Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The 2007 GM Cheat Sheet

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Who else is going to give you your very own major league franchise for just $1.50? Only GameDay, that’s who. Terry Ryan and Carl Pohlad, eat your heart out.

Your mission (impossible), should you choose to accept it, is to create a competitive team for 2007 while keeping the total payroll under $67 million (a pretty realistic guess as to next year’s total).

We’ll get you started. We’ll fill in most of the blanks with players who will likely be back, including listing their approximate salaries, along with some assumptions, in case you want to challenge any of the core positions.

Below that, we’ll list the positions where there will be more debate, and list some of the players (and how much they cost) for each of them. You can build your team, and compare it to how Ryan does this offseason – just make sure it comes in under $67 million. (Or figure out how you’re going to get Carl to part with more.) So get those sharpened #2 pencils ready, and let’s build the 2007 Twins.

The Core

Joe Mauer$ 3.50
Justin Morneau$ 2.50
Luis Castillo$ 5.75
Jason Bartlett$ 0.40
Nick Punto$ 2.50
Michael Cuddyer$ 4.00
Torii Hunter's Buyout$ 2.50

The numbers for a lot of these players are wide estimates, since Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer and Punto are all eligible for arbitration. Castillo is under contract, so he’s absolutely back. We’re also including Hunter’s $2.5 million buyout, since he gets that whether you keep him or not. That leaves center field, left field, and designated hitter for you to play with, and we’ve spent $21.15 million.
Starting Pitching

Starter 1
Johan Santana$ 12.00
Starter 2
Francisco Liriano$ 0.40
Starter 3
Scott Baker or
Boof Bonser or
Matt Garza
$ 0.40

We’ll assume Brad Radke retires and that Liriano comes back healthy. Also that the Twins have enough faith in one of the three younger pitchers to count on them for a rotation spot next year. That leaves two spots open, and our total now is at $33.95 million.


Luis Rodriguez$ 0.40
Mike Redmond$ 1.25

Redmond’s under contract (though terms haven’t been released) and we’ll assume Rodriguez comes back as a middle infielder. That leaves at least two spots open that can be filled with veterans or farm players, and just a small bump to $35.6 million.


Joe Nathan$ 5.25
RH Setup
Juan Rincon$ 1.50
LH Setup
Dennys Reyes$ 1.00
Jesse Crain$ 0.40
Pat Neshek$ 0.40
Long MR
Willie Eyre or
Matt Guerrier
$ 0.40

Now that Reyes is in the fold, the only assumption we have to make is that the Twins will offer Rincon arbitration. We’ll also assume six bullpen spots for now, but if you’re attached to Eyre and Guerrier, you can bring one back as the 25th man. Our final tally is $42.75 million….

You’re 2/3 of the way there! Seventeen of the 25 roster spots are spoken for, and $42.75 million is spent. That leaves $24.25 million to fill eight spots. Let’s see how you want to spend it…..

The Options

CF¨ You can pick up Hunter's option year for an additional $9.5M
¨ You can offer Lew Ford arbitration for approximately $750,000
¨ You can offer Jason Tyner arbitration for approximately $1 million.
¨ A lower tier free agent, like Kenny Lofton, can probably be bought for ~$2M.
LF¨ If you trust Jason Kubel's knees, he can play here for $400,000.
¨ You can offer Lew Ford arbitration for approximately $750,000
¨ You can offer Jason Tyner arbitration for approximately $1 million.
¨ Carlos Lee or Rafael Soriano could be available for around $13 million.
DH¨ If you don't trust Jason Kubel's knees, he can play here for $400,000.
¨ It's doubtful a premiere free agent will sign to play DH, but you could target one and more the current player to the DH spot.
¨ Or acquire a mid level free agent for $2-5 million. Dmitri Young & Frank Thomas top the list.
4th starter¨ Carlos Silva's option can be picked up for ~$4M
¨ One of Bonser/Baker/Garza will cost about $400,000.
¨ Best free agents are probably Barry Zito, Jason Schmidt and Mark Mulder, who might be available for around $10M.
¨ Mid level free agents include Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, for around $5M.
5th startersee above
backup IF¨ A veteran free agent can probably be lured for a little less than $1M.
¨ A farm player, like Terry Tiffee, can fill the role for around $400,000.
4th OF¨ You can offer Lew Ford arbitration for approximately $750,000.
¨ You can offer Jason Tyner arbitration for approximately $1 million.
¨ Josh Rabe could be kept for about $400,000.
¨ A veteran free agent will cost about $1M
25th spot¨ If you want to keep Guerrrier AND Eyre, one will take this spot for about $400,000.
¨ A veteran bat will cost a little less than $1M.
¨ Another middle infielder or 5th outfielder from Rochester costs $400,000.
TOTAL$Remember, it needs to be under $24.25 M unless you’re going to start searching the cushions of Carl’s couch.

