The free agent frenzy has now begun, and the only thing I feel is dread. Dreading a desperation signing, dreading a one year hold-over or perceived quick fix. So here is some valuable information I whispered into JP's ear and/or gleaned by peaking over his shoulder.
For 2009 and beyond, this is JP's To Do list:
- A young shortstop with a high ceiling, preferably named J.J. Hardy. Khalil Greene will do here too. There is are three years to fill before the in-house option is ready. Fill it properly. Possible cost? Brad Mills, one or both Romeros, even Adam Lind.
- A.J. Burnett to fall in love with the great city of Atlanta. It's swell there A.J. I've heard a lot of great things about the great Delta hub of the South. All the Coke you can drink! Just go A.J, they'll even let you swing the bat!
- An established arm who will eat innings on the cheap. This has great potential to end in tears, but Brad Penny will make it much easier to break in some of the kids, without the pressure of asking them to make 15-20 starts. Improbably, Carl Pavano could fit here too. Possible cost? $4-5 million guaranteed + numerous incentives. The more you pay the better it worked.
- A DH for 2+ seasons. If the Giambi rumours persist, it had better be for a very similar contract to Frank Thomas's. Not too much guaranteed money, but if he performs he'll be around for the ever-important 2010 season. Possible cost? Anything more than $12 a season here cancels out too many other possibilities. My thinking here is highly wishful.
- Humility. I think the stores in JP's neighbourhood are sold out. I bet he could get some on craigslist.
- A DH for many, many seasons. Acquire Billy Butler, giving the Blue Jays the lumpiest, rakiest dynamic duo in the league. The Royals seem to have fallen out of love with him, ideally bringing down the price. Very unlikely. Possible Cost? Mills or a Romaro with Brian Tallet for good measure? I'm likely on drugs.