Now that the 2011 season is officially over, I’ll finally post my 2012 plan on Monday, which I’ve been going back and forth on for weeks. (Last year, I think I posted it before the reviews even started.) I’m putting that out there partly to motivate myself to actually finish and publish it, because as you can imagine, this year’s has been incredibly difficult, and that’s not just because of the ownership situation – the free agent market just looks to be deeply barren beyond the obvious big two first basemen. I can’t even say it was fun to do, but I’ve done it, and you’ll get a look at it on Monday.
But before we get to that, here’s a fun weekend exercise: what would you do if given the chance to play GM? Taking into account 2012 money committed to players like Ted Lilly, Chad Billingsley, Matt Guerrier, & Juan Uribe, minimum salaries for eight likely young players like Dee Gordon, Kenley Jansen & friends, dead money to those long gone, and expected arbitration hits for Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, and Andre Ethier, the Dodgers could have something like $30m remaining to spend on ten holes. That’s a team with three starting pitchers, no first baseman (you’ll notice I didn’t include James Loney in the arbitration list, because that decision is up to you), no second baseman, and question marks at third base, left field, and behind the plate.
So have a try in the comments. Sign free agents. Make trades to fill holes. Sign contract extensions to reallocate 2012 dollars. There’s only one rule – it’s got to be at least somewhat based in reality. The payroll isn’t suddenly going to be $200m. Trent Oeltjen isn’t getting traded for Robinson Cano. Albert Pujols isn’t signing for two years and $5m. And for crying out loud, Loney isn’t playing third base. The goal is to come up with a 25-man roster that’s within reasonable budgetary limits, which I’m setting at $100m not including dead money.
Whomever gets closest to my actual plan wins the usual prize of absolutely nothing. Have at it.