I am going to put on a pair of size 11 loafers and try to do what I think Gillick should do. Of course, I don't think Gillick will do any of this, but I can sure hope that he will. First, I don't like the terms buyers and sellers. Teams can be both. Look at the Nationals picking up Kearns. I don't know how successful we'd be if we tried to restock like the Marlins did. I think Gillick has to look at this in terms of buying for tomorrow, but not selling tomorrow's pieces. The question remains to what are tomorrow's pieces.
My first move is to grab Morgan Ensberg from Houston. He is still relatively cheap and provides an excellent solution at thrid base for us. This makes David Bell expendable or DFAable. I am not sure what Houston would want for him, but I'd trade any of our minor leaguers below the top 5. If I could trade Rowand for him, I'd consider that a PLUS move.
Next, I resign Bobby Abreu to an extention. Yeap, you heard it. His slugging is way down, but he is still getting on base, and I love that. I am not sure what he is looking for, but the fact that his slugging is so bad, we can obviously use that as our advantage. I tell him 3 year extention at 10 mil a year with a limited no-trade clause. That wipes out his option year but still keeps him onboard for his 16 mil year next year. While I wouldn't mind trading him for prospects, the odds of us replacing his value are slim.
Tom Gordon gets moved. No chance he will be this good next year. If he is, consider it a plus for both teams. Trade him to the highest bidder AND we don't have to worry about the remaining 12 million on his contract.
The rest of the moves are based on what we could get. Dellucci gets traded for minor leaguers. We trade Cormier, Rhodes, Lidle, Bell (if possible) and Nunez (yeah, right). If we can dump some of this salary, we can use it for next year (ok, not happening either).
The one player I'd love to trade that I am not sure can be moved is Jimmy Rollins. He is miscasted as a leadoff hitter and is paid like he is a good one. If I can find anyone to take on his entire salary, I would, but for these purposes, I keep him. I also keep Pat Burrell. He is an enigma, and I am not sure if he can live up to his contract, but we'd be getting no value back from him and a salary dump is a bad move for a player that has value.
I'd trot out this starting lineup next year.
Victorino/Rollins (it's a tossup)
That will be a fairly young and productive lineup. Abreu is the oldest player at 33. Only Howard and Ensberg are over 30.
Pitching is another story, but I think it comes around next year.
Free Agent (if we can pick someone up)
I think we are looking at what could be a pretty good team next year if we keep our good parts and trade other parts that are at the top of their value.