The Pirates have finally cemented a structure in the front office, having officially hired Ben Cherington as general manager. While the club still needs to settle on a field manager, it can also turn towards restructuring a roster that endured a disastrous second half in 2019, both on the field and off. Cherington and owner Bob Nutting met with Pittsburgh media today (including Rob Biertempfel of the Athletic) to discuss the organizational outlook. As expected, changes figure to be in the works.
No player on the roster is off limits in trade, Nutting indicated. He’ll instead give Cherington free rein in player movement. As Biertempfel notes, that figures to be most relevant for the respective futures of Starling Marté, Keone Kela, and Josh Bell, all of whom are productive enough to catch other teams’ attention but are three or fewer years from free agency.
Marté and Kela, especially, figure to be bandied about the rumor mill in the coming months. The Pirates weren’t believed to be shopping Marté when the offseason began, but that always seemed likely to change and the club has since installed Cherington in place of former GM Neal Huntington. Kela, meanwhile, was seemingly part of the club’s fraught clubhouse that boiled over at season’s end. That said, he remains an extremely talented reliever (2.12 ERA in 32 appearances in 2019), so he figures to draw interest elsewhere.
A Bell trade, while perhaps not as likely, would certainly shake up the first base/DH market. The 27-year-old had a disappointing second half, but his full-season .277/.367/.569 slash line (135 wRC+) remained stellar. Neither scouts nor defensive metrics have ever loved Bell as a first baseman, but he certainly looks the part of a middle-of-the-order masher. Speculatively speaking, the Blue Jays, Rays, Red Sox, Twins, and Nationals are among the dozen or so teams who would make sense as Bell suitors. After all, he comes with three seasons of team control and is only projected for a $5.9MM arbitration salary, so he could appeal to organizations in various markets and at different stages of the competitive cycle.
Does that mean the Pirates are destined for a full rebuild? The owner did let on that a change in the organization’s outlook may be necessary. “Shooting to be an 81- or 82-win team year after year is not going to be acceptable,” Nutting told reporters, including Biertempfel. “At the same time, 69 wins is never going to be acceptable. I don’t subscribe to (the notion that) a couple of 69’s leads to a winning team.”
There’s a bit of mixed messaging there, but Nutting’s disavowal of consistently fielding average to slightly above-average rosters and hoping things break right is noteworthy. Pittsburgh has, in the past, done just that, eschewing a full rebuild in hopes of remaining on the fringes of the race each year. That served the organization well from 2013-2015, when they ripped off three consecutive Wild Card berths. It has been much less effective in the four seasons since.
No one in the organization fully committed to a teardown, it’s worth noting. As would be expected, Cherington indicated a desire to get acclimated to his personnel before making any decisions. Among those aids will be assistant GM Kevan Graves, who will return in that position, per Biertempfel. Graves served as interim GM after Huntington’s firing and was in the running for the permanent position. Nevertheless, he’ll remain on hand in his previous role, unlike Kyle Stark, who was let go from his AGM job over the weekend.
With the front office turnover now complete, the Pirates’ on-field product will start to take shape. There are many ways this offseason can go, as MLBTR’s Steve Adams noted in his Offseason Outlook, and it now seems that everything is on the table. The organization could be in for a drastic reshuffling in the coming months.
It’s time for a soft rebuild for now. Trade Marte for a top 100 prospect and a mid-tier guy. Let the young guys develop, and try again for 2021. But if by the end of 2020, it doesn’t look much better, trade Bell for a haul.
This team is not close to contending. They need way too much. Multiple holes in the rotation and bullpen, catcher, 3B. Waiting for 2021 only lessens the return on Bell.
Hard rebuild now. Keep Reynolds and Newman and maybe Keller. Everyone is available.
