Monday, September 03, 2007

2008 Twins GM Cheat Sheet (Part 1)

So, you’re a little dissatisfied, huh? Thinking you could do a better job? Well, to be a major league GM, you could either:

a) put some time in at the major league level, probably schlepping around as a scout for a dozen years or so years, stay on top of the free agent market, and show you can negotiate with players’ agents. Or…

b) you could just swing by

It looks like you chose (b), so we know you’re smart, but let’s see how smart. Your job is to create a competitive 2008 team while keeping the payroll under $80 million (a pretty realistic guess as to next year’s salary level).

We’ll give you the tools you need. Below you’ll find lists of the positions, the players who will most likely be back, their approximate salaries, and a list of the other assumption we’re making in case you want to challenge them.

Then you’ll find your area. We’ll list the open positions and some of the options you have (including how much they cost). You can build your own team and compare it to the job Terry Ryan does this offseason. Just make sure the total is under $80 million, because your boss isn’t known as the freest spender in the world.

The Lineup
The numbers for a lot of these players are estimates, since Justin Morneau, and Michael Cuddyer and eligible for arbitration, but they’re close. If you’re able to sign them to long-term deals, you might be able to knock a million off of that, but that’s about the most you can expect. We’ve included Alexi Casilla, since the Twins seem sold on him. We put Kubel in left field, but you could move him to DH, or just leave him off if you like. And Nick Punto is listed as the middle infield backup a little later.

The remaining spaces are center field, third base, and designated hitter for you to play with, and we’ve spent $23.05 million.
Starting Pitching

We’ll assume that Silva’s spot is open, though you can re-sign him later. We’re keeping Bonser in the rotation for now, since he’s certainly passable as a 4th starter. Those salaries bring our grand total to $38 million.

Punto and Redmond are both under contract, so they’re playing someplace. For now, we put Brian Buscher in a Jeff-Cirillo-type role – if you don’t like it, move him around as you like, including back to AAA. Those salaries bump us up to $41.25M


You could quibble about whether Guerrier should be included here. We included him despite being eligible for arbitration because he looks like a relative bargain, and we have enough spots to fill. The additional salaries bring us up to $49.65 million.

You’re 2/3 of the way there! Seventeen of the 25 roster spots are spoken for, and $49.65 million is spent. That leaves about $30 million to fill eight spots. Take a stab at what you think you want to do and we'll be back tomorrow with some more specific options and salaries. We'll see you then.


Anonymous said...

This looks like fun:

3B -- leave open to competition between Buscher, Marci, Watkins, and another perenial AAAA type player who is given a minor league invite. I'm assuming the winner can probably provide leage average (or slightly below average production).

CF -- If Hunter doesn't resign, target Cameron. Should be much cheaper.

DH -- Set aside about 5M to go get someone with a decent bat.

Total cost: 14M est.

Bench -- Watkins, Machado, adn L-Rod get the opportunity to compete there. 4th OF should be Lew Ford, and I'd give Darnell McDonald the opporunity to be the 5th OF.

total Cost: 3-4M est

Starting pitching:

Liriano -- 400k, if he doesn't cut it, we have plenty of arms in AAA that can be given the shot.

Bullpen -- bring in a couple of reclamation projects for Anderson to work on, could be done cheaply. Give DePaula a shot at one of those roles. Crain should be back as well, but then again, we may not be able to count on him. Total cost: 2-3M

That's about 21M. I'd use the rest to get Santana and Morneau locked up long term. You'd have room here to get Hunter too if you wanted to pursue him.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I'd do:

CF - $15.5 million is a fair and legitimate offer for Hunter. If he turns it down, it's because he doesn't want to be here. In that case, make a hard run at Cameron or Rowand, both of whom will be cheaper.

DH - I'd spend around $5 million and try to get Mike Sweeney or some other aging veteran who has proven power (none of this "takes good at-bats" crap).

5th Starter - Silva is gone. I'd go with Perkins, at least to start the season. Liriano might not be ready, and there's no reason to rush him. Give Blackburn a shot at winning this spot in spring training.

Bench - return Punto to his natural role as a backup MI. The 2nd place finisher in the 3B competition gets the backup CI spot, which should give us some modicum of power off the bench. Machado or Lrod get the utility IF spot. Tyner is OF #4, with Jones as OF #5, provided this spot doesn't get usurped by a 3rd catcher or 12th pitcher. Get rid of Ford and his $1 million liability.

Bullpen - Liriano starts the year as a middle reliever, along with Blackburn or Perkins - whoever isn't in the starting rotation.

The way I measure it, that leaves ~$7 million for extending Santana. That should be more than enough. I'd wait on extending Morneau since he's under contract for a few more years and shouldn't be rewarded for the horrible second half he's had.

Patrick said...

First, my default choices (no new blood)

Lineup - Redmond at DH and Buscher at 3B, plus
RH CF Jones 0.4

5th Starter
LH 2P Liriano 0.4

Bench, add
SH IF Rodriguez 0.4
LH UT Tyner 1.0
SH MI Machado 0.4 (rule 5 year)
RH BC Heintz 0.4 (instead of Redmond)

RH 6P Slowey 0.4 (instead of Redmond's bench spot)
LH RP Perkins 0.4

If we need another arm, Crain is out of options and so should make the team instead of Perkins. Perkins can bounce up and down as the 26th man.

OK, that leaves most of our $30 million to swap out for free agents. I'd really like it if they completely avoided Major League pitchers in the market--the above pitchers look good to me. Lowball an offer to Silva and that's it.

That's a lot of money to spend on a few players. Boy, if we can focus on landing three $10M hitters, this will be a great team. Of course, what about Santana's and Morneau's extensions? Those could wipe out any chance at getting much more.