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It remains a fair assumption about the 2013 Chicago Cubs that the club will not feature any big-time free agent signings. By “big-time,” of course, I mean “big money.” Instead, we expect that the Cubs will continue to pursue value signings in the Scott Baker vein, which is a fair approach given the state of the rebuild.

But, when speaking about that Scott Baker signing, Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein did leave the door open for a bigger name signing.

“We’re pursuing pitchers across the spectrum,” Epstein told the media, per Cubs.com. “[We’re looking at] some guys who might be classified as buy low, there might even be buy-high guys, some multi-year deals, some trades. We’re looking for pitchers who can step in and improve our rotation. If there are sound investments out there, whether they’re big or small, we’ll pursue them and try to sign them.”

Now, is Theo just being Theo, and covering all of his bases? Maybe. This front office isn’t one to rule anything out, so, even if it’s extremely unlikely, they probably aren’t going to say, “We absolutely are not going to sign any pitchers who require a contract longer than two years.”

It is also possible that the Cubs really will consider a “buy-high” pitcher. Who might that pitcher be? Well, in a relatively shallow free agent pool at that level, the only guys who really qualify are Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, and … Hiroki Kuroda? Kyle Lohse? Edwin Jackson? I have trouble coming up with names beyond that, and most of those guys you can rule out for a variety of reasons (I’ve written quite a bit about why I don’t think Greinke is a fit, Kuroda appears to be limiting his options to New York, Boston, and Japan, and Kyle Lohse is an older guy you wouldn’t expect the Cubs to pursue).

So that leaves guys like Anibal Sanchez and Edwin Jackson. The latter, I’d argue, based largely on his career 98 ERA+ (it’s 106 in the last four seasons, which includes his best, by far, in 2009) and his 98 ERA+ in 2012, isn’t really a “buy-high” guy. He’s probably a bit better than the middle tier (given his age and peripherals), but it’s hard to argue that he’s in the same group with Greinke, Sanchez, and Lohse (if the latter is even included). (If you go to WAR, Jackson looks a lot better, but I’m choosing not to focus on Jackson today …. )

I suppose I’m just trying to steer the conversation toward Sanchez, about whom I’ve said positive things before. Is he a one or a two? No. But he’s become a guy whose ERA+ is usually around 110, whose K/BB is usually around 3.00, and whose WAR has been around 4.00 each of the last two years. He’s also just 28, turning 29 in February.

Rumor has it Sanchez is looking for a six-year deal for $90 million or a seven-year deal for $100 million. Even if the Cubs are not expecting to be competitive in 2013, I think that former contract is one they would have to strongly consider for Sanchez.

That deal would give the Cubs Sanchez in his age 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, and 34 seasons. Is that really that long, or is 34 really that old? With the economics of the league changing every year, is $15 million per year really that much for a reliable number three with upside?

The Cubs have a dearth of pitching talent expected to be ready and available come 2014 and 2015, when the offensive core is going to be close to ready. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a pitcher like Sanchez in place when those young players are ready to compete?

Ultimately, I don’t think the Cubs are going to go all-out on Sanchez, Epstein’s quote notwithstanding. But I do hope they think about it, regardless of the plans for 2013. The final question is: would Sanchez be willing to sign with a clearly rebuilding team?

  • In Rizzo we trust

    With the money he’s making I don’t think he will mind a year or two of losing until the ship is at full speed.

  • kranzman54

    I tend to believe Theo. He has been honest since day one about rebuilding and the way they will go about their business and Cubs fans have responded really well. Those clammering for his head are in the extreme minority and even after a losing season people are behind him. Why would he start lying now? However, I would only want Sanchez of that list as well. Plus if he doesn’t pan out lets back load the contract and trade him to Toronto, eh?

