Well it’s that time of year again. Aside from hoping the Guardians beat the Yankees, welcome to the offseason. What I want to know is, what would you do this offseason if you were Bloom. (Please don’t say quit…let’s leave that debate for pretty much every other thread). If you were in his shoes right now, what moves would you make? Please be relatively realistic, and I look forward to seeing all the different directions this can go!
I’ve taken the current, locked in contract numbers for next year, the projected arbitration numbers from mlbtraderumors (usually fairly accurate), some projected contracts from Bleacher Report (not so much, but it’s a starting point), and a projected tax threshold of $232 million. I used that as a soft target, as they won’t necessarily shy away from going over, but they’re also not going to skyrocket past it. For the players under control, I threw out a generic $0.7 million for minimums.
For me, this team really isn’t that far off. From competing, and actually has a lot of ability to add salary. I see a pretty well locked in group of:
SP: Sale (27.5), Pivetta (5.9), Crawford (0.7), Bello (0.7)
RP: Whitlock (1.2), Barnes (8.3), Taylor (1.1), Houck (0.7), Schreiber (0.7), Kelly (0.7), Winckowski (0.7)
C: McGuire (1.3), Wong (0.7)
1B: Hosmer (0.7), Casas (0.7)
2B: Story (20), Arroyo (2.2)
3B: Devers (16.9)
OF: Hernandez (10), Verdugo (6.9), Refsnyder (1.6)
This all takes into account that Chang and Brasier are elsewhere, Cordero and Dalbec are not on the big club, if still in the organization at all, and to me, Sale is strictly there to account for his money. I’m not paying any attention to him as far as a real roster spot. If he is able to come back this year, that’s a huge bonus, but I’m not planning my roster around it.
That’s not a bad cast, but it obviously needs additions. By my estimation, you need two Starting Pitchers, and front of the rotation ones at that, one very solid arm out of the pen, one SS, and one OF. I am also partial to bringing in a DH, but you can bring in someone who is more versatile defensively to use the DH spot for rest.
I went ahead and targeted two grade A types, along with a bunch of Bs.
SP-Rodon (estimated 25 per)
SP-Manea/Clevinger/Syndergaard all come in around 15-16 per, get one of them.
RP-Montero 8 per
DH-Bell 15 per
SS-Swanson 18 per
RF- Judge-40 per
Like I said, these projections aren’t necessarily accurate, and a few of them will likely be a bit higher (I would assume Rodon would be closer to 30), but using these numbers as just a starting point brings the total for the big club to just $231 million, which is slightly over where they were this season, but still has them under the threshold.
Many will be disappointed in Xander not coming back, but with the savings you get on Swanson, you’re able to get another full player in a needed position. When it comes to the bullpen, I don’t think you need to go out and splurge on Diaz, where Montero was fantastic this season. You can always swap out Nimmo for Judge, and then upgrade Swanson for someone you like better, like maybe Correa, but I think this team gives you a solid batting order, top to bottom, and it makes your pitching staff much more competitive. If Sale DOES wind up coming back, you can replace Crawford to make the rotation that much better. Or perhaps you put him in the pen, hoping that helps his body hold up.