Billy Beane has gone on a walkabout and you need to step in as the new GM.
Here’s the situation.
Beane left in the middle of a two year re-build and it’s up to you to figure out exactly where the team is in the process. I understand if we can’t compete with the Angels in 2009, the plan Beane sold me a year ago stated 2011 as the goal for contention. But I am sick and tired of the losing seasons and I don’t think our fan base can handle a third sub-.500 year. So your goal for 2009 is a minimum of 81 wins and I don’t care what you do just so long as you don’t short circuit the long range goal of contention by 2011.
I’m going to do you a favor and bump the player payroll to $70 million for 2009. Keep in mind, that $70 million covers everything from big league salaries to draft bonuses and international signings. Beane worked the 2008 season with a $60 million budget. He spent $48 million on the big league team, $6.5 million on the draft and another $5 million on the international market. The projected 2009 payroll stands at $38 million and that includes all the arbitration eligible cases. So you’ve got $32 million and a free hand to run the team. (I do want to see a budget for the draft and the international market. What are your intentions in these areas?)
Make trades, sign free agents, do whatever you like just make sure you build a team that’ll win at least 81 regular season games in 2009.
Have at it.
Special thanks to John Sickels at Minor League Ball for starting this concept over at his site. Sorry Mr. Sickels, I just didn't have the patience to wait for you to cover the A's!