  • Chad

    I agree with this. I think he’s a guy that could be the Dempster of the future. A good pitcher that is reliable and has good results but isn’t the ace. This would be a perfect deal if you could front load the contract. 6 year 20 20 20 10 10 10, that way at the end he could either be traded if the cubs have other young pitchers that are better or it leaves more money for the future investment, and the cubs have the money to do so right now.

    • jt

      I see a lot of advantages for the club to back loading a contract.
      I don’t see any advatages to front loading?

      • King Jeff

        If you sign an older guy or a guy with health problems, and you pay him a lot in the first year or two of the contract, then it makes it easier to trade them or just release them if/when they become unproductive down the road.

        • Kyle

          In theory, it’s still better to frontload, save the difference, and send that along with him in a trade later.

          • Kyle

            Edit: Still better to *backload*

          • King Jeff

            True, but what if said team has payroll issues for the next two or three years, but will have a few big contracts coming off the books after that?

            (Just to clarify, I think backloading is a terrible idea, I’m just answering jt’s question about why a team might want to take that approach)

            • King Jeff

              Okay, this makes no sense, Kyle got me crossed up with what I was talking about, blame him.

            • hansman1982

              If a team has a good accounting department and good ownership it will ALWAYS be better to backload (and doubly so with a team like the Cubs who has a finance-oriented owner). As Kyle said they save that money (or at least a large portion of it) to offset the growing contract, minus anticipated inflation.

              In a 5 yr, $100M contract if you break it out $10, 10, 20, 30, 30 – you are in theory spending $10m of year 1 money in year 4 where, barring catastrophic economic conditions, that $10M will be cheaper to spend. Add in potential interest earnings and it becomes cheaper still.

              FWIW:

              Invest the $10M at 3% (after tax return) from year 1 to year 4 = $11.26M
              Do nothing w/ $10M from year 1 to year 4 – inflation reduces the cost of that $10M (assuming 3% inflation) to $8.88M of today’s money

              Max Potential earnings – $2.37M or 5.9% per year on each backloaded dollar

              Do-nothin earnings – $1.12M or 2.79% per year

              • When the Music’s Over

                From a strict numerical standpoint, this is spot on (no one truly knows the Ricketts’s true cost of capital, but 3% seems fair enough), but from a team that has ample current payroll flexibility yet continues to message future payroll flexibility, front-loading a deal makes sense. if you want to get good players that will help you win when you are ready to compete in few years, front-loading a deal gives the Cubs that extra payroll flexibility that so desperately crave.

                Also, any competent agent will also take into account the time value of money and the additional interest that comes with it. It doesn’t have to be extreme, but let’s say someone like Sanchez wants 6/$90M. If you frontload the deal, at a 3% rate of return, you can pay him 6/$89M. Present value calcs are as follows:

                First scenario: 6/$90M, at an even $15M/year = $81.25M
                Second scenario: 6/$89M, at 19/18/16/13/12/11 = $81.17M

                I didn’t take an exhaustive approach here, but rather provided two samples of contract options that would provide Sanchez with the same total present value, yet still allow the Cubs payroll solid flexibility when they want it most (2016 and beyond).

                All that said, it seems that the Cubs current plan is highly predicated on attaining high draft picks, which would necessitate a really bad record (losing on purpose). Signing good free agents would be in direct contradiction to this plan. As usual, I must caveat that this front office is ripe for a surprise, so you never know.

      • Chad

        To me it is simple for the cubs. The cubs have money now and aren’t planning on a lot of big FA signings. In a few years they will need to extend Samardzja, Rizzo etc. They will be spending money. If you frontload while you have the money (now) thenyou have money later for those guys and other FAs. If you backload you save money now, but then you don’t have extra money later when you may want to spend on that FA or extend a younger guy.

        also, if it ever comes down to you needing to trade a guy because you have young guys that you like better and are cheaper (how great would that be) it is much easier to trade a small contract than a big one (aka Soriano). The cubs have the money right now, why would they want to stretch themselves out in the future with so many uncertainties?

