With only one or two baseball games left this year, the offseason is almost officially upon us. Within a few days of the World Series ending, teams will have to make decisions about whether or not to tender arbitration offers to eligible players and whether or not to pick up club options on various players. From there free agency will begin, trades will be made, and rosters will be reshaped.
If you're like a lot of baseball fans, you're pretty sure you could do a reasonable job of navigating the offseason, and here is your chance to prove it. Below you'll find a template of the decisions to be made, which can be copy-and-pasted into a new FanPost. Then you can go through and delete the bits that need deleting, and fill in the blanks with your moves/ideas. We'll choose some of those FanPosts to run on the front page and share via Twitter and Facebook, so that the huddled masses can weight in on your plan.
Cot's Baseball Contracts has a helpful page with the Indians' current payroll obligations for 2015 (and beyond). It is your friend. The Tribe has had a roster budget of $80-85 million the last couple years. Inflation exists, so feel free to bump things little higher than that, but you should plan to keep things in the $80Ms. (don't forget to factor in that players who are not yet eligible for arbitration will each make ~$500K next year.)
[Insert your username]'s Offseason Plan
Arbitration-eligible (with projected salaries from MLBTR):
(Write "tender" or "non-tender" after each of the following names)
- Marc Rzepczynski (LHP): $1.9M
- Josh Tomlin (RHP): $1.7M
- Carlos Carrasco (RHP): $1.4M
- Chris Gimenez (C): $700K
- Bryan Shaw (RHP): $1.5M
- Lonnie Chisenhall (3B): $2.2M
Feel free to explain if/why any of these guys were particularly tough decisions for you.
Contract options (pick up or buy out):
- Mike Aviles (UTL): $3.5M for 2015 or $250,000 buyout
Peruse the list of potential free agents and identify at least a couple player you would pursue, along with the maximum offer you would extend to each of them, and a brief explanation of what you like about the/what role you see them filling for the Tribe. For example:
Feel free to propose any potential trades that you think sound reasonable for both sides, and the rationale behind them. If you've got a realistic hypothetical that includes the Indians picking up Mike Trout, I'm all ears, but be sure to do your best to keep things plausible here.
The 25-man roster and a Summary:
Here's is the Tribe's current roster. Not all of those guys will be with the organization come 2015, much less on the active roster. Feel free to list your projected Opening Day 25-man roster, maybe even with a handy depth chart:
Don't feel obligated to run through the entire roster though; key moves are the main purpose of this, and if you don't have a great handle on which 7 or 8 guys would fill out the bullpen, or who the final guy on the bench should be, that's okay.
A little commentary on why you think your moves are wise would be appreciated. Are you building a contender for 2015, or focusing more a little further down the road?
If you've got any questions, feel free to ask away in the comments. Remember not to post your offseason plan in the comments though; create a FanPost instead. This will hopefully generate some interesting ideas and fun conversations, which is really what it's all about.