3B will eventually be taken over by Ke’Bryan Hayes. If the Pirates were to trade Marte, I would hope to get back a catching prospect. If we don’t, Jacob Stallings was a very good defender in 2019, and hopefully Diaz’s bat is revived. Plus, I would add Keller’s name to the short list of names not avaiable. I’m ok with trading Marte now, but I would wait on some other names like Joe Musgrove and Trevor Williams to see if they can rebuild their value after 2019. After all, Musgrove was a very solid pitcher in ’18, and Williams was very good.
they have three primary holes.
Catcher, A better defensive catcher would do some good for the current starters. We saw this when Cervelli was healthy with Trevor and Joe did quite a bit better. Along with a new pitching coach, while probably not a top rotation in the league.. better.
Along those lines a quality mid rotation starter to fill in the hole Taillon left and to take archers spot next year.
A semi-power bat at third with average defense.. even a bit below average would be an upgrade.
Make a push for 2020, if they can fill those holes. If they cannot fill those holes… then trade marte and kela, and if you can find any interest, Archer and Polanco for hear mlb ready prospects to make a run in 2020.
If they can fill those holes and it doesn’t work… they have more to trade to actually get some decent prospects cause face it. outside of Reynolds and Newman.. they don’t have much to bring in a lot of talent.
Inciarte, Wright, and Trey Harris for Marte? That is the #35 ranked prospect along with an outfielder that is flying up the boards. Harris has just been overshadowed by Pache and Waters.
Inciarte is owed 7 mil in 2020 and 8 mil in 2021. He also carries an option for 2022 at 9 mil. He could possibly be someone that the Pirates can then flip at some point for another prospect or 2 due to his salary. Especially if his defense returns in 2020 to the elite caliber it has been.
Vandals Took The Handles
Some of you Braves fans want your team to become ‘Cubs II – The Sequel’.
If you persist in wishing to trade multiple quality prospects, most of whom within 2 years will be outperforming the veterans you’re trading them for, while playing for far less money as they continue to get better while your payroll crippling veterans are deteriorating – then wait until you’ve made it to at least one WS before throwing 4-5 years of a rebuild away.
I’m not looking to trade the entire farm system. The Braves could make this move and still keep their 3 top prospects in Pache, Waters, and Anderson.
Marte gives them a very good stop gap so they don’t have to rush either Pache or Waters. Marte could still be traded after 2020 if both Waters and Pache prove they are 100% ready for the mlb level.
Marte also gives them a RH bat to hit 4th behind Freeman, as well as still leave money to sign a starter or 2 as well as Moustakas for 3rd.
Contreras and Wright for Marte.
Brave in nebraska
Ahahahaha your funny. We should be friends.
Maybe under the last GM, but BC will know he has arguably the top CF up on the market not to mention the multiple years of control and very team friendly contract. There will be others such as the Dodgers who have catchers that the pirates need to compete. IMHO, #4/#8 in your top 30 don’t get it done.
I completely disagree with the Pirates owner. “A couple 69s” are always good. No matter who you are.
dynasty in boston
Was wondering who and when line was breached. Beat me to it, hahaha
Josh bell would mash at Rogers center. We could use Marte too.
So what’s the package look like?
I know Tellez isnt much. But he would need to go. Teoscar too.
How much of the farm do we need to add?
A ton of you want both because the 2 you mentioned aren’t going to make a dent in the trade.
I wasnt suggesting those 2 highlight a package in any way. They would just need to be moved for roster and position reasons, plus PIT needs people to replace Bell and Marte to play while being fiscally responsible.
Even if we gave you our top 5 prospects, we still need to dump Tellez and likely Teoscar (grichuk isnt going anywhere and Fisher wouldn’t be moved for appearance sake) in separate moves
If Pittsburgh packaged the 2 together, how many of our top 10 prospects are included? Are our top 10 enough?
That’s what I’m curious about
Vandals Took The Handles
No. Your top 10 prospects for 2 above average Pirate players are not enough.
You’ll have to throw in either Vlad or Bichette…..maybe some International bonus pool money as well.