        • hansman1982

          But if you are smart, you will have the non-spent money from today available (plus interest) whenever you need it in the future.

          • Sandberg

            That’s assuming they stay under the Luxury Tax threshold.

            • hansman1982

              Right now the Cubs could take on the Rays, Padres, and Marlins payroll and still be under the Luxury tax threshhold. There is 0 reason to front load the contract.

              Another point against front loading – if you decide you want to trade the player away later you are on the hook for money spent – always possible to get another team to pay for (or nearly) everything **cough Jays/Marlins cough**

              • Sandberg

                Regardless, there is a max salary before your savings now negatively affect you later. Payroll is capped. If you think you will get close in 3-4 years, there’s a legitimate reason to front load now.

                • Drew7

                  1) The earnings on money saved now, even in today’s economy, would probably be at least 4-6% conservatively. From a business standpoint, that makes a fairly large difference.

                  2) One of the biggest reasons this FO is putting such an emphasis on the farm system is because homegrown -talent = cost-control when they are competitive (a starting lineup and rotation featuring 3 Rizzo’s and 2…um… Vizcaino’s(?) makes staying under the luxury-tax threshold much less of a concern).

                  • Sandberg

                    I understand all these things, and agree that usually it’s the smart play. But to blindly follow it as the strategy that should be used every time is stupid.

                    • KyleJo

                      like

    • Nomar’s Left Glove

      Call me crazy, but I tend to see someone like Baker as more of a Dempster-type sign. I’m not sure Baker could have ever been considered a “front line” type starter, but I do believe that very early on Dempster was considered the front line of a Marlins rotation. The Cubs gave him a contract to try and come back from Tommy John surgery. All of the more recent Dempster madness aside, it was a deal that was great for the Cubs for quite a while. If Baker comes back healthy (fingers crossed), Garza is on his way back, The Shark keeps attacking, and (by some amazing act of god) the Cubs sign Sanchez, I’m not sure the Cubs have a terrible year this next year. They’ll certainly have a rotation. A World Series winner is hard to see, but I would certainly bet for a team finishing at or near .500.

  • EQ76

    I don’t see why not? I still believe this has never been and is not an “all out rebuild” as much as it’s a mild rebuild. There’s no reason why this team won’t be competitive by 2014, and if we sign Sanchez, that’s only 1 down year with basically 5 years of being competitive.

  • http://www.JayTheJoke.com Bil

    What about guys like Correia or Feldman for a couple of years?

    • CubFan Paul

      i like Feldman a lot especially if they go the route of extending both Samardzija ($30M-$60M) and Garza ($65M).

    • kranzman54

      I don’t like Feldman much. Only 4 years as a starter (3 with an ERA in the 5s including just last year) Correia has a NEGATIVE WAR in his last 3 years (crazy). I would take Correia if it were a Maholm type contract.

  • willis

    Completely agree Sanchez should be a target. There really isn’t one reason for him not to be. Lump him in as the 3 in the rotation. Garza, Shark, Sanchez, Baker, Wood. That is a pretty strong front of the rotation with two ok guys at 4 and 5.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    I don’t see us getting in a bidding war, but it seems whoever steps up and gives him 6 years will get him. Doesn’t seem he cares as much about where he goes as long as he is getting paid.

  • JR

    I am all for spending money this offseason but Sanchez on a 6 yr at 15 mill a yr clip isn’t appealing at all to me. One a true contendor he’s probably a real good 4 or an avg. 3 at best. But I guess money has got to go somewhere.