How’d you do? Got that backup center fielder and shortstop you need? How about the left-handed bat off the bench your manager wants? Did you add power? Are you relying on young pitching? And, most importantly, is your boss going to be happy with how much you spent?

Yes, all around? Great. Now let Terry Ryan know, since he’ll be undergoing the same exercise in about month…


Adam said...

OK, we're in the middle of perhaps the most exciting Twins season in the last 15 years and you're bed-wetting about NEXT YEAR'S payroll?? It’s people like you who, when the Twins went on that ridiculous roll in mid-June/early July, that instead of being excited about your team, were bemoaning the excellent play of the Tigers and White Sox and the fact the Twins hadn't gained much ground. For goodness sake, how about writing about THIS team, talking about our playoff scenarios, or about Morneau's MVP chances. Next year will take care of itself in time. The Twins are fortunate enough to have arguably the best GM in baseball and hey, Pohlad has been willing to open the pocketbook a little more recently if Mr. Ryan sweet-talks him enough (see Radke, Santana or the payroll increases since 2001.) It does absolutely no good to start freaking about who's going to be on the roster in 2007 when Twins fans have visions of a 2006 title still dancing in their heads.

Diggity Dino said...

Alfonso Soriano, not Rafael. Also, no mention of possibly bringing back RonDL? His post ASB stats are pretty much in line with what we were hoping for, so if there is evidence that he was still nursing an injury during the first half and is recovered now, his name at least needs to be on the table.

HrbekIsMyHero said...

Jesus, Adam, someone pee in your fruit loops this morning? It's an exercise for fun. Don't see anyone "bed wetting" here in engaging in a little harmless speculating. Lighten the Bert up. How many more times can we count the 'magic number' and redo the debate about "rooting" for Detroit or Chicago? Oh, BTW, Morneau ain't getting the MVP award. Did you miss BBTN? Jeter's name has been engraved on the trophy. And Ryan sweet talking Pohlad has worked really well in the past. Payroll may escalate because of a great year for attendance and higher ticket prices plus the lure of a competitve ball club next season...oh, maybe we can talk about who will comprise that club. Nah, that would detract from the drama of THE PENNANT RACE. I can multitask. Can you?

Find a girl and go Bert with her. It might help your sunny disposition.

Batgirl said...

Dear Mr. Geek,

Nicely done. I hope we'll get to see your ballot.


fents said...

Thanks Geek for the breakdown. This stuff helps to break up the constant cycle in my head of scenarios the Twins could find themselves in.

Oh, and Adam, totally sorry about peeing in your froot loops, I was working on an installation piece at the Walker about commercialization and bladder control. I didn't think you'd eat them.

Rhubarb_Runner said...

I know all the focus is on free agents, who is or who isn't available, but TR's forte is with trades, and there are a multitude of good fits if one it willing to do a little dealing. 'Course that kind of muddies this exercise a bit, but bears considering.

ghost42 said...

Uh...Adam he does it because it's fun to speculate. It's interesting to see what may be avaialble given the great year thus far. Didn't you notice the 'geek' in the blog title? This is what he does, and we thanks him for it.

I think most of us are able to both enjoy the great year and still have an eye to the future.

Also, I believe about 90% of the articles are indeed about THIS team, our playoff scenarios and Morneau's MVP chances.