Have Mark or Ross give me a call.
Leave the poor chap alone, Vandy. The poor guy came in here asking a question without any ego.
It’d take a bunch, Turner. In my humble opinion the Jays should not be emptying out the farm for Josh Bell and Starling Marte. Truthfully it would likely take Pearson, Groshans, SWR + to make it happen.
Woops. I meant to type Pearson is untouchable.
But i’d gather it would take package with Groshans, SWR +. That would not be the move I believe the Jays should be contemplating in 2020.
Groshans wont have a spot with Biggio and Bichette playing up the middle, he’s our #2 prospect. I think that hes expendable
6 of our top 7 prospects are pitchers. SWR being #7
If we had to give up a pitching prospect at least hes still years away
I agree Pearson is untouchable at the moment unless its bringing back an equally young controllable pitcher
I understand both wouldn’t net Bell and Marte. But either one individually should be a decent package for Pittsburgh.
I’d lean more towards Marte as our OF is terrible right now. Hes a huge improvement
Considering both would be at the top of their respective markets, have at least 3 years of control, and are productive, a lot of the farm. To be honest it makes no sense on the Pirates part to package them together, piece them out to net more prospects. If Marte is available, he’s the number one Center Fielder on the market and that has lots of value and will drive a bidding war, same with Bell who can be marketed as a 1B RF or DH.
RF? He’s only played 108 innings there and was terrible. His work in RF makes his work at 1B look GG caliber even though he’s really bad there.
He came up as a right fielder until the pirates moved him to 1B to accommodate the outfield of Polanco/Marte/McCutchen.
Pirates have some good young talent, but the ownership just doesn’t care about winning. I remember when pirates and Orioles were class of MLB
Hope the Bucs turn it around quick.
I am a Pirates forever! I like a Jays trade
Who do you like included in a trade from the Jays?
Vandals Took The Handles
Mr. Cherington is a sharp guy with real world experience and the scars to prove it.
MLB is turning back to what it was previous to the Moneyball revolution – about scouting first – making intelligent drafts and acquisitions, then developing a nice percentage of the players brought in. The difference between the large and small markets is that 1) large markets can write off their major mistakes, small markets suffer for theirs; and 2) small markets have to move faster – constantly having a pipeline of quality youngsters that can learn coming in to replace quality players that are no longer affordable (this will be made even worse if players are granted free agency in 4 or 5 years instead of 6 – in fact, that may well reward small market teams more if they’re nimble, while locking large market teams into even more bad contracts then they’re carrying today….and where there’s a bad contract, the guy has to play).
The 3 players mentioned in the article will be gone by the trading deadline, 2021 at the latest. Probably sooner due to the new CBA negotiations. Mr..Cherington’s big moves his first 2 years will not be in player transactions, they’ll be in building a scouting and development structure in Pittsburgh, which from the outside looks well below average. But that can be a positive for Pirate fans, as the additional ML openings allow the Pirates to go after some very talented scouts and coaches that currently are stuck behind some people in other organizations. The Pirates behind-the-scenes should be very interesting to follow. Someone’s going to write a great book – which will be a big seller if they become legitimate contenders.
“I want a World Series trophy but I want my bloodsucking profits too.” – Bob Nutting
..says ALL owners.
Next time, think before you type. Your comment was worthless.
A couple of 69s would be very much appreciated over here, thanks.
Says the guy named Nutting lol
ny metropolitans are right now hot to acquire a CF
Marte will go there.
Don’t discount the Dodgers. Could compete with Atlanta for him.