  • Marcel91

    Im of the camp that believe long term deals for pitchers are among the biggest risks in baseball, especially in a weak market. You won’t be getting surplus value from any of those “upper-tier” pitchers. emphasis on that because this class is so weak right now they are the best by default. Theo specifically said, “sound investment”. 6 yrs at almost 100mil for a #3 at best is not a sound investment and based on his body type, velocity, age I don’t expect Sanchez to hold up toward the end of that contract so your getting his good years while your not competitive and his bad ones when you are.. I can see A.J burnett, Carl Pavano, etc all over again. I’d stay away from Sanchez if he won’t budge from his current asking price. 4yrs 60-70mil we can talk. 6 years? No way. Maybe if you we’re 25 or if you we’re an established #1 or #2. /rant

  • daveyrosello

    No thanks on Sanchez, the $/value ratio is out of whack with him. Same thing with Jackson. Why pay monster $ for a roughly 100 ERA+ pitcher? Dumb. The only free agent starter worth a big contract is Greinke.

  • Rizzonkulous

    Theo also mentioned trades in his quote, who are some of the buy high or interesting candidates or interesting candidates? Obviously David Price will get mentioned but that seems a bit unrealistic at this point(put King Felix in that category as well). Lincecum maybe as a guy coming off a down year making a ton, would they take on a Cliff Lee who you could probably get for no prospects, just the financial burden? Have Lester or Buchholtz wore out there welcome in Boston. Porcello also intriques me. He seemed like he was going to be something, but has been pretty bad the past couple of years, but still only 23. Who else is potentially out there?

    • Jeremy

      If were looking at the trade route, to me some guys that fit the buy-high category would be

      Price, Shields, Hellickson, Moore, Bauer, Skaggs, Niese and King Felix

      It would take a lot to get any of those guys which I’m all for.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Love the name.

  • cubchymyst

    I like the idea of signing Sanchez, it adds a solid starter to the cubs rotations for the next 5-6 years.

  • Lou

    The Cubs should go for Marcum in a two-year deal. A lot less costly, a solid no 3 starter, and if they’re not in contention this season, he could still be flipped for prospects. I still want to see if Garza can stay healthy, regardless of whether or not the Cubs are competitive this season, since he would net us the best package of prospects in trade. When healthy, Garza’s a solid no 2 starter. Shark has the potential to be a no 1 and I would want to see how that develops this season. So, signing Sanchez doesn’t make sense. Marcum in these scenarios does though.

  • Me

    Instead of Sanchez I rather have Liriano and Shaun Marcum.

  • MikeCubs

    Not sure this qualifies as “buy high”, but what about Gavin Floyd? On one hand, he has “one bad inning-itis” a la Volstad. On the other hand he’s a much better pitcher than Volstad. If he could take 1/2 run off of his ERA and +1 WAR with a move to the NL, he could match or even beat Sanchez’ value. He is 1 year older than Sanchez and less expensive. We know he’s available, and I don’t think it would take much to get him.

  • Boots

    Seems like its a down year for pitching, meaning market demand will enable better conditions for player. I would like to see them hold off on spending this season and instead look to trades, as Theo referenced.

    So my two thoughts are who is slated to be available next off season as a free agent? And also, who they may be targeting to “step in and improve the rotation” in the trade market currently?

  • Patrick W.

    I think the thing to keep in mind is the idea that you “have to sign guys when they are available” and that’s certainly the case with Sanchez..

    A secondary note: There’s a reason MLB teams don’t front-load contracts and it has a lot to do with the available insurance policies on the contracts that are available.

  • ncsujuri

    One good aspect to going after Snachez (or someone similar) that I didn’t see mentioned in the other comments is that it would signal to other FAs in the upcoming years that the Cubs aren’t only after buy low/sell high types that are going to be dealt if they do well enough to get us more future assets. Athletes are people too and many of them want stability in their lives, so even though the Cubs FO would be telling them “Hey, we are gonna keep you around” the near term track record they would see be one of Maholm, J. Baker, S. Baker, etc.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Good point.

      • http://www.survivingthalia.com Mike Taylor

        Excellent point, especially in light of the Marlins debacle.

