The Major League Baseball free agent period is underway. We all play arm-chair GM's on our fantasy teams or on our video games. So I thought to myself, why not be one on my blog?
So what I decided the I would take three MLB teams, the Yankees, Dodgers and Brewers, and be their GM for a day.
Here's what I would do if I were the Yankees GM for a day.
The 27 time World Series champions have a few "needs". The Yankees need to add a starting pitcher or two and left fielder (or center fielder and move Melky Cabera to left).
With the Yankees all that matters is championships, so money is not an object or an obstacle.
First thing I would do is call Toronto and offer a package of prospects for Blue Jay's ace Roy Halladay. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos already said he has no issues trading Halladay with in the AL East. He would give the Yankees the best 1-2-3- pitching combination in baseball with C.C. Sabathia, AJ Burnett and Halladay.
I would offer a package that would include Phil Hughes, catching prospect Austin Romine and pitching prospects Manuel Banuelos and Zach McAllister. I would consider top prospect catcher Jesus Montero, but my thought is a pitcher with MLB experience (Hughes) and three other top 10 prospects should be enough to land "Doc" Halladay.
If the Jays wanted Montero, then I would exclude two of the Yankees top 10 prospects and add a couple "B" prospects.
Next I would sign the 21-year-old left-handed pitcher and Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman. The 6'4 lefty can hit 100 MPH's on the radar gun with good movement. He also throws a curve, slider, change-up and a splitter.
Many scouts compare Chapman's ability to the number one overall pick in the 2009 MLB draft Steven Strasburg. He doesn't have Strasburg's command or even mound presence, but ability wise he is very comparable.
The price tag is reportedly $15-50 million, but for a player that would be the number one pick in the draft, and in a year or two could be a number three or four starter with top of the rotation stuff, he would be well worth the price.
My next move would to bring back Andy Pettitte. He proved his worth (and then some) with his post season performance and would solidify the number four spot in the rotation. His price will be slightly more than what the Yankees paid for him this past season, but nothing like the money Rich harden or John Lackey would command.
Time to shore up the left field position. Johnny Damon, I mean Scott Boras is asking too much for Damon's services. Boras compared Damon to Derek Jeter, umm sorry Scott, I know your trying to sell your client is no Derek Jeter. So I would move on since Damon will not sign a two-year deal.
The person I think would be a very good fit is Curtis Granderson. Detroit is the place I would deal Dellin Betances, Brett Gardner and Jairo Heredia for Granderson.
The Tigers want to dump salary and Granderson had an "off year" in 2009. Some scouts and annalist (Like Keith Law) seem to think Granderson is a role player, but I think otherwise.
He would bring Gold Glove caliber defense to center field at Yankee stadium and would keep the speed/power aspect at the top of the Yankees order with Jeter. He is a younger, faster, more powerful version of Damon, and he plays better defense.
Finally, I would add the following relief pitchers to shore up the bullpen. Rafael Soriano and Mike Gonzalez would be a perfect right-left combination to bridge the starter to Mariano Rivera.
That's it for the Yankees time to move on to the Brewers.
The Brewers are the opposite off the Yankees in the regard that they will not overspend for a player because they can not afford to take on a bad contract.
The Brewers cleared payroll to add a quality pitcher, and I think that they are the dark horse for John Lackey, the top pitcher on the market. But the price for Lackey's services most likely will be as much as AJ Burnett got last year. Lackey wants $85 million for 5 or 6 years and that price tag may be too much for the Brewers.
So because of his price tag, I think the Brewers will most likely add Wisconsin native Jarrod Washburn and Erik Bedard. The two were teammates in Seattle and pitched well and would be an excellent duo to have behind Yovani Gallardo.
I may be in the minority but I think the Brewers need to sign a veteran player that can be a leader in the clubhouse and the perfect fit would be Mark DeRosa. DeRosa can play 3B, SS, 2B, 1B or left field. He also would give some much-needed protection in the line up to Price Fielder.
DeRosa also plays very good defense, and that is an area that the Brewers need an upgrade in. I know Mat Gamel, the Brewers top prospect, is also a third baseman, but the NL Central is a division the Brewers can win. With Alcides Escobar at short stop and the newly acquired Carlos Gomez in center field, the Brewers defense will be better, but their offense may not be what it has been in the past.
I would also sign Mark Mulder, who has a history with both Ken Macha and Rick Peterson. If he is healthy (which is asking a lot out of him) he could be a steal. Doug Davis is another player that would be on my radar. I know the Brewers were close to dealing for him at the trade deadline and he could be a good back of the rotation guy.
Finally, lets move on to the Dodgers.
The Dodgers situation is more complex than any other in Major League Baseball. With the divorce of Frank and Jamie McCourt ongoing (and getting uglier by the day) the Dodgers may be hard pressed to make a big splash.
Well since I am the GM I will make the moves I feel will get the Dodgers back into the playoffs and a chance to play in the World Series.
One of the first things I would do is resign Orlando Hudson to a 3 year, $35 million dollar contract. He was a leader in the clubhouse and brings the intangibles needed to a winning ball club.
I would then sign John Lackey. I know, $85 million for 5 years is a ton of coin, but he is a proven big game pitcher who pitches from his stones. He has a World Series ring already and by signing Lackey, it would hurt the cross-town Angels.
I would also trade Juan Pierre. I know, Pierre has been a good solider since the trade for Manny Ramirez and the emergence of Matt Kemp in center field but $10 million for Pierre is a steep price for a 4th outfielder and he deserves a chance to start. I would trade Pierre to the Tigers for Edwin Jackson.
Randy Wolf is a guy that I would bring back at the tone of 4 years and $44 million. He has pitched extremely well in both his stints with the Dodgers and loves to pitch in his home town for his favorite team growing up.
I would also sign back Vicente Padilla, but for only 2 years. He pitched well for the Dodgers, in particular in Dodgers stadium.
A rotation of Lackey, Clayton Kershaw, Jackson, Wolf and Padilla would be a very good rotation and one that has a good mix of young pitchers (Kershaw and Jackson) and experience.
I would also look to bring back Jim Thome to add some left-handed power off the bench. He is also a great clubhouse guy and a person that has the ear and trust of Ramirez.
That's me playing GM for the day. I know the dollars may not be what some expect (one way or the other), but I think you get the picture. For people like Scott Boras who thinks he (and his clients) are recession proof, will have a rude awakening. Money will not be flying around like in the past. Instead more teams will be looking to add more quality players than one super star, and yes that includes the Yankees.
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