I for see a rebuild coming the Pirates way based off this information. If their intention is to stop middling, it seems apparent they will be trading Marte and Kela this offseason at the least, given that the pitching and catching FA acquisitions needed to pull them out of middling status are not within the payroll predictions.. If they are not able to build a contending team by FA purchases alone then they must also trade some of their assets. The lack of trade pieces outside of current starters Marte, Kela and Bell means they will have to also replace those positions on the roster pointing to atleast a soft rebuild. This would put the Pirates at the earliest contention point being 2022 outside of Marte and Kela’s contract with the team. As for Bell whether he is traded or extended depends on when they see their contention window and if they believe he will increase or decrease his value with his performance in 2020.
its to bad the red sox farm system is in shambles of much ‘ready now’ talent, i wouldnt mind having bell as our first basemen esp if he hits for high power, we just simply dont have the prospects to send to the pirates, maybe it can be a pure money transaction? I dont know very much about him, i dont get the pirates games, but he would be an upgrade from mitch moreland whos most likely gone.
Sorry Amanda, no way the Red Sox can get him with the season he just had. They just don’t have the prospects to get anything done really
Bell will not be going anywhere for just money.
1.Marte to the Padres for Gore & Wil Myers with Pitt eating all of Myers contract
2. Bell & Kela to the Dodgers for Ruiz, Lux & Joc
3. Keep Archer & let him build up his value until the deadline
4. Sign a few low cost bounce back SP & RP with the hopes of moving them at the deadline.
1 Gore is untouchable, and I doubt the Pirates take on an extra 45 million w/out Gore but they have many prospects Marte and Kela could bring back.
2 Lux is untouchable and Dodgers don’t need a 1B and there is no DH in NL but I would trade them Marte and Kela if it was headlined by Ruiz,, I would even consider taking Joc if it brought back Ruiz. Bell would be better off traded to the Blue Jays or Rangers.
3 I agree about Archer
4 Maybe 1 SP but I think we should give the youngsters the needed reps at the majors if we are not contending next year.
I don’t know how untouchable Lux is if they are talkin bout trading for Lindor or signing Rendon.
If they sign Rendon & Turner moves to 2B then in order to get a 30 HR guy in Bell & a quality RP in Kela then I believe Lux can be moved.
I really believe he would already be a Pirate if Hunington didn’t get greedy and demanded more for Vazquez at the deadline last year. I think Dodgers woulda did Lux for Vazquez straight up.
I don’t. I truly believe that’s the exact reason why Vasquez wasn’t traded, because Lux’s name was a sticking point. Either way none of that makes any sense. The Dodgers have zero need for Bell. They have Muncy who quite frankly is a significantly better all around player. Plus acquiring a problematic Kela is exactly the opposite MO of this FO. If the Dodgers signed Rendon, Turner would transition to 1st and Muncy to 2nd. Lux would get more seasoning at AAA, and be introduced to the OF (a thought that was looking more and more like the path last ST) pretty easy and painless.
I’m a Pirates fan and I realize Gore isn’t on the table in a Marte trade probably even with eating Myers’ contract. That being said I’ve thought for awhile now that the Pirates should take a bad short term contract back in a Marte trade to up the prospect/talent return coming back to Pittsburgh. Myers, Fowler, Cespedes, Ellsbury, Cueto, Samardzija and maybe even Pujols should all be potential 2020 Pirates.
Absolutely no chance of getting Lux and Ruiz from the Dodgers. Even for Bell, Marte, Kela and a couple prospects going to LA.
Keeping Archer is the right move, no need to sell low when there’s plenty of comparable starters available in free agency.
Ruiz is not untouchable, the Dodgers have Will Smith and Barnes while they may possibly sign Grandal.. Odds are they add a veteran instead of relying on Smith & Ruiz. It may be worth it to them to trade from a position of depth and let go of Ruiz for Marte and Kela in some fashion. Marte and Kela both improve areas of need for the Dodgers as well and allow them to spend money to address other areas of need.
If the pirates are going to eat myers contract.. then might as well make a push in 2020. Pirates can just about fill the needed holes to make a run at the post season by spending 20-30m in salary… and if not trade the signed players at the dead line and get more quality (but not top) prospects.
dodgers don’t need a DH.