    • FFP

      I also hear a little bit of cagey-Theo in this quote about buy-high candidates. He will get into some bidding wars with the competition just to get them to spend more of the bullets in their payroll-guns. He is posturing a bit.
      His bids, to drive up prices, must being taken seriously.
      Of course, in most auctions you have to be ready to pull the trigger yourself; so I believe he might wind up really following through on one of these buy-high-guys. But it is cagey to remind others of that truth, show his cards a bit.

  • John

    I would much rather have Greinke for that amount of money and years. He has a much higher upside; he is striking out almost 10 per nine in the NL. I think the “anxiety disorder” thing is way overblown–it is a medical condition that he had before his Cy Young season. He sought treatment, and has had no problems since. The nice thing is that because of this old issue, he may come cheaper than a comparable talent. Greinke’s upside is the best pitcher in baseball; Sanchez is a #2 starter. Plus, Greinke is really fun to watch.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Everyone would rather have Greinke for that amount of money and years. But Greinke will be signing for much, much more.

      • John

        Yeah, you’re probably right. But I doubt the years will be much greater–CC signed for 5/122 (2012), Hamels 6/144 (2012), Cain 6/127 (2012), and Lee 5/120 (2011) and Greinke is not coming off the kinds of consistent years that these guys were. The only other pitchers to break 100 million are Hampton, Zito, Santana, and Brown. I will grant you that most of those guys were not free agents, but I doubt they left that much on the table. Lee and Sabathia (sort of) were. And Hamels was about to be. I don’t think Sanchez gets 7/100 either. No one is going to give either of them 7 years–if so, then yeah, pass. Even with the lack of impact pitching available, I doubt Greinke does any better than Hamels.

      • Todd

        Brett, how much AAV do you think Greinke will get? I ask because, while I do like Sanchez, I think he’s the type of pitcher a good team needs to produce from their farm system.

        I understand that the better value comes from signing a guy like Sanchez but let’s say the Cubs make a playoff push in 2014; who do you want going in a playoff game? Greinke or Sanchez?

        I ask this question because my fear with signing a guy like Sanchez is having a very good regular season rotation that won’t produce in the playoffs … Next thing you know, the Cubs have a similar rotation as the 07/08 teams.

        I guess I differ from many of the posters here because I think signing Sanchez is the first step toward a team we don’t want. He’s a guy that should be somewhat easily produceable from our talent scouting department, whereas Greinke (granted he will be overpaid) is not something you can count on producing from a scouting and development aspect.

        • John

          I’d worry less about the playoffs than in getting there–but you’re right, we should be able to acquire a player of Sanchez’s ability for much less money. I’d rather we spent for top tier talent, or not at all.

          • The Dude

            That’s my point. Sign either top-tier free agent’s or the Scott Baker types. I would be happier if the Cubs didn’t sign these type of pitchers. There’s three or four of them every offseason, so why waste the money? As to making the playoffs, I don’t expect it this season but the core positional talent we have makes it difficult to imagine the Cubs at least not being in the position to be a buyer during the 2014 trade deadline.

            PS I’ve changed my screen name to protect the innocent from my irrelevant posts.

            • John

              Right, I’m simply saying you build to get in the tournament. I’m all for signing Greinke, especially after looking at the available 2014 free agents.

            • JR

              I agree with this stance The Dude. If you’re going to spend big do it on elite, and not a 3 or 4 type pitcher. 6 yrs at $90 mill for Sanchez is the type of contract that cripples your franchize, even if the Cubs have the money. But 6 yrs at $135 mill for Greinke gives you a legit shot. Go big or go home (or sign the Bakers of the world). haha

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                “Go big or go home (or sign the Bakers of the world)”

                When it comes time to be competitive, if you’ve taken that approach in the years leading up to it, you will be going home. Every year.

                This is the new reality of baseball, and folks would do well to adjust to it: guys like Sanchez are worth $15 million per year, and not every team will get a Sanchez every year. Want a good number three? You gotta pay for him, and you gotta sign him when he’s available.

