With the help of Max Reiper from Royals Review, all thirty SB Nation sites got to take over their team, and simulate the 2015 off-season in a week.
It was pretty obvious what we we're looking to do:
1. Improve our rotation via trade or signing.
2. Gain money by getting rid of contracts we didn't need. Hence, this would give us money to bid for top free agent pitchers.
3. Make other necessary adjustments to the weak spots on the teams.
Let's take a look at what we accomplished, shall we?
Trade #1 - Arizona acquires Brandon Phillips, Ramon Cabrera, Pedro Villarreal, $5 million from Cincinnati for Brandon Drury, Taylor Clarke, and Rubby De La Rosa
Our first trade filled the only real big holes position player wise, in second base and back-up catcher. While it was tough to give up Drury, we we're willing to pull the trigger. Now, we have a good switch hitting catcher in Ramon Cabrera to back up Castillo. And of course, we filled our second base needs in acquiring Phillips.
Trade #2 - Seattle acquires Peter O’Brien from Arizona for Tony Zych and Dave Rollins
With the obvious crowded outfield situation, we looked into what we could possibly get for O'Brien. The best deal was this one. We got a very good reliever in Tony Zych, and a reliever with a nice future in Dave Rollins. This solidified our bullpen for 2016.
Trade #3 - NY Mets acquire Yasmany Tomas from Arizona for Rafael Montero.
This goes back to getting rid of a bad contract, an also once again sorting out the crowded outfield. With the addition of Montero, we pretty much replaced RDLR, who had been traded earlier. A potential starter who could be a very good use out of the bullpen. And of course, we got rid of Yasmany's contract.
Trade #4 - Pittsburgh acquires Matt Reynolds from Arizona for Chad Kuhl.
Nothing too big here. We simply felt that Kuhl had a lot more upside than a single season of Reynolds.
Trade #5 - Oakland acquires Aaron Hill, Silvino Bracho and $4 million from Arizona for Eric Sogard
Once again, we needed to get rid of a bad contract. The only way we would be able to do that though, was by throwing Bracho in the deal. While it was once again hard to give up a good prospect, it was much easier considering we had gained two nice bullpen pieces in the O'Brien trade. And of course, goodbye Aaron Hill!
Signing #1 - Scott Kazmir, 4 year $64 deal
It's no big secret we had to improve our starting rotation. We we're able to sign Kazmir for pretty good value, considering the contract will end before he's 36, right around when you start getting a bit risky with the long term contacts. He's proven to be a good innings eater, and a two or three starter on a contending team.
Signing #2 - David Price, 7 year $259 deal
Yes, it's a hell of a lot of money. The fact is, we needed an ace on this team. With all our money, there's no point of spending it on a #2 starter like Cueto or Zimmerman, when Price was on the table. And once again, the contract will end before he becomes too old.
As previously stated, we we're looking to improve the rotation an any other weak spots on the team, while also getting rid of bad contracts. We we're successfully able to do all of this.
By getting rid of the Tomas and Hill contracts, we added two great lefty starters, and made room for someone like Phillips to play second base.
So let's take a look at the 2016 team.
Lineup- Inciarte, Pollock, Goldy, Peralta, Phillips, Lamb, Castillo, Ahmed.
Bench- Owings, Gosselin, Brito, Glasemann, Cabrera
Rotation - Price, Kazmir, Corbin, Ray, #5 starter
Bullpen - Ziegler, Hudson, Chafin, Delgado, Zych, Anderson, Villareal
It's hard to see that roster not make a run to the postseason. With two great starters added to the rotation, a refined bullpen, and an upgrade to an already good offense, this was about as good of an off-season that we could have hoped for.
So what's your take on our moves? Feel free to discuss in the comments, or on James article as well.