PDA

View Full Version : How to win the division in 2004


xil357
11-20-2003, 10:24 AM
Minnesota is weaker. KC won't be able to replicate their success. Detroit? Just don't lose to them. Cleveland? Still a year away.

The Sox have stronger pitching and than their rivals in a weak division. They ought to re-sign Alomar to play 2B; he made Valentin better. If not, screw it, go with Miles or Harris and put that money into starting pitching. They ought to call up both Joe Borchard and Jeremy Reed to platoon in CF and back up Maggs and Lee, who each can some spend time DH-ing as well. They ought to rotate the DH among their power hitters. They ought to try to get something, anything for Paul Konerko. If not, give him another shot but give Frank at least equal time at 1B. If they can move Konerko, they ought to sign Robin Ventura to spell Frank at 1B, pinch hit off the bench and mentor Joe Crede.

Having Reed and Borchard (even if they put up 2003 Konerko-like numbers) in the outfield on a regular basis will help the pitching staff.

The Sox were just a few wins over Detroit, Cleveland and Tampa Bay from winning the division in 2003 (remember that they did not have Carl Everett or Alomar at that time, and many of their hitters were mired in terrible slumps). There is no reason they cannot replicate 2003 with a better end result.

Here's the roster to do it:

Lineup locks (the nucleus of The Cell)
1B/DH Frank
RF/DH Maggs
LF/DH Lee
SS Valentin (needs to bat lefty full time)
3B Crede (will continue to improve)
C Olivo (will improve and still will play great D)

The future is now
Speed and defense for the outfield, they can hit left-handed, need MLB at-bats to perfect their hitting, Ozzie will make them hustle, even striking out a lot is better than hitting into double plays:
CF/DH Borchard
OF/DH Reed

The question marks
2B: Will Alomar re-sign for a reasonable figure? If not, go with Miles or Harris to grind and slap/spray the ball
1B/DH: Paul Konerko: can he be traded? If so, then sign Robin Ventura.
IF: Graffy. Re-sign him to play SS against left-handed pitching
C: Re-sign Sandy Alomar, or go get Brook Fordyce to back up Olivo
5th outfielder/ pinch runner: here's where Aaron Rowand or Willie Harris fits if Harris is not the second baseman.

Starting Rotation
MB
E-Lo
Free Agent (Ponson?)
Garland (he's steadliy improving)
Cotts/Rauch or other FA

The Pen
Koch (he has to get better)
Marte
Ginter
filler
filler
filler

This gives them flexibility to add a bat or pitching for the stretch drive.

Remember, like the 2003 Cubs, all the Sox have to do is tread water for the first half and win the games they are supposed to win against the dregs of their division and the other AL bottom-feeders.

We can preach about adding payroll, etc., but it ain't gonna happen. (If it does, I'll enjoy eating crow with Cavender's seasoning and a side of dirty rice, thank you very much). There's no use in pipedreams. I remain hopeful nevertheless.

poorme
11-20-2003, 10:37 AM
That seems pretty realistic. Not much to get excited about. 85 wins.

kittle42
11-20-2003, 11:20 AM
Let's hear it for the AL Central: the AFC North of baseball.

bc2k
11-20-2003, 12:13 PM
Originally posted by xil357

Lineup locks (the nucleus of The Cell)


:)

jeremyb1
11-20-2003, 12:28 PM
The biggest problem I see is you're approaching ten million over opening day budget (closer to fifteen if we sign Ponson). According to Rogers, we're looking at nearly 6 million over budget as it is after our arbitration cases are settled. At that point, I'd say your club wins aboug 85 games at most. The pen looks real shaky to me.

If I'm in charge, I trade Maggs for prospects and even cover up til 4 million of his salary if that's the only way we can move him. I'd then deal Carlos for Livan Hernandez (6 million), the salaries should be about even. Finally, I'd trade prospects to acquire Keith Ginter from the Brewers to play second base. At this point, we'd have 4-8 million remaining depending on how easily Maggs can be moved. This money should be used to improve the bullpen (sign Curtis Leskanic and Lightenberg for hopefully around 2 million and another reliever), a platoon partner for Jose, and an underappretiated free agent outfielder (Stairs, Rondell White, Mondesi, or a non-tendered player).