                The choice isn’t Sanchez or Greinke, like I’m saying I don’t *want* Greinke. I’m saying Sanchez at 6/$90M is a lot more palatable than Greinke at what I think he’s going to get – something closer to 7 or 8 years at $23/24 million per year.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Greinke get $23 million per year over seven years.

          • MichiganGoat

            I expect the Dodgers would be willing to spend that on him.

        • hansman1982

          The funny thing is Sanchez has put up a better ERA+ over the past three years than Greinke.

          • hansman1982

            The extra funny part – neither of them is that much better – 109 vs. 106

            • The Dude

              It sounds like the Sanchez is the more consistent pitcher and the better value. Each offseason’s free agent comparisons offer a different outcome and I was speaking in general terms when comparing this year’s free agent pitching options. With the FO’s track record, I have faith that their plan for sustained competitiveness won’t come to fruition with a rotation full of 2’s and 3’s. To me, it’s obvious that a top heavy rotation with two aces and a couple nice pitchers to fill out is what wins in the playoffs. Nonetheless, thanks for the info and I will remain cautiously optimistic if the Cubs sign Sanchez.

  • the jackal

    hey brett have you heard anything bout the marlins trading zambrano im sure they want to . not that wed want him just curious

    • daveyrosello

      Pretty sure Zambrano is an unrestricted FA. Also pretty sure no team in their right mind would want him. He’s finished.

  • Don

    Sign Sanchez and trade for Delgado then our rotation will be strong and set for the future.

    Garza
    Sanchez
    Smaj
    Delgado
    Baker
    Wood

    Then you could spin Baker or Garza at trade deadline.

  • BluBlud

    If Sanchez is signed for less then 15 per, and its not the Cubs, I’ll be pissed. Only justification at that point would be he took a lesser offer to play for a competitor.

  • It’s a Sad Day in Cubsville

    @ Frank…………..You are right it is a sad day in cubs land………..but I do know that the blame is no longer on Hendry…………The Blame on this team rest soley on Ricketts and Theo and Hoyer……….All 3 have been here long enough to spend some money and lock up the Stars that are here now long term………It doesn’t take that long to lock up smarza and garza and to sing some Big League Talent…….These Young guys need some veterans to lead them to the promise land

    • kranzman54

      Definition of Insanity- Repeat the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Sam had one good year which is less good years than…Soriano, Marmol, Howry, & Big Z. The mistake last management made was that they tried to sign big splashes without building a team around it (2012 Marlins). How do the Rays have continued success in a brutal division with a tiny payroll? They aren’t lucky, they built a farm system and hit their draft picks. When Theo gets this farm straight, the Cubs should be more successful long term than the Rays because they will have smart contract to go with the monster contracts we can afford to sign. He has had one year and no amount of magic is taking Soriano (a top 5 worst contract in baseball) off the books. I am excited for the longterm success.

      • Bill

        Come on, Soriano’s contract is not one of the top 5 worst contracts in baseball. Is he overpaid? Yes. However, there a many contracts that are worse in value.

        • notcubbiewubbie

          it might be the worst contract of all time the guy is a total loser. only two big time seasons he has ever had are on 100 loss teams.according to fans like you we should be working on his extension

          • Bill

            Really? That’s what you took from what I wrote? So, you would have been happier if he had a terrible year because we lost 100 games? BTW, is it his fault that the Cubs lost 100 games this year?

          • kranzman54

            Let me clarify, I am not saying of all time. However, I am interested what 5 contracts you can honestly say are worse (over the life of the deal not backloaded contracts that got major production up front) than the deal Soriano’s has been…
            Soriano had a nice first year (WAR of 4.1) of his 8 year deal. In the next 4 years his CUMILITIVE WAR is 0.4. Last year it is 1.8 (he had a nice year last year not worth the money he makes, but nice). Over 6 years his WAR is now at 6.3 (again 4.1 coming in one year) meaning he is giving us about 1 more win above replacement per year.

