GrabSomeBench’s Offseason Plan: Win Now, Balance the Budget and Look to the Future


Dear Chairman Reinsdorf,

You asked me to provide you with a winning team and only provided a budget of $120 million. That’s a tough task. A losing team would easily work but your fans want to win. Knowing that we have a budget, I’ve been careful to keep my eyes off of players like Cole, Rendon and Chapman. However, I did some Christmas shopping for better players and found Mad Bum, Ryu, and a Japanese guy, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo, who will be posted. Imagine all the crap we can sell in Japan if this guy is the second coming of Ichiro. If he’s not, don’t worry, we are within budget and it’s a better idea than last year’s Manny’s Relatives and Friends signings. We front loaded a couple of contracts so don’t grab your chest. Instead, grab some bench and strap it on.

Arbitration Decisions:

Alex Colomé, $10.3M – Tender.
Yolmer Sánchez, $6.2M – Non-Tender.
James McCann, $4.9M – Tender.
Carlos Rodon, $4.5M – Tender.
Leury García, $4M – Tender.
Evan Marshall, $1.3M – Tender.
Josh Osich, $1M – Tender.
Ryan Goins, $900K – Non-tender.


  • Welington Castillo: $8 million/$500,000 buyout – If you have to ask, you haven’t been paying attention……….BUYOUT


  • Jose Abreu (made $16M in 2019) – Re-sign
  • Iván Nova (made $9,166,167 in 2019) – Bye-Bye
  • Jon Jay (made $4M in 2019) – One year thievery is more than enough.
  • Hector Santiago (made $2M in 2019 on split contract) – Minor League Deal?


Yoshitomo Tsutsugo RF/DH (2 Years for 12 Million. 2 Mutual Option years for 24 Million).  Nobody knows how good Tsutsugo is going to be but he’s only 27 years old and has 10 years of experience in Japan. We know he isn’t Ichiro but if he is a tick below Matsui, we have a steal. In any case, he’s not going to be worse than Manny’s brother in law.  The mutual option gives us the ability to cut him loose after two and with 26 guys, he can be a lefty off the bench if he isn’t the big hitter some expect.

Madison Bumgarner (5 years, $100M./ 2020: 30M, 2021 25M, 2022 21 M, 2023 12M, 2024 12M)/We gamble here that Mad Bum can be a 200-inning pitcher and a leader like Lester has been for the Cubs. We front load the contract to be able to trade him if other pitchers like Rodon, Lopez and Cease step up in 2021).

Hyun-Jin Ryu (3 years and 60 million dollars/ 2020 30 Million, 2021 15 million and 2022 15 million) Ryu is injury prone but he showed a lot of self awareness last season by taking the sure money. He bet on himself and pitched well so he gets to make $60 million. We front loaded again in order to balance payroll going forward and provide flexibility for possible trades.


Others are undervaluing Colome as a reliever. Some teams, like the Dodgers are looking for relievers and have excess assets to deal.  However, we won’t give him away and the trade is a take it or leave it. If the Dodgers say no, then we look for a right fielder who doesn’t have his option picked up or we put our Japanese Phenom in right. Here’s the trade:

Dodgers send Joc Pederson, Kiebert Ruiz, and Tony Gonsolin to Sox.
White Sox send Colome, Fulmer, and Minaya to Dodgers.

Gonsolin is blocked by the Dodgers rotation and system. He can start but we’ll use him in the bullpen for now. Ruiz is a top notch prospect who provides insurance if McCann regresses and Collins doesn’t work out. If they work out, we’ll be able to make a killing by trading one of the three. Pederson holds the fort down until one of the knuckleheads from AA moves up in two years.

Suggested Lineup

  1. Anderson SS (4M)
  2. Tsutsugo DH/RF ($6 M)
  3. Abreu  1B/DH (10M)
  4. Moncada 3B (600K)
  5. Jimenez LF (1.5M)
  6. Pederson RF (8.5 M)
  7. McCann C (4.9M)
  8. Robert CF (600K)
  9. Madrigal ($600K)

Bench Garcia (Of/IF) (4M)
Collins (C/1B/DH)(600K)
Mercedes DH/RF)(600K)
Mendick IF (600K)


SP1: Lucas Giolito ($600K)

SP2: Mad Bum ($30M)

SP3: Hyun-Jin Ryu ($30M)

SP4: Reynaldo Lopez (600K)

SP5: Dylan Cease ($600K)


CL – Bummer ($600K)

Set UP– Michael Kopech ($600K)

7th Inning – Herrera ($8.5M)

Lefty – Osich ($1M)

L – Fry ($600K)

R – Marshall ($1.3M)

R – Gonsolin($600K)

R – Hamilton or Burr(600K)

R – Cordero ($600K)


Total payroll = $118,700,000


I’m not counting on Carlos Rodon until September and at that point he’s in the bullpen unless we are sucking it up again. Kopech is ready at the beginning of the season but let’s be realistic. We just reconstructed the TJ ligament and we want to ease him back into the game. 8th inning set up man seems like a good place to start the year. If he progresses and Cease or Lopez screw up, we’ll switch places.

The front loaded contracts work because our payroll is so low. When we have to pony up for Moncada, Robert and Cease, those other guys will be in the TV booth. We also have flexibility to trade those guys.

By the way, you may notice that I made a trade with the Dodgers and picked up Ruiz. If McCann regresses and Collins can’t cut it, we have a star at AAA. The Dodgers don’t need him because Smith is there and quite frankly they needed a reliever.

So Jerry, start signing the checks.

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I created an account here solely to tell you how bad that trade with the Dodgers is and unless Andrew Friedman was suddenly lobotomized would he ever sign off on even Ruiz straight up for that package. 


No way in hell the Dodgers would do that deal. That trade is beyond lopsided.