Woke up in a sweat last nite. Dreamt that Jim Pohlad called and offered me the Twins GM job the day after the 2021 season ended. While I was overcome with excitement, before accepting the position, I had 3 demands:
1. I would be able to fire Rocco and his staff. Would look for a veteran, old school manager like Buck Showalter or Bruce Boche. Maybe even James Rowson or (gasp!!) Ozzie Guillen??
2. JP had to agree to resign BB to the 7 year/$80MM contract agreed on plus whatever game-played incentives Bux's agent wanted(within reason of course)
3. JP reiterated to return team to relevancy in 2022 and thus, would expand next year's payroll budget to $150MM.
We agreed on all of the above with one caveat : I had to provide him with a specific action plan for the offseason. Here's my outline:
1. Sign a potential #1 starter. First choice - Noah Syndergaard. Backup : Carlos Rodon(this add would not only likely fill our #1 spot, but also weaken our chief competitor)
2. Trade with Miami for a potential #2 starter, e.g., Sandy Alcantara or Pablo Lopez. The Marlins in desperate need for offensive help could pick 2 out of Arraez, Jeffers/Garver, Kepler, Larnach.
3. If Maeda was healthy, he would slot in as #3. If not, resign Pineda or a comparable veteran pitcher with a successful track record.
4. The #4/5 spots in the rotation would be open competition among Ober/Ryan/ Strotman/ Balozavic/ Winder/Dobnak . Two of these should be no worse than Happ/Shoe with the likelihood that one or two would at least be league average.
5. I would sign a real closer. First choice - Craig Kimbrel. He has arguably been one of the three best relievers this year with a nice bonus that his absence would weaken the Sox.
6. A second proven late-inning pen arm would be signed, mainly one of the following: Rosenthal/Hand/ Yates, If not feasible then Taylor Rogers, followed by one of Duffy/Thielbar/ Alcala, would round out the top 3. I think guys like Gant, Albers, Minaya, and Garza might do well in lower pressure situations.
7. Recognizing we have a big hole at SS, I would try to resign Simmons for less money. If he signs elsewhere, then Polanco would be shifted, with one of Arraez/Miranda/ Martin taking his place at 2B. Sorry, no money for one of the top FA SSs. Let's cross our fingers Lewis is ready in 2023.
8. Not sure yet of all my deletions from the 40 man, but I would begin with Rooker, Thorpe, Smeltzer, Cave, Colome, Gordon. My bench would include Turtle(assuming Garver or Jeffers moved) Rorvedt,, Refsnyder, Celestino and Miranda.
Assuming we've started with an $85-90MM payroll, we have added #20MM for Thor or Rodon, $10MM for Pineda of #3 veteran, approx. $10MM in extra incentives for Buxton, $15MM for Kimbrel, and $10MM for a second bullpen arm, Tight but doable thanks to the open wallet of Mr. P.
So is this plan realistic? Would this revised team be expected to compete as soon as next year? Help me out here, guys!! I'm new to all this.