One last thing, if you have a point, try aruguing it without using inflammatory language like 'bed wetting' and 'freaking out' it doesn't bolster your arguements any and makes you sound simple.

ghost42 said...

Much like my previous typeo's make me look simple. :)

Freealonzo said...

Here's what I did:

CF Hunter but negotiated to $7.0M
LF Kubel $400K
DH Mid-level FA $5.0M
4th Garza $400K
5th Mid-level FA $5.0M
IF Tiffee $400K
OF Tyner $1.0M
25th Guerrier $400

Tyner can spell Hunter or Kubel when they hurt, and either can also DH. I'd also try to find room for Bonser, but it's not reflected above.

Leave about $4.65M for arbitration increases to Mauer, Morneau, flexibility for another or increased cost free agent, etc

jon said...

Here is my take...

Hunter is within striking distance of 30 HR/100 RBI/Gold Glove, and should be kept.

Bonser is starter #3. Either Baker or Garza should have no trouble being #4.

Use the farm system for a backup infielder for this year, at least.

That leaves four spots: LF, DH, backup OF, and fifth pitcher, and it leaves about $14M. It also leaves Tyner, Kubel, Ford, Rabe, and Rondell White (who has done well after his abysmal start). Hire three of these five (hopefully Tyner, Kubel, and White), and spend the remaining $10M or so on the best free agent pitcher we can find - ideally, a consistent veteran who can mentor our four rookies.

My biggest reservation with this plan is infield. Our infield has done surprisingly well this year, but if either Punto or Bartlett plays like it's 2005 and not 2006, we may need to find someone new.

Anonymous said...

Geek, great to see yet another edition of let's-play-salaries. These are, in my opinion, perhaps the most enjoyable articles you write - certainly something that doesn't get covered in the mainstream media. I agree with batgirl though, let's see your ballot - and another old-school geeky article wouldn't hurt either :)

My thoughts: Tyner will be kept, gardy loves him. Kubel will be back, he's way too talented to let go. Same for our young trio of Bonser, Garza and the much maligned Baker. I would expect us to bring Silva back too. Unfortunately, I have that sinking feeling in my stomach that Terry Ryan is going to be Terry Ryan and once again grab some scrap-heap Tony Batista vetern 3B... I only hope he learned his lesson this season.

I hope Liriano gets healthy and stays healthy, and our young players continue their learning curves. The 2007 Twins look absolutely nasty on paper.

MF formerly KyleLohse

Walter Hanson said...

Okay folks here what I did. It had an interesting twist that nobody had come up with this speculation.

Keep the three headed monster of Tyner, Ford, and Kubel. Kubel supplies a left hand bat off the bench. Tyner or Ford will be on the bench for pinch running. Not to mention Ford can play all three positions for the OF.

The pitchers will be Baker, Bosner, and Gazra. They are young, but the choice is Syvlia or another minor leaguer.

A free agent IF for a million leaves money for the two big moves.

I had given up on Tori. And for the fan who thinks Tori can be talked down to $7 million it won't happen now. No agent will allow his client to lose five million. Besides if the Twins give Hunter 2.5 all he has to do is get 4.5 million to get to seven.

I had imagine Tyner playing center. I than spent the wad on two players:

Thomas a DH for $5 million. More homer power than Hunter and he's a right handed bat for either the 4th or sixth spot.

That saved $13 million to get Alfonso Soriano. Wow what a great move. We get a player who hits more homers and get more steals than Hunter.

And I still have more than a million to spare. Now here's the twist.

Soriano wants to go back to second so when Ryan talks with Soriano give him the second base job. It means trading Castillo (how else can we give him Second Base not to mention the leadoff spot he wants), but teams like Oakland, both Los Angeles teams can use a second basebaseman.

With the money saved you than can bring in a decent starter if you want one more experienced starter or spread the money for some long term contracts.

The problem is since I dreamed up the scenario Hunter has played like he's worth twelve million. Any chance Ryan can be talked into keeping both especially if he wants an edge that makes the team better for 2008?

What do you think folks?

Walter Hanson