My 2022 team on $195M (actually, more like $185M)

After 28,223 comments, I hereby submit my first-ever fan post: my perfect team on $195,000,000 (and, since I'm a "boomer" who has never done this before, apologies in advance if the formatting is messed up). Admittedly, the following team is not actually perfect. But I did leave myself some room to make mid-season improvements. According to my Excel spreadsheet, I’ve only spent $184,967,615 of the allotted $195 million. Without further ado, here are my moves:

1. Tender contracts to the following arbitration-eligible players (with their MLBTR salary estimates in parentheses): Hoskins ($7.8M), Alvarez ($1.8M), Dominguez ($800K) & Eflin ($6M).

2. Move Eflin to the closer’s spot to prevent wear-and-tear on his knees & also because I think his fastball-slider combo, and his excellent command, would make him a major weapon out of the bullpen.

3. Trade Mick Abel, Johan Rojas, Mickey Moniak, Dominic Pipkin & Jordi Martinez for Ketel Marte & Tommy Henry (minor league LHP). Marte has an actual 2022 salary of $8,000,000 but a tax figure of only $4,800,000. He also has team options for 2022 and 2023, at $10,000,000 and $12,000,000 respectively.

4. Sign Seiya Suzuki for 5 years, $60M (I read that he’s expecting somewhere in the $10M per year range). Yes, Japanese players carry risks that MLB free agents don’t have. But I’m reasonably confident that a guy who raked in the Japanese League will also hit in the MLB. And, unlike most MLB free agents, this guy can be signed for his prime years without having to take on his decline years.

5. I am planning around the assumption that SS is a short-term problem, as Bryson Stott should arrive around mid-season. On that assumption, I’m bringing back Freddy Galvis at 1 year, $2.2M.

6. Trade Simon Muzziotti to Pittsburgh for Chris Stratton (projected arbitration salary $2.5M).

7. Sign Andrew Chafin – 3 years, $18M. This is fairly steep for a non-closer who will turn 32 next year. And the Phillies have not had great luck with big free agent contracts to relievers. But you can only trade away so many prospects & Chafin is one of the better relievers on the free agent market. I think he’ll age well because he’s got pretty good command and isn’t too dependent on velocity.

8. Sign Andrew Heaney – 1 year, $3M. This is a leap of faith, as there’s just no reason that a guy with his high K and low BB rate should not be better than he has previously been. Nonetheless, I would not feel wedded to him & would have him on a short leash. If he doesn’t perform, he gets banished to the bullpen or waived – especially if someone else, like Hans Crouse, pitches well in spring training or at AAA.

9. Sign Brad Miller – 1 year, $3M.

10. Shore up the starting pitching depth with a few minor league signings. A.J. Cole would be a good candidate.

11. Sign Michael Lorenzen to minor league contract.

12. Although he’s not currently on the 40-man roster, I’ve penciled in Scott Kingery as the utility infielder since he can play all over the field & we’re paying him anyhow. But he’ll have to earn the job over the likes of Nick Maton, C.J. Chatham & Luke Williams.

13. I’ve penciled in Kyle Gibson as the 4th starter, since he’s on the roster & I don’t have a great sense for what equivalent FA SPs will cost. But I have a lingering feeling that we’re going to get 2019-2020 Kyle Gibson, which won’t be pretty. If we could get someone like Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke, Yusei Kikuchi, Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Matz, or Jon Gray for no more than Gibson’s $9M tax figure, I would be more than open to trading Gibson for prospects.

That leaves the 26-man roster looking as follows:

Position Player 2022 Luxury tax salary

C JT Realmuto $23,875,000

1st Rhys Hoskins $7,800,000

2nd Jean Segura $14,000,000

SS Freddy Galvis $2,200,000

3rd Alec Bohm $575,000

RF Bryce Harper $25,384,615

CF Ketel Marte $4,800,000

LF Seiyo Suzuki $12,000,000

SP-1 Zack Wheeler $23,600,000

SP-2 Ranger Suarez $575,000

SP-3 Aaron Nola $11,250,000

SP-4 Kyle Gibson $9,333,000

SP-5 Andrew Heaney $3,000,000

Bench-1 Rafael Marchan $575,000

Bench-2 Brad Miller $3,000,000

Bench-3 Didi Gregorius $14,000,000

Bench-4 Scott Kingery $4,000,000

Bench-5 Matt Vierling $575,000

RP-1 Zack Eflin (closer) $6,000,000

RP-2 Andrew Chafin $6,000,000

RP-3 Chris Stratton $2,500,000

RP-4 Jose Alvarado $1,900,000

RP-5 Seranthony Dominguez $800,000

RP-6 Conner Brogdon $575,000

RP-7 Sam Coonrod $575,000

RP-8 Bailey Falter $575,000

Opt-out Andrew McCutchen $3,000,000

Opt-out Odubel Herrera $2,500,000

TOTAL: $184,967,615

SP depth A.J. Cole, Hans Crouse, Christopher Sanchez, Tyler Phillips, Tommy Henry

RP depth Michael Lorenzen, Adonis Medina, Francisco Morales, Kyle Dohy, Damon Jones

Bench depth Adam Haseley, Nick Maton, Luke Williams, Mickey Moniak.

As I said at the beginning, I’m under no illusions that the above team is perfect. The depth is iffy, the infield defense is still sub-par (and Bryson Stott may only make it worse), & the 5th starter’s spot has the potential to be ugly. But I do think this team will hit & I think this bullpen has the potential to be very good. That, plus a return to form from Aaron Nola, should make this a competitive team & without having to take on any certain-to-go-bad contracts.