2007, Today

Thursday, October 05 2006 @ 09:30 AM EDT

Contributed by: Jonny German

Letís take a look at how the Blue Jays currently stack up for 2007.

The following players are about to become free agents (making the very safe assumption than Ben Molinaís $7.5M option will not be picked up):
 
Frank Catalanotto
Ted Lilly
Bengie Molina
Justin Speier
Gregg Zaun
 
Letís look at the best roster the Jays could put together if the season started tomorrow. This will give us an idea of what parts of the team need to be addressed by J.P. et al via trades and the free agent market.
 
The 2007 salary figures that appear in blue are my own rough estimates. ď~Ē indicates the player already has a guaranteed contract for 2007, ďArbĒ indicates a player is arbitration-eligible, and ď-ď indicates a pre-arbitration player who has no negotiating leverage and thus will be paid near the minimum. Iíve assumed the Jays will be granted another option year on Dustin McGowan and thus will start him at AAA Syracuse.
 
Player     2006     2007
SP Roy Halladay  12.750  ~   12.750
SP A.J. Burnett    7.000  ~   12.000
SP Gustavo Chacin    0.348  -     0.350
SP Shaun Marcum    0.327  -     0.350
SP Josh Towers    2.300  ~     2.900
- - - - -
Closer B.J. Ryan    8.000  ~     9.000
Setup Brandon League    0.327  -     0.350
LOOGY Davis Romero    0.327  -     0.350
Mid Jason Frasor    0.359  Arb     0.500
Mid Brian Tallet    0.327  -     0.350
Long Francisco Rosario    0.327  -     0.350
Swing Scott Downs    0.705  Arb     1.250
- - - - -
C Jason Phillips    0.700  Arb     0.750
1B Lyle Overbay    2.525  Arb     5.000
2B Russ Adams    0.343  -     0.350
SS Aaron Hill    0.336  -     0.350
3B Troy Glaus    9.250  ~   10.750
LF Reed Johnson    1.425  Arb     3.000
CF Vernon Wells    4.300  ~     5.600
RF Alexis Rios    0.354  Arb     1.500
DH Adam Lind    0.327  -     0.350
- - - - -
CI John Hattig    0.327  -     0.350
C Curtis Thigpen       -     -     0.350
MI John McDonald    0.500  Arb     0.750
OF Kevin Barker    0.327  -     0.350
- - - - -
Total payroll  69.950
 
The only part of this team Iíd be reasonably confident with as-is is the bullpen, though some would argue it needs more veteran presence. The starting rotation needs another solid option, the lineup needs an everyday catcher and middle infielder, Adam Lind may be better served with more development time in Syracuse rather than DHing in Toronto, and the bench is woeful (though addressing the lineup needs will concurrently improve the bench).
 
Letís assume Uncle Ted approves a budget of $90M for 2007. How would you go about improving this team? Keep in mind that youíll have to pay Josh Towers $2.9M whether you keep him on the 25-man or not, and try to be realistic when guesstimating free agent salaries.

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