Our roster would look like the following:

Valentin/Graffanino SS
Ginter 2B
Thomas 1B
Free Agent Outfielder LF
Konerko 1B
Crede 3B
Rowand CF
Reed RF
Olivo C

Loaiza
Buehrle
Hernandez
Garland
Cotts/Rauch

Koch
Marte
Lightenberg
Leskanic
Wunsch
Wright
Ginter

The good thing is that we have an outstanding pen, and overall one of the absolute best pitching staffs in the AL. The obvious problem is that our offense looks pretty terrible on paper. I wouldn't overestimate the helpfullness of signing an outfielder along the lines I mentioned. Look at Boston's signees last season (Mueller, Millar, Ortiz). Guys along those lines will be available for the taking. One solution could be to give up on signing top relievers like Leskanic and Lightenberg and instead pool around five million towards signing someone like Everett but I feel like the pen is in a ton of trouble if we simply return Koch, Marte, and Wunsch and surround them with borderline players.

The bottom line is that it is extremely difficult to work out the money because no one wants to take on salary. By the time you successfully narrow down the list to the teams that can take on Carlos' salary for instance, its difficult to find cheap, good players they'd deal. KW has his work cut out for him.

Clarkdog
11-20-2003, 12:32 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by xil357

The Pen
Koch (he has to get better)
Marte
Ginter
filler
filler
filler
[QUOTE]

I hope the Filler Brothers are good out of the pen because even in a weak division if our bullpen is no better than our competition we're in for a repeat of 2003 - just a different set of problems contibuting to mediocre play and a possible stumbling at the finish line.

hold2dibber
11-20-2003, 12:43 PM
Originally posted by xil357
The Sox were just a few wins over Detroit, Cleveland and Tampa Bay from winning the division in 2003 (remember that they did not have Carl Everett or Alomar at that time, and many of their hitters were mired in terrible slumps). There is no reason they cannot replicate 2003 with a better end result.

Here's the roster to do it:

Lineup locks (the nucleus of The Cell)
1B/DH Frank
RF/DH Maggs
LF/DH Lee
SS Valentin (needs to bat lefty full time)
3B Crede (will continue to improve)
C Olivo (will improve and still will play great D)

Total cost of these guys would be about $31.7 million


The future is now
Speed and defense for the outfield, they can hit left-handed, need MLB at-bats to perfect their hitting, Ozzie will make them hustle, even striking out a lot is better than hitting into double plays:
CF/DH Borchard
OF/DH Reed

Total cost of these guys would be about $700,000

The question marks
2B: Will Alomar re-sign for a reasonable figure? If not, go with Miles or Harris to grind and slap/spray the ball
1B/DH: Paul Konerko: can he be traded? If so, then sign Robin Ventura.
IF: Graffy. Re-sign him to play SS against left-handed pitching
C: Re-sign Sandy Alomar, or go get Brook Fordyce to back up Olivo
5th outfielder/ pinch runner: here's where Aaron Rowand or Willie Harris fits if Harris is not the second baseman.

Assuming no Alomar, these guys would cost about $10.4 million

Starting Rotation
MB
E-Lo
Free Agent (Ponson?)
Garland (he's steadliy improving)
Cotts/Rauch or other FA

Assuming $7 million for Ponson, $3 million for MB and $1.5 million for Garland (and Rauch at no. 5) these guys would cost $15.85 million.

The Pen
Koch (he has to get better)
Marte
Ginter
filler
filler
filler

The three guys listed should cost about $7.2 million


The total cost thus far is $65.85 million. And you still need a couple more bullpen arms. And this is your lineup:

CF Reed
LF Lee
1b Thomas
RF Maggs
3B Crede
SS Valentin
DH Konerko
C Olivo
2B Miles/Harris

This line-up is (a) extremely vulnerable if Reed isn't ready, Crede doesn't step, or PK doesn't return to form; (b) a double play waiting to happen; and (c) plagued by at least 3 guys, and possibly 5, whose OBP will likely be no better (or not much better) than .300 (Miles, Olivo, Valentin and possibly PK and Crede). The rotation would be pretty good (assuming Buehrle doesn't continue his slide and Loaiza is at least somewhat close to his performance in '03), but the truth is that they wouldn't be able to afford Ponson, so both Rauch and Cotts (or maybe Pachecho) would be in the rotation as well. And that would be not good.

