As I see it ... we have about $8-10 mil of payroll room this year, 4 roster spots and two big decisions to make.
What do we do with Zito? Who is our last starter?
Looking at our payroll over the next few years, I think Zito fits in nicely. I'd offer him $10m/yr for 07-09. If he doesn't take it, I'd have to strongly consider trading him.
What's the deal I'm looking for? You'll never guess ...
Go on, try to guess, I'll give you a second.
Have you guessed yet?
Ok, here's the deal, we send Barry Zito to the desperately in need of pitching Boston Red Sox (and 2/3 of AN cringes in disbelief). In exchange, we get $27mil plus Manny Ramirez. We're on the hook for $10m/yr over three years.
A lineup of:
is all of a sudden looking rather imposing and my pitching staff:
? (Meyer/Cruz/Kennedy probably)
is looking very solid as well.
You're right, though, I am relying on some very young pitchers. So what do we do about that? Why, strengthen the 'pen, of course.
Guess what? We've still got quite a bit of money to spend. I know, isn't it exciting?
And our bullpen:
Could use some left handed help. Where am I going to find it? Baltimore. We'll bring in BJ Ryan for 3 years, $7m/yr.
Our remaining spots will be filled from within.
Scooter, Melhuse, and probably either Kielty or Thomas will be our primary backups. The last couple of spots will be filled from within during ST.
Hatty will be signed to a very generous contract - as an assistant to the GM ... or to me, I should say.
That will leave our payroll right around $64m, give us a greatly improved offense, a continously great defense, the best bullpen in the league and a young and very promising rotation.
What do you think?