  • MichCubFan

    If you look at what Theo and Hoyer are doing, they are keeping a totally open mind with any player move while keeping the future in mind. We assume they aren’t going to sign any big name free agents or make any huge trades. But if the right situation comes along we might just jump on it.

  • Eric

    This is something I’m hoping for. Plz Plz Sanchez. The one thing the Cubs do have is money. Hear me out. For example lets say they sign Sanchez 6/90. And at the trade deadline say they have a taker for Garza with an outstanding package of 3 prospects. You have essentially replaced Garza with Sanchez at #2 SP. So you don’t lose (most of Garza’s production). Cubs have essentially “bought” 3 high ranked prospects. This is one way to buy prospects without losing production.

  • Curt

    Brett I totally value yr opinions n thoughts but how can greinke possibly get that much he’s a good pitcher but I don’t think he’s great by any means. who’s going to pay ghost the dodgers, rangers, and myb the Yankees and I don’t think he’d fit in with the yankees

    • JB88

      That’s the beauty of supply and demand. No. 1 or 2 pitchers are a very rare commodity. Hamels got a sweet deal for not being on the open market. Grienke will be able to exploit that to an even better deal. If it ends up an Angels and Dodgers bidding war, that number could easily end up near 200M.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      how can greinke possibly get that much he’s a good pitcher but I don’t think he’s great by any means

      Not Brett (obviously), but the issue for any free agent is not so much how good he is relative to the rest of MLB, but how good he is relative to the other free agents of his type (here, starting pitchers), and what the demand is for that position (here, extremely high). Greinke is probably the best available free agent, and several teams with deep pockets badly, badly need another good starter.

      The other thing to remember with starters is that a FA is not replacing your #1 starter: he’s replacing your #5 starter. So, you have to ask yourself: how many more wins is Greinke than my #5 starter? (This is where WAR is valuable: even good teams usually run out a replacement pitcher in their 5th slot.) How much are those wins worth to my team?

      By the same token, look at the 3rd base market. An average MLB 3rd baseman could probably command a seemingly absurd contract this winter because this hypothetical 3rd baseman would be much, much better than anything available on the free agent market. He would add 2-3 wins on several teams, as their is a real paucity of good 3Bmen in MLB. And he would get more than a good CFer because the market has multiple above-average CFers and fewer teams are desperate for one.

    • David

      Brett I totally value yr opinions n thoughts but how can greinke possibly get that much he’s a good pitcher but I don’t think he’s great by any means. who’s going to pay ghost the dodgers, rangers, and myb the Yankees and I don’t think he’d fit in with the yankees

      Greinke is definitely great.

    • Rizzo 44

      It wont be the Yankees for sure. The Dodgers or the Angels would be the logical choices, but the Rangers could be in the mix as well. I would love to have Greinke 23MX6 (138M) and Hamilton 25MX5 with 2 Club option years (175M) but Theo wont do it. You trade Barney and Soriano (25M) to the Braves for Delgado and Uggla (13MX3) per year salary. Then you trade Garza, Vitters, BJax, Szczur, and Lake for David Wright (if the Mets cant sign him) or the Pads for Chase Headley. You mix and match. These deals wouldn’t kill the farm team. And we still have the second pick in this years draft. Sign Angel Pagan to a 3 year deal for 30M.
      You then have a line up of
      CF Pagan S
      RF DeJesus L
      1B Rizzo L
      LF Hamilton L
      3B Wright/Headley R/S if you dont make a trade you have Stewart/Valbuena L
      2B Uggla R
      SS Castro R
      C Castillo/Navarro R/S

      SP Grenkie
      SP Shark
      SP Delgado
      SP Baker
      SP Wood
      SP Liriano

      • Rizzo 44

        This team would still be young and have Vets mixed in. I know most people on here will say these would be bad deals or bad trades. Thats fine I have my opinion and you can have yours.

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