In other words, while I think this is likely to be close to the '04 roster, it's not nearly as good as the Twins (particularly without Ponson) and they'd be lucky as hell to win 85 games. The only way for the Sox to be an AL Central contender in '04 is to: (a) raise the payroll; or (b) move some salary and then get lucky/creative by finding good players for cheap.

Pretty encouraging, no?

I think I'll go back to looking at the pretty pictures of the ballpark renovations now, so I don't have to think about the product on the field any more.

MisterB
11-20-2003, 12:51 PM
Originally posted by Clarkdog
I hope the Filler Brothers are good out of the pen

http://stingrayspit.8m.com/hans5.jpg
"Old time baseball? Ernie Shore?"

boog_alou
11-20-2003, 01:11 PM
As has been pointed out on this message board repeatedly, the sox real problem is payroll room. The current team's payroll looks about like this (conservative estimates):

LINEUP
C - Olivo (300K)
1B - Konerko (8M)
2B -
3B - Crede (300K)
SS - Valentin (5M)
LF - Lee (6.5M)
CF - Rowand (500K)
RF - Ordonez (14M)
DH - Thomas (6M)

BENCH
C - 500K
UI - 500K
UI - 300K
UO - 500K
UO - 300K

ROTATION
Loaiza (4M)
Buehrle (3.5M)
Garland (1.5M)
#4
Schoeneweis (2M)

Bullpen
Koch (6.3M)
Marte (400K)
Wunsch (600K)
Wright (350K)
RP (300K)
RP

With holes at second base, one starting pitcher and a RH set up man, the payroll is already at $61.6 million. And everything that has come from the front office says that they won't exceed $60 million. That means they have to dump salary just to get within their budget. So, standing pat really isn't an option. They have to dump significant salary(ies) in order to fill current holes.

jeremyb1
11-20-2003, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
This line-up is (c) plagued by at least 3 guys, and possibly 5, whose OBP will likely be no better (or not much better) than .300 (Miles, Olivo, Valentin and possibly PK and Crede).

If you combine Jose's at bats against righties and Graff's at bats against lefties last season, you get a .349 OBP in 624 at bats which is not shabby.

xil357
11-20-2003, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
The total cost thus far is $65.85 million. And you still need a couple more bullpen arms. And this is your lineup:

CF Reed
LF Lee
1b Thomas
RF Maggs
3B Crede
SS Valentin
DH Konerko
C Olivo
2B Miles/Harris

This line-up is (a) extremely vulnerable if Reed isn't ready, Crede doesn't step, or PK doesn't return to form; (b) a double play waiting to happen; and (c) plagued by at least 3 guys, and possibly 5, whose OBP will likely be no better (or not much better) than .300 (Miles, Olivo, Valentin and possibly PK and Crede). The rotation would be pretty good (assuming Buehrle doesn't continue his slide and Loaiza is at least somewhat close to his performance in '03), but the truth is that they wouldn't be able to afford Ponson, so both Rauch and Cotts (or maybe Pachecho) would be in the rotation as well. And that would be not good.

In other words, while I think this is likely to be close to the '04 roster, it's not nearly as good as the Twins (particularly without Ponson) and they'd be lucky as hell to win 85 games. The only way for the Sox to be an AL Central contender in '04 is to: (a) raise the payroll; or (b) move some salary and then get lucky/creative by finding good players for cheap.

Pretty encouraging, no?

Would the Yankees deal Jeff Weaver straight up for Paul Konerko, so they would not have to sign Ponson? What about if the Sox throw in a prospect or even Koch?

Do the Yankees do that deal? Weaver for Konerko? Is there another taker out there for Konerko straight up, even if we get nothing in return? Is there a team similarly looking to unload a starting pitcher with a contract similar to Weaver's?

hold2dibber
11-20-2003, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by xil357
Would the Yankees deal Jeff Weaver straight up for Paul Konerko, so they would not have to sign Ponson? What about if the Sox throw in a prospect or even Koch?

Do the Yankees do that deal? Weaver for Konerko? Is there another taker out there for Konerko straight up, even if we get nothing in return? Is there a team similarly looking to unload a starting pitcher with a contract similar to Weaver's?