Archer probably won’t get much better with out a better catcher.. though a new pitching coach probably will help a bit. worth a shot to keep him around until the deadline but if someone calls about him… you listen.
low cost bounce back candidates on 1 year deals don’t bring much in, but they’ll probably do this regardless if they’re making a run or not.
Kela has about 0 trade value really, not going to get anything major for him, and Lux and Joc are BOTH better than Bell. Why would the Dodgers make that trade?
Pirates should look to eat some contracts in order to aquire a top prospect.
I wonder if a package of Marte and Kela would be enough for the Dodgers to trade Kiebert Ruiz & LHP John Rooney?
Probably not a package the Dodgers are looking for quite honestly. Their need to fill obviously start with a RH bat, but Marte is redundant to use their strengths without filling their actual needs for 19/near future. Im not sure I see the flipping of Pollock either. The fact of the matter is the Dodgers have 3 guys that can man CF along with a deep mix of OF Depth. And while Marte is a top tier hitting CF, I wouldn’t put him in the elite hitter category in comparison. Add that together with the fact that the Dodgers don’t value OFs much the same, I don’t think Marte is on their radar the way he might have been last offseason. Kela is also the type of guy the Dodgers shy away from. It’s hard to see a major trade matchup between the two.
That is the same way I see it TBH but given Dodgers have the most depth at catcher at the farm level and Will Smith appears legit they may move a piece from that depth. Whether it is to the Pirates for Marte IDK but don’t act like he was not better than everyone in the Dodgers OF last year besides Bellinger. Marte would improve their OF and they seem to want to move Joc making Marte not so redundant. Marte would replace Joc’s power w/ better batting and fielding and they also need BP help. Kela and his attitude probably won’t fit into the Dodgers plans but Crick or Richard Rodriquez might. The Dodgers seem to need improvements and Marte would add that while the Pirates get a MLB ready catching prospect to mold and a take a flyer on a LHPing prospect. That seems like a decent matchup to me. If need maybe Pederson can go to the Pirates in some sort of trade w/ Marte.
There’s some validity in what you are saying. He’d would have be the 2nd best performing OF by numbers. At the same time we know the Dodgers don’t value OFs the same. So in discussion of Marte he’s a super valuable piece and probably the most coveted CF on the market, because the market is short on all around CF that above league average hitters. The Dodgers had 2 players on their roster that were above average on both sides. If we’re being honest Verdugo’s rookie season didn’t really look very different than a majority of Marte’s. So then you get into a discussion of whether you think the pure hitter in Verdugo will eventually be able to open it up to close the gap and provide what Marte provides, which really with age isn’t that significant of a gap. I think Marte holds a bit of advantage in the pop category.
What that means to me is that’s 3 OFs that are going to see a majority of ABs even if Pederson is traded. Then you discuss relievers and RH they are pretty deep when you add in Maeda addition to the playoff mix along with May and Gonsolin.
That’s short of saying the Dodgers don’t really need more OFs and if they do finding a corner guy at the deadline is pretty inexpensive and easy. Their needs as of this moment boils down to the hot corner, as their isn’t really anything close
So really if they are going to trade Ruiz for anything it’s going to involve a TOR SP or a guy to man the hot corner, as there is nothing close in house. That’s why I don’t view them as viable trade partners for an acquisition now that Vasquez is well you know.
Now hopefully that doesn’t get misconstrued as me saying Marte sucks and wouldn’t help the Dodgers I just think the Dodgers willingness to trade a guy like Ruiz + is an absolute impact upgrade at a position of need, or future need.
I can see that and your point is valid but they can also sign FA upgrades at SP and the hot corner where as Marte is the best upgrade available in the OF via either option. Then turn to the trade market and then you see no feasible TOR SP or hot corner targets that offer the improvement that Marte does available via trade either. It makes sense for the Dodgers to pick up their TOR SP and hot corner acquisitions from FA. They do not need Marte but it makes sense for them to trade from a position of depth to acquire every advantage they can to help them win it all. Just out of curiousity who would you trade for that would be a feasible option for an upgrade to the team more than Marte would?
