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CG19's Offseason Plan

This is my submission for the offseason prompt. This is one of the least clear offseason's that I can remember in terms of what the plan should be. The way I see it, there's 3 routes. A trade Buxton and Rogers and prep for 2023 route, an extend Buxton and sign a star shortstop route, and an extend Buxton and drop the money on starting pitchers while signing a cheap stopgap SS route. There's a variation of that last version where you straight up don't sign a SS, put Polanco back there, and go from there, but that seems contradictory given that we put effort into our staff only to saddle them with a sketchy defense.


What Kind of Plan is This?

All 3 plans are intriguing, but I plan on going for the extend Buxton and stopgap shortstop plan. The hope is that Royce Lewis's bat develops in time for 2023 so all that is needed is a stopgap. The rotation has Duran, Balazovic, Winder, Canterino, SWR, and Sands in the upper minors so you could argue for the stopgap strat there, but the sketchy health of literally all of them except SWR and the shambles the rotation is currently in makes that the less likely 2023 prospect bet.

What Payroll Limit did you Set?

I'm going with a $135 million cap, but I haven't decided if it's worth spending up to yet.

2022 Guaranteed Contracts

Josh Donaldson — $21.75MM

Byron Buxton (new extension)- $25.7MM (deal is 7 years, $180 million)

Miguel Sanó — $10.583MM

Max Kepler — $6.75MM

Jorge Polanco — $5.0MM

Kenta Maeda — $3.125MM

Randy Dobnak — $800K

Total Payroll = ~$74MM

2022 Contract Options

Alex Colomé — $1.25MM buyout

Total Payroll= ~$75MM

Colome's bad start and second half meaningless rebound makes this hard, but I feel like we should just try a new guy and wish Colome good luck with a potential bounceback on a new team.

Arbitaration Eligible

Byron Buxton – already extended

Taylor Rogers – $6.7MM

Tyler Duffey – $3.7MM

John Gant – non-tender

Mitch Garver – $3.1MM

Luis Arraez – $2.0MM

Caleb Thielbar – $1.2MM

Willians Astudillo – non-tender

Jake Cave – non-tender

Juan Minaya – $1.1MM

Rob Refsnyder – non-tender

Danny Coulombe – $800K

Total Arb = ~$18.5MM

Total Payroll = ~$93.5MM

Free Agents

SS Andelton Simmons- 1 year, $2.5 million

SP Michael Pineda- 2 years, $18 million

UTL Willians Astudillo- MiLB1 year, $700K when promoted

SP Justin Verlander- 2 years, $30 million + 3rd year mutual option

SP Jon Gray- 3 years, $40 million

SP Andrew Heaney- 1 year, $2 million

Total Free Agent Money (2022 only): ~$41 million

Total Payroll= ~$135MM

This section is the meat of this post. I'll start with the controversial choice first, bringing back Simmons after he didn't hit last year. The thing is, his track record shows that that looks like a fluke and the defense is still there, so those factors combined with my desire to put money into the rotation led me back to him. So that's that. I also brought back Astudillo for near the minimum after non-tendering him because he's fun and I don't care. Probably a MiLB deal as the first callup, though. Time for the rotation, which I've said needs to be built from scratch. It was already bad last year, and now Berrios is in Toronto after they gave up 2 top prospects to finish 4th, Maeda is out of the picture with Tommy John, and Pineda is a free agent. The only starters currently in the organization that I'm OK with being in the opening day rotation are Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober, I'd accept Dobnak if and only if we make it clear that we're not competing. I still have hope for him, but he needs time. So with that, I threw money at 4 starters.

We'll start with Pineda. He's been nice for us for 3 years and will be reasonably priced, seems like an easy start to the rotation. The big one here is Verlander. He's 38 and coming off of Tommy John, but he's a Hall of Famer who still looked like he's going strong until Tommy John. He's risky due to that, but I'm swinging big and giving him some nice money in hopes that he recovers well. He'd be getting double my suggested contract if he hadn't had Tommy John in my opinion. Then we've got Jon Gray, who looked like a young ace, then looked like trash, and now seems to have settled in as a mid rotation starter. He's survived Coors with K/9s around 9 and good BB rates that spiked last year but are overall good, and he should be solid here for OK money. Then Andrew Heaney is the flier. I'll be real, this was basically me seeing the Giants get DeScalfani and Gausman breakouts to carry them after they were prospects who failed so long ago that they were like post post-hype sleepers. And thus, I grabbed former top prospect who turned into a number 5 starter Andrew Heaney. His numbers look like if Bailey Ober was a veteran. High K's, low BBs, and a HR rate that is barely playable. He gets his whiffs, but he gets hit hard. OK 5th starter with low percentage upside.

You may have also noticed that I took a bad bullpen, non-tendered a member and bought out another, and then signed no one. The money ran out and I forgot, my bad. Rogers is an alpha, Duffey has shown he can be, Minaya and Thielbar are acceptable, Alcala breakout SZN coming, pray for breakouts, we'll survive.

Trades

I have no major trades to make. Just because I put a team together to win here, I still believe that 2023 is the true next massive window with Royce Lewis, Austin Martin, Jordan Balazovic, and SWR arriving. I'm not messing with that for anything now, and I'm not blowing things up, so no trades are to be had here.

Lineup

C: Mitch Garver

1B: Miguel Sano

2B: Jorge Polanco

3B: Josh Donaldson

SS: Andrelton Simmons

LF: Alex Kirilloff

CF: Byron Buxton

RF: Max Kepler

DH: Trevor Larnach

C2: Ryan Jeffers

IF: Luis Arraez

IF/CF: Nick Gordon

COF: Brent Rooker

Pitching Staff

SP: Justin Verlander

SP: Jon Gray

SP: Michael Pineda

SP: Joe Ryan

SP: Andrew Heaney

RP: Taylor Rogers

RP: Tyler Duffey

RP: Caleb Thielbar

RP: Jorge Alcala

RP: Juan Minaya

RP: Ralph Garza Jr.

RP: Danny Coulombe

RP: Bailey Ober (opens year in long relief, moves to rotation after injury, innings stay down)

Total Payroll = ~$135MM

Rest of 40 Man

27: Jovani Moran

28: Ben Rortvedt

29: Gilberto Celestino

30: Jhoan Duran

31: Jordan Balazovic

32: Jose Miranda

33: Josh Winder

34: Royce Lewis

35: Cole Sands

36: Yunior Severino

37: Drew Strotman

38: Randy Dobnak

39: Griffin Jax

40: Kenta Maeda

DFAs: Devin Smeltzer, Lwis Thorpe, Cody Stashak (riskiest one), Charlie Barnes

40-Man Breakdown:

Pitchers: 22

Catchers: 3

Infielders: 9

Outfielders: 6

Summary

The rotation has guys plugged in 1-5 who all belong in those spots, although1-2 are big risks that determine how the season goes. The offense is the same as last year, and that's fine. Polanco, Garver, Buxton, and Donaldson are good, Sano was finding his good self at the end of last year, and we hope for young guys to get better as young guys tend to due. As for the bullpen, the guys all look fine individually but it could go bad. This is an issue I chose to ignore because I always undervalue the bullpen, but I really don't think it looks too awful. This team can win, and I'd be hyped for it.