So here's the thought experiment. Let's say you own a major league franchise that has NO players. You can select any 25 of the current free agents (no budget limitations -- they are literaly "free" agents) to fill out your team's roster. Who do you place on your roster from the list of possible candidates? And more importantly, how does that team do when they are dropped into the middle of the 2012 American League East?
One such roster follows. Your criticisms, corrections, and "Hey-Doherty-why-aren't-you-doing-this-for-a-living?" adulation is welcome and invited, of course.
2B (Or Not 2B)
A few notes .... Yu Darvish was not eligible for this team ... Some serious short-relief bullpen talent was left off the first team, but we need at least the one long man in that 10th pitching spot, so thank you, Tim Wakefield ... Wow, 1B is strong this off-season -- after the two leading men, Pujols and Fiedler, we have Lee and then (not pictuerd on either team above) Lyle Overbay, Carlos Pena and for the all-or-nothing crowd, Russell Branyan ... Shortstop is even deeper, with Reyes, Furcal and Betancourt all on our A-team, Rollins, Gonzalez and Wilson on the B-team, and a former World Series MVP (Renteria) and a likely Hall of Famer (Vizquel) sitting on the sidelines .... Outfield leftovers include J.D. Drew, Juan Pierre and Pat Burrell, which not too long ago would have been an All-Star outfield within itself ....
But before we go crazy and start constructing a THIRD team (we'd probably need to call them the C-Notes, huh?) there can't be THAT much pitching left ... The rotation for the A-team is already stuffed with the old and the injury-prone; but hey, we could do worse than Miguel Batista or Chris Capuano if -- when? -- Penny or Bedard is DL'd; either one of those guys could do in a pitch, er, pinch ... Back in the bullpen, if anything happens to one of the 10 relievers on our two squads -- 10 guys with, and this is just a guess, probably more than 1000 career saves combined -- then we could do a whole lote worse than George Sherrill, Dan Wheeler and David Aardsma.... As for the Designated Hitter role, the three guys who DIDN'T make either of our rosters might could all wnd up in the Hall of Fame one day -- Vladimir Guerrero, and Jim Thome, who will both get in easily, and Hideki Matsui, who will get consideration and is in if his Japanese totals are in the equation ....
Check my work ...
Offer those changes and suggestions based on the complete list of free agents, which is as follows:
Complete List of 2011-12 Free Agents (sorted by 2011 team)
- Braves-- SSs Alex Gonzalez and Jack Wilson, CF Nate McLouth, Ps Scott Linebrink and George Sherrill
- Diamondbacks--1B Lyle Overbay, 1B-OF Xavier Nady, 2B Aaron Hill, Ps Zach Duke and Jason Marquis
- Baltimore Orioles--SS Cesar Izturis, DH Vladimir Guerrero
- Red Sox--1B-LF Conor Jackson, RF J.D. Drew, C Jason Varitek, DH David Ortiz, Ps Scott Atchison, Erik Bedard, Trever Miller, Jonathan Papelbon, Tim Wakefield and Dan Wheeler
- Cubs--1B Carlos Pena, 3B Aramis Ramirez, LF Reed Johnson, Ps John Grabow, Rodrigo Lopez, Ramon Ortiz and Kerry Wood
- White Sox--3B-SS Omar Vizquel, LF Juan Pierre, C Ramon Castro, P Mark Buehrle
- Reds--SS Edgar Renteria, C Ramon Hernandez, Ps Francisco Cordero and Dontrelle Willis
- Indians--CF Grady Sizemore, RF Kosuke Fukudome, DH Jim Thome, P Chad Durbin
- Rockies--2B Mark Ellis, Ps Aaron Cook, Kevin Millwood and J.C. Romero
- Tigers--INFs Wilson Betemit, Ramon Santiago, utilityman Carlos Guillen, RF Magglio Ordonez, Ps Brad Penny and Joel Zumaya
- Marlins--3B Greg Dobbs and Jose Lopez, P Javier Vazquez
- Astros--SS Clint Barmes, LF Jason MichaelsRoyals--C Jason Kendall, Ps Bruce Chen and Jeff Francis
- Angels--1B Russell Branyan, Ps Joel Pineiro, Horacio Ramirez and Fernando Rodney
- Dodgers--INFs Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles, 3B Casey Blake, LF Juan Rivera, C Rod Barajas, Ps Jonathan Broxton, Jon Garland, Hiroki Kuroda, Mike MacDougal and Vicente Padilla
- Brewers--1B Prince Fielder, SS Yuniesky Betancourt, INF Craig Counsell, CF Mark Kotsay, utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr., Ps LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Rodriguez and Takashi Saito
- Twins--RF-1B Michael Cuddyer, RF Jason Kubel, Ps Matt Capps and Joe Nathan
- Mets--SS Jose Reyes, OFs Scott Hairston and Willie Harris, Ps Miguel Batista, Chris Capuano, Jason Isringhausen and Chris Young
- Yankees--3B Eric Chavez, LF Andruw Jones, DH Jorge Posada, Ps Luis Ayala, Bartolo Colon, Freddy Garcia, Damaso Marte and Sergio Mitre
- A's--LF Josh Willingham, CF Coco Crisp, RF David DeJesus, DH Hideki Matsui, P Rich Harden
- Phillies--1B-OF Ross Gload, SS Jimmy Rollins, LF Raul Ibanez, C Brian Schneider, Ps Brad Lidge, Ryan Madson and Roy Oswalt
- Pirates--1B Derrek Lee, SS Ronny Cedeno, LF-RF Ryan Ludwick, Cs Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder P Paul Maholm
- Padres--1B-OF Brad Hawpe, Ps Heath Bell, Aaron Harang and Chad Qualls
- Mariners--INF Adam Kennedy, OF Wily Mo Pena, C Josh Bard, Ps David Aardsma and Jamey Wright
- Giants--SS Orlando Cabrera, OF Cody Ross, LF Pat Burrell, RF Carlos Beltran, utilityman Mark DeRosa, P Guillermo Mota
- Cardinals--1B Albert Pujols, SS Rafael Furcal, INF Nick Punto, OF Corey Patterson, C Gerald Laird, Ps Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson and Arthur Rhodes
- Rays--1B Casey Kotchman, LF Johnny Damon, C Kelly Shoppach, P Juan Cruz
- Rangers--OF Endy Chavez, C Matt Treanor, Ps Mike Gonzalez, Darren Oliver, Brandon Webb and C.J. Wilson
- Blue Jays--2B Kelly Johnson, C Jose Molina, Ps Shawn Camp, Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch
- Nationals--INF Alex Cora, LFs Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix, CF Rick Ankiel, C Ivan Rodriguez, Ps Todd Coffey and Livan Hernandez
So bottom-line it, Bauxites .... how many games does each of our teams win in the 2012 AL East? And can yous omehow build a THIRD team from the leftovers that would at least challenge for .500?