I also am a little confused on the statement about how the Dodgers view their OFs value given they signed Pollack to a 15mil/yr contract. That seems to me that would make Marte undervalued in that roster. However they do have 3 OFers but the question remains whether or not they feel an OF upgrade is worth it to trade Ruiz who appears redundant. Seems to me like a worth while risk IMO rather than hoping Verdugo or Beaty improves to that point. I still think it is doable especially if the Pirates take back Joc in trade and then it only cost then 3 mil more and Ruiz for Marte.
Reality is OF is packed which really is an annual theme with some sort of inf or near infield vacancy needing filled. It centers around the FOs probable preference to preserve Turner’s bat attempting to keep him healthier. Pollock has the job until the TDL, or until he is inevitably usurped by some newly created OF like Lux following injury, unless traded. The clear and concise answer, if they had any intention of OF upgrades would simply be Betts. IMO teams with a greater CF need would outbid the Dodgers.
A side note; there’s been an unwillingness to outbid offers for similar offensive profiled OFs in the past, especially those coming off a cumulative career year. As to what they find on the trade market, creating versatility opened the possibilities, in which it doesn’t have to necessarily be a one to one positional comparison. An elite guy that fits their identity to drop in the middle of the lineup. Whether they plan to pursue Betts,Lindor, or Rendon, I think it’s clear it going to be an elite type guy, or as I think will happen they hold their pieces waiting to obtain one come the TDL. I would argue using their best semi available trade piece would coincide with obtaining a player that lines up better than what would be considered their potentially 4/5th best hitter. Marte is a really good player, which I thought they could target last offseason, because he was a good fit for the construction of that roster. That said the need doesn’t exist anymore, but different ones do. They like to save their bullets come TDL Right, wrong, or indifferent. I just don’t see a major trade match here knowing how this FO operates and what they are looking for.
Yeah I don’t see them outbidding other teams for Betts either. If the Dodgers get someone for 3B and a TOR SP from free agentcy they will not need Marte either. If you look at their lineup it is pretty well stacked making Marte a luxury. It still would make sense for them to target Marte though especially if they are serious about moving Joc. The Dodgers have Will Smith and Diego Cartaya who is just as promising as Ruiz and is only 3 years away. To me having Marte in the OF gives the Dodgers a way better chance of winning it all in the next 2 years than keeping Ruiz or waiting for the TDL hoping a better upgrade is available. It also makes sense to try and get Marte now considering most TDL acquisitions costs more than off season trades.. I understand how the FO operates as well and it has not won them a World Series so hopefully they go for it instead of playing it safe with prospects.
It would be stupid to not do a rebuild. You’re bringing in all new personnel and it’s time for this small-market club to call it quits. Trade Marte the market is perfect for it, either extend or hold on to Bell. He could make for a better in-season trade chip than offseason. Trade Kela for what you can and that’s really all the choices they have to start with
Gotta trade Bell this offseason. His years of control bring value that could decrease over the next couple years. I think this is his highest point of value the Pirates will see.
I don’t see the return from the Blue Jays or Rangers that fit.
Wish we could undo that stupid Chris archer trade
a couple of 69s …lolololol… Just had to laugh at that…
in my experience 69 does lead to a win
It’s hard to win or hard to rebuild when your best player is in Westmoreland County Prison.
Name a person who’d turn down a 69?
Pirates might want to consider a Josh Bell trade while his value is high.
Phillies would love Marte in CF every day. Phils have some youngsters to offer. Also, Maikel Franco would be an upgrade at 3B for the Pirates.
JMHO, but as soon as Franco gets out of Philly and puts all that launch angle nonsense the Phillies teach their hitters behind him, he’s gonna explode into a 30 HR 100 RBI guy. Plus he plays a pretty good 3B, too.
