The rebuild is over. It’s time to spend, alot.
My payroll will be about $140 million, but I will try to justify it at the end.
- 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 It’s time to move on from a lot of players. Yolmer, Engel, Cordell, Palka, Goins should not be part of this team moving forward. I almost non-tendered Leury, but he will be our Swiss Army knife, able to play 6 positions. The rest were pretty easy. It’s certainly not time to give up on Rodon, and Osich is pretty cheap for insurance.
- Welington Castillo: $8 million/$500,000 buyout. He gone.
OTHER IMPENDING FREE AGENTS
- Jose Abreu (made $16M in 2019) Resign- 2 years, $28 million, with an option for a 3rd year. He deserves to be a part of a winning team here, and is still a pretty number 6 hitter.
- Iván Nova (made $9,166,167 in 2019) Nope
- Jon Jay (made $4M in 2019) Nope
- Hector Santiago (made $2M in 2019 on split contract) Nope Jose is still a pretty potent bat, and since he won’t have to bat 3rd, should thrive in the lower half of the lineup. So long to the other 3.
Here’s where the money will be spent.
J.D. MARTINEZ- 3 years, $80 million, an option for a 4th year. Martinez is the biggest bat on the free agent market. A 2-3-4 of Yoan, JD, Eloy will be as good as any combo in baseball. I know he’s basically a DH only, but what a force he can be. And maybe he can play once a week or so in right, against tough lefties.
MADISON BUMGARNER- 3 years, $65 million. He’s still only 30 years old. He’s a proven playoff performer. He would provide a change of pace from all our hard-throwing righties. He might cost a 4th year, but he would be worth it.
YASMANI GRANDAL- 3 years, $54 million. Finally, a legitimate offensive AND defensive force at catcher. Would allow McCann to be a first-rate back-up.
COREY DICKERSON- 1 year, $9 million. Hopefully, one of our minor league outfielders will bust out this year and be ready for 2021. Or maybe we can spend big on Springer or Betts. But we need a 1-year good bat to man right field. Yes, Dickerson has not played a lot of right field, but he did win a gold glove in 2018, so should be passable in rf. I thought about trading for Joc Pederson, but aside from Stiever, there is really no one that any team would probably want right now (Not counting Robert, Madrigal, Kopech and Vaughn). Dickerson has a career .832 OPS, and was over .900 in 2019. Maybe JD can play right once a week against tough lefties.
DREW POMERANZ- 1 year, $5 million. Optimistically, our starting rotation next year would be Giolito, Bumgarner, Cease, Kopech, Lopez. But we need at least one capable starter not named Dylan Covey to be ready. And if those 5 are the rotation, Pomeranz was impressive out of the pen with Milwaukee last year. A good, buy-low swingman.
None. Most of our minor leaguers had bad years last year. We need this year to shake out which can be contributors or trade pieces in the future. And Robert, Madrigal and Vaughn are not going anywhere.
Here’s the starting lineup:
JD Martinez DH
Robert cf (Leury in April)
Madrigal 2b (Mendick in April)
Bench: McCann, Collins, Mendick, Leury
That is a very good lineup. I don’t want to put undue pressure on Robert or Madrigal by placing them at the top of the order. But a bottom three of Robert, Dickerson, Madrigal is slightly better than Jay, Yolmer and Engel. Power, speed, OBP will all improve significantly over 2019.
Collins may be expendable, since he will be blocked at every position. I’m not sure a late inning bat would be the best use for him, and with that lineup, there’s really no one to pinch hit for.
Cease gained valuable major league experience last season. I expect him to be a different pitcher next year. Lopez is still a question mark. He may be the odd man out if/when Kopech is ready. And Rodon may be able to provide some help by August.
2 of Tyler Johnson, Burdi, Hamilton, Ruiz, Fulmer
I’m optimistic that 2 of Tyler Johnson, Burdi or Hamilton can be significant contributors to the bullpen this year. It would help if Pomeranz can be used as a power arm out of the pen.
The 2020 payroll would be approximately $142 million. But with the money saved over the last 3 years, that can easily be managed. That is only slightly above the 2019 major league average. $37 million will come off the books for 2021 (Colome, Herrera, Pomeranz, Dickerson and Leury), which will allow for increases and acquiring a right fielder. Every other position should be covered. We’re a big market team. It’s time to spend like one.