Well, it's that time again. Time for us to pontificate on whom the Front Office will go after, creating wildly unrealistic trade scenarios, and ballyhoo free agent signings the likes of Teixeira and Sabathia. None of them will pan out, but hell, it's fun to exercise our imaginations and discuss/argue/call someone an idiot for suggesting something some preposterous, so insane that only Hank Steinbrenner would come up with it.
Without further rambling and pointless dancing, my suggested moves:
We all know by now that MacPhail and Trembley want an offensive minded shortstop that isn't a liability in the field and probably using Juan Castro in the 8th or 9th as a defensive sub. We know that Orlando Cabrera, David Eckstein, Adam Everett, Rafael Furcal, Cesar Izturis, Felipe Lopez, and Edgar Renteria are available through free agency. But where's the fun in that? Nowhere!
How about this team continues on their path of finding young, cheap players and plugging them in? Which brings me to Alcides Escobar (Brewers), J.J. Hardy (Brewers), Elvis Andrus (Rangers), and Joaquin Arias (Rangers). Now, I realize for a while now people have suggested going after Escobar or Hardy - even though now, more then ever, it looks like one of the two of them will be available at or before spring training - for some kind of Daniel Cabrera, or another pitcher, trade and that's still a possibility, but now we have Elvis Andrus and Joaquin Arias that have proved they can hit and field their positions pretty darn well. With Andrus and Arias (Andrus being the more likely), the Rangers are looking for pitching and that's all. For a while now, the Brewers were clearly looking for a good package for either Hardy or Escobar, understandably so, but what the Orioles would have to give up might be too much for such players. With Andrus and Arias, we don't necessarily have that. There's a massive log jam in the infield in Texas. Michael Young and Ian Kinsler are holding down the middle infield offensively and defensively and it doesn't seem like Ron Washington is interested putting either one of the young guys at the corners as that would displace Chris Davis, Frank Catalanotto, Hank Blalock, and Travis Metcalf, and Jon Daniels has said he'll be making moves for pitchers this offseason.
Suggestion (after being long-winded) - Daniel Cabrera and a Double- or Single-A starter for Elvis Andrus. Heck, I'd go Cabrera and Penn or someone like that.
Did I mention that Jon Daniels is a doofus? Give him a pet rock and he'll trade you Teagarden.
Starting Pitching -
If this team is able to trade for a Andrus, Arias, Hardy, or Escobar that would ensure a larger-then-there-already-is hole in the rotation; unless, someone is interested in trying Burres again...thought not. So, I'm saying free agents until the young guys are ready. This means doing something similarly to what MacPhail did in '07, trading the Trashman to the Cubs for some parts. This season it'll be more like two or three veteran signings for two or three years and trading when the youth (Tillman, Arrieta, Patton, Erbe, Hernandez, Bergesen, etc) are ready to break in.
Suggestion - A.J. Burnett (yeah), Paul Byrd, and Sergio Mitre. First off, yeah, I'm suggesting Burnett. While I think Guthrie has been an incredible ace for this team, it helps to have someone else be able to pick up the slack from time-to-time. Perhaps, two guys to share anchor duty, instead of putting all that pressure on a young Guthrie. Second, Paul Bryd. Keeping in mind that I'm not all too excited about either he or Mitre, they make sense. Byrd is a groundball pitcher and a great mentor for young guys. Sure, he's not that great. Sure, he's getting old. But we don't need youth, we need a stopgap for a year or two. So, why not? Lastly, Sergio Mitre. Mitre has gradually fallen apart both mentally and physically since being traded to the Marlins for Juan Pierre. He pitched pretty well for the Cubs before the trade and started off fine before really falling off the wagon down in Florida first physically, then mentally. But here's the thing, he actually pitched quite well under Kranitz in Florida. He was locating, getting big outs, and it looked as though that trade would work out for the Marlins...until his arm nearly fell off. And really, what's he going to cost? He's one of those low risk, high reward guys that everyone talks about. Whatever.
So, that's what I'm thinking. BEGIN ARGUMENTATION AND NAME CALLING!