Pirates top prospect is a 3B why would they want Franco. Hayes is knocking on the door just let him & Moran fight it out in the spring. Definitely a rebuild season Franco is useless on the Bucs.
Bell’s trade market is pretty much AL only as a DH and a backup 1st and RF. And eye balling the market… it is slim which makes the return fairly low for a bat of his caliber… but his contract *might* make a contender listen but probably not enough to give up big name prospects.
Frazier, was a gold glove candidate at second that can hit decently. but won’t bring in more than a fringy top 100 or lower top 100 and some change.
The only thing we got in the OF to trade is Marte he likely will get a top 50-100 and some change.
Kela won’t bring in much at all, couple B types if that.
If they can get someone to listen on Archer or Polanco then go for it regardless of a full rebuild or not.
Since the return is likely pretty low on these players… I would make an attempt at competing this year sign some mid-range free agents or trade marte for a player to fill a hole and move Reynolds to center and sign a left fielder that sort of thing. If then it doesn’t work by the break then make the trades. The current player trade value won’t decrease much baring injury and you have new players you picked up to trade and bring in even more talent and push for ’21/’22.
Course one thing that would blow it out of the water is if someone comes in with a pretty high offer on one of these guys… then you take it.
Who do you see them picking up off free agency that pulls them out of a middling status? Nutting will not ace[pt middling anymore so if FA acquisitions don’t make us a contender which I don’t see them spending on players that will put us in contention the Pirates are going to be looking to trade all of their assets that won’t be around for their next rebuild. I also disagree about the value you see in Bell and Marte given they are the best options available either through trade or FA that is available to the other 30 teams. If a team wants their services they will have to compete w./ other teams & pony up some value. I am not sure Bell will be moved because of his current value to the team based on what is offered but there is a good chance Marte and Kela will provide the team with quality pieces.
Perfect oppurtunity for the rangers, sign rendon, and then trade josh jung and a few others for josh bell. That would fill the void at first and third, and we have the money to do it.
The Pirates have a 3B prospect. He is their best prospect. Trading Bell for a 3B prospect centered return would be dumb.
Hayes’s bat hasn’t shown up yet. there was some positive signs in 2019, but if his bat doesn’t catch up with his glove, probably not a long term solution.
Plus in a full rebuild best talent available is often as important to filling positions of need in terms of prospects as it gives you more quality to trade to fill positions of need when you are ready. Also depends on your time frame as well.
I would do a soft rebuild. Trade Marte and Bell. Move Newman to 2B, put Craig at 1B, Hayes at 3B, Tucker at SS, and Reynolds in CF. Give Polanco a chance to rebuild his value and then trade him too. The 5 mentioned above and Keller should be the Core to build around. Now, if they were willing to get that payroll up to $120MM, I’d say go after Grandal, MadBum, and Keuchel. Get a catcher and 400+ innings. The bullpen is solid but was overworked last year cause the rotation was a mess.
None of this is likely but its nice to dream 😉
Grandal even if they up the payroll, probably won’t be enough to convince him to sign (but maybe). I’d go for Moose for third since Hayes’s bat hasn’t come around yet and Castro for catcher. but other wise like your plan.
Madison probably 18-20M/year
Maybe also try to but out Kela’s arbitration and add two years. Since his trade value is low now.. see if you can lock him in and get more value due to his control if he is traded later.
If they can dump Archer’s salary and get Felipe voided they would add about 40M at the high level or about 30M at the low level..
If it all falls apart in June, adding Madison, Dallas and Moose to the trading block would get much more value than the 15-25M spent for half a season of giving it a push.. and fan/player moral would jump quite a bit too.
I absolutely agree with Kozy21 and would consider keeping Bell and moving him to RF.
Look for a fire sale. Nutting needs to save some money to donate to the Trump campaign in 2020.