I just realized that Marwin Gonzalez is still a FA, which totally caught be by surprise. Man he really fits this roster well. He gives us back that flexibility that we're starting to lose with Zobrist getting older and Baez hopefully being tasked more with regular everyday shortstop duties. And he lets us banish Russell to the Phantom Zone.
I understand that he's probably not an option if we're going after Bryce, but if we're not then what the hell? A "we're poor" offseason is really not that hard to pull off:
- Use prospects to send Chatwood and Duensing away.
Cut Russell. Boom, there's $18m to play with
- Sign Gonzalez to something approximating the Ben Zobrist contract
- Use whatever money you still have available on relief help. Will Smith would be my ideal, and would you look at that him plus Gonzalez is almost exactlt that $18m we just saved
This is the team
2b - Gonzalez
1b - Rizzo
SS - Baez
3b - Bryant
LF - Schwarber
C - Contreras
RF - Heyward
CF - Happ
BN - Zobrist, Almora, Descalso, Caratini
SP - Yu, Cole, Kyle, Q, Jon
RP - Morrow, Smith, Strop, Cishek, Carl, Monty, Kintzler, Iowa Shuttle
That team is awesome. It's not the majestic dong party that Bryce would lead to, but it's really strong from top to bottom, with plenty of depth to handle a few injuries or disappointments (Looking at at you Happ and Almora). This is what causes me to think we're still trying for Bryce. There's a good argument that waiting out the relief market is the smart way to augment the bullpen on a budget. But the rest of the market? If we're not players in the Bryce sweepstakes, what is the incentive to not go ahead and finish building the rest of the team? Unless time doesn't matter because our offseason is going to be literally just Descalso and some $4m reliever? Which....man that's a dark offseason.