I would think they would but ONLY if they end up dealing Nick Johnson. Otherwise, they already have Nick Johnson and Giambi to share 1B/DH. I can't see them clogging up a roster spot with Konerko, too. If they end up dealing Johnson for starting pitching or an outfielder, than I would guess they'd do that deal (and so would I, if I were KW).

jabrch
11-21-2003, 12:51 PM
Can anyone give me one good reason why the Yanks would want to pay Konerko 9.5mm (escalated if he is traded)?

Even if they move Nick Johnson, there are plenty of DH candidates that they could get for FAR LESS MONEY than PK and not have to give up a FA in the process.

Shannon Stewart?
Juan Gonzalez?
Randall Simon?
Scott Spezio?
Eric Karros
Jose Guillen?
Raffy Palmeiro?

Geez, for 9.5mm they could go out and sign either Javy Lopez or Ivan Rodriguez and play them at a platoon at catcher with Posada.

Guys, lets face it. Konerko is not going anywhere in any deal where we are not willing to take on someone elses garbage in return. If KW is able to get a serviceable player in return for him, or even just get rid of him and not eat the 9mm salary, I'd be stunned.

Paulwny
11-21-2003, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by jabrch


Guys, lets face it. Konerko is not going anywhere in any deal where we are not willing to take on someone elses garbage in return. If KW is able to get a serviceable player in return for him, or even just get rid of him and not eat the 9mm salary, I'd be stunned.

Agree
I've been listening to talk radio this week, WFAN, out of NY.
Many yank fans want to get rid of Weaver and have mentioned possible trades, Konerko is never mentioned. The one trade mentioned a few times was Johnson and Weaver for Maggs.
A lot of people seem to think their trash has some value.

hold2dibber
11-21-2003, 01:23 PM
Originally posted by jabrch
Can anyone give me one good reason why the Yanks would want to pay Konerko 9.5mm (escalated if he is traded)?

Even if they move Nick Johnson, there are plenty of DH candidates that they could get for FAR LESS MONEY than PK and not have to give up a FA in the process.

Shannon Stewart?
Juan Gonzalez?
Randall Simon?
Scott Spezio?
Eric Karros
Jose Guillen?
Raffy Palmeiro?

Geez, for 9.5mm they could go out and sign either Javy Lopez or Ivan Rodriguez and play them at a platoon at catcher with Posada.

Guys, lets face it. Konerko is not going anywhere in any deal where we are not willing to take on someone elses garbage in return. If KW is able to get a serviceable player in return for him, or even just get rid of him and not eat the 9mm salary, I'd be stunned.

You're missing the point. No one thinks the Yankees "want" Konerko. But a lot of people think (and for good reason) that the Yankees want to get rid of Weaver. There are only two ways to get rid of Weaver, since he is owed about $16 million over the next two years: (a) Trade him for a bag of peanuts but pay vitually all of his remaining contract; or (b) Trade him for another underachiever with a big contract. Because PK's contract (in terms of dollars) is similar to Weaver's, it is feasible that the Yankees might take a flier on him to rid themselves of Weaver - just like the Cubs took a flier on Karros and Grudizazaliakvick just to rid themselves of Hundley last year. It's all about getting rid of Weaver, who they have completely lost faith in. If they think there is a chance PK will rebound (or at least a better chance of him rebounding than Weaver rebounding while in NY), they'd presumably do the deal.

hold2dibber
11-21-2003, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by Paulwny
Agree
I've been listening to talk radio this week, WFAN, out of NY.
Many yank fans want to get rid of Weaver and have mentioned possible trades, Konerko is never mentioned. The one trade mentioned a few times was Johnson and Weaver for Maggs.
A lot of people seem to think their trash has some value.

I don't think it really matters what trades Yankee fans have mentioned - that doesn't mean the trades they suggest have any basis in reality. Plus, what the hell would the Sox do with PK, Frank and Johnson on the roster?

Paulwny
11-21-2003, 01:28 PM
Originally posted by hold2dibber
It's all about getting rid of Weaver, who they have completely lost faith in. If they think there is a chance PK will rebound (or at least a better chance of him rebounding than Weaver rebounding while in NY), they'd presumably do the deal.

Not exactly, from what I've heard the top yankee brass has lost faith in Weaver but Torre and Stottlemeyer (sp) still think he'll come around.