3B Mike Moustakas $500,000
LF Jason Kubel $7.5 million
CF Adam Eaton $500,000
RF Justin Upton $9.6 million
J.J. Putz $6.5 million
David Hernandez $1.25 million
Brad Ziegler $2.3 million
Matt Albers $1.7 million
Josh Collmenter $500,000
Jeremy Horst $500,000
Tim Collins $500,000
Other Payroll Costs
Daniel Hudson $500,000
Matt Lindstrom $200,000 buyout
Current Payroll - $70.45 million
Shortstop - I'm looking for a 1-year shortstop solution because I really don't want to give up the farm and block a good player in Owings. I believe Owings can become a cost-controlled serviceable solution at SS for the second half of the decade and I don't want to block him. It just wouldn't be very cost-efficient. It would allow us to dedicate more resources elsewhere. Updated: SS solved for 2013 with Jhonny Peralta.
Third Base - I am leaning toward playing 2013 with Johnson and Wheeler. it's the same logic as SS. I don;t want to block Davidson who I think can be a very good solution long-term at 3B. Updated: Bauer and Chris Johnson traded to Royals for Mike Moustakas and LHP Tim Collins.
Outfield - I'm really on the prowl for a 3-5 year impact bat for the outfield, particularly left field. If I can find that deal now I'll do it and then find somewhere to unload Kubel. If I can't find a good deal I'll live with Kubel and look for a better bench bat than Parra. I will trade one of our young pitchers for a stud LF bat with a controllable contract. This is an area I'm willing to spend real dollars. Updated: Parra is gone, Young is gone. I'm negotiating to acquire Scott Hairston as our 4th OF. Updated: I didn't get Hariston who signed for 2 years/$9 million. I traded for Nate Schieholtz instead.
Pitching - I'm looking hard for an impact veteran starter if I can find the right deal to help us in 2013 and take some pressure off the young starters. I won't give up a ton to get one though I will trade one of our B young starters like Corbin or Collmenter or Holmberg, plus Parra, etc. I'll include Wheeler in that as well if that's what it takes. For the bullpen I WILL acquire two left-handed relievers. I've already landed one and I'm going to go hard after one of the good free agent lefties. Updated: Two good, young cost-controlled lefty relievers acquired in Tim Collins and Jeremy Horst.
That's where we stand as of Wednesday afternoon. Please pass along your ideas, thoughts, trade suggestions, etc. Zavada and Battle Moses are also advising. But everyone is welcome to chime in.
Through mid-day Wednesday we now have a new left side of the infield, and an upgraded bullpen with lefties, a 5-man outfield, a 6-man infield. The primary thing I have not been able to accomplish is landing a front-line veteran starter. The prices for FA pitching in this sim has been downright stupid. Toronto signed Greinke for 6 years/$175 million. Baker went for 3 years/$36 million. Not taking their team budgets seriously. Our current budget is at $70 million. Not bad really.