Finish the Roster - Trade for Reynolds and Sign Chafin or Fulmer
We're close to a contender. We still need a middle of the order bat and another quality reliever. How do we do this? Here's a radical plan. Four simple steps:
1. Trade Larnach, Ober, and either Salas or Emmanuel Rodriquez to the Pirates for Bryan Reynolds. Add in Martin or Reyes if you have to but then Pittsburg throws in a real A or A+ ball pitching or catching prospect, not filler, especially if you add in Reyes. Reynolds goes to LF every day, hits 3 in the order. The trade for Lopez and the emergence of SWR and Varland allows you to do this.
2. Sign Chafin if you can. If not, sign Fulmer. Bullpen done.
3. Trade Kepler for prospects, AA or lower and prioritize pitching or catching. Target the Yankees, Dodgers, or Cardinals as partners. They all need OFs now to better contend and have realistic hopes to contend. All 3 have decent or better systems.
4. Extend two of Mahle, Lopez, Maeda and Gray to ensure rotation stability. I vote for Lopez and Mahle if they are healthy. Also ok with Gray.
Roster is now complete. The OF is Buxton, Gallo, and Reynolds, backed up by Taylor and Gordon. Starting IF is Kirilloff, Polanco, Correa, and Miranda, backed up by Farmer and Gordon. Catchers are Vasquez and Jeffers, Find another UTL for the last spot, maybe Willi Castro to start off with, or a 3rd Catcher. Don't sign a RH 1B/DH only type; get someone versatile. This is a placeholder for Lewis or Lee. Rotation is P Lopez, Gray, Ryan, Mahle and Maeda, with Varland, SWR, Balazovic, and Dobnak in the Saints rotation. BP is Duran, J Lopez, Jax, Chafin/Fulmer, Theilbar, Pagan, Moran, and Alcala, with Coloumbe, Stashak, Sands, and Megill at AAA for fill in duty or as a replacement if someone struggles. Batting order is Polanco, Correa, Reynolds, Buxton, Kirilloff, Miranda, Gallo, Vasquez/Jeffers, Gordon (as DH).
This adds a bat for the middle of the order (albeit at a high cost), strengthens the bullpen, and still leaves us with a solid rotation with some depth. Big bet on Kirilloff but 1B could be Miranda with Farmer/Gordon/Lewis/Lee at 3B if Kirilloff doesn't hit or can't stay healthy. What do you guys think?