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This has been a slow winter for off field activities so here is some diversion.

It is August 2nd, 2018. The Blue Jays are one game back of a wildcard spot. They cannot catch the Red Sox who are in first place.

You are in the midst of an injury crisis. Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales have just gone down with injuries that will keep them out for six to eight weeks, they might or might not be back for the end of the season. Steve Pearce was traded in the off-season so your options for first base from your current roster are Yangervis Solarte or Curtis Granderson.

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Reading some of the "Who to Trade?" articles of the past few weeks got me thinking hypothetically, a very fun but dangerous method of thinking...
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This is the third in the series.  So far we have not issued a qualifying offer to Josh Johnson and we have not traded Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion for a starter.  But we still need pitching depth.  There are some teams out there with a surplus of starters and a weak bullpen, and you as GM have put together a deal to bring in a starter.  As GM you have a surplus of relievers, and you will not be able to keep them all on the major league roster next season.  You have a strength in the bullpen and you will use it to beef up the rotation.
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It's time for another "you be the general manager".  The consensus last week was not to offer Josh Johnson a qualifying offer.  That leaves a gap in the 2014 rotation.  You, as the GM, have to go in search of replacement starting pitchers.  We all know that the pitching market is thin and good starters are very, very valuable.  However, after much searching and negotiating, you have been able to line up a trade for a quality starting pitcher, one who will slip into the Blue Jays rotation as their #2 starter. 

There is a catch, what the other team wants in return.

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This is the first of a few "you be the general manager" questions we can debate over the next few weeks.  Today's subject is Josh Johnson.  News came out today that Josh has just had surgery on his elbow to remove bone spurs.  The Jays have until just after the world series to decide whether to offer Johnson a qualifying offer.  That basically means Johnson will earn approx. $14M next season.

The Jays originally intended to have Johsnon get healthy right around now and then for them to watch him throw to evaluate whether to offer to re-sign him.  This surgery now eliminates that approach by the Jays.

The story suggests James Andrews saying that the bone spurs were the reason JJ didn't pitch well this year.  Do we believe that or is JJ's agent trying to talk up his client for more money?

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As we all know, free agency has been going on for a little while now and the arbitration deadline is today (Saturday) at midnight. As a result, a number of players are going to suddenly be shed by their current teams and discarded into the free agent pool. Some players that have already been let go include: Garrett Atkins (Colorado), and Kelly Johnson (Atlanta). Keeping in mind a modest budget, who do you think Toronto should go after, either through trade or free agency? I have my own suggest after the jump.
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You say you got a real solution
Well you know
we'd all love to see the plan

- John Lennon

Well, in this case you be the General Manager.

It's not brain surgery, right? We apply a few sabermetric principles, add in $100 million dollars of Ted's money and PRESTO! A 90 win team! Wham, bam, next case.
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For today's assignment, you get to be the Yankee manager in the World Series.  It will be October then, so pretending to be the leader of an Evil Empire should be a piece of cake.
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When you add his 22 minor league innings to his 137.3 major league innings, one realizes that Dustin McGowan has pitched 159.3 innings this season. His career high is 153 in 2003. Since then hes thrown 31 (2004), 101.3 (2005) and 111.3 (2006). The Jays management team currently is weighing the risk of overworking his arm and a potential injury against preparing McGowan for a full season in the rotation next year and, hopefully, a September pennant race.

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This time you get to be a casting director, instead of a manager.
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We have a simple All-Star break challenge for you today.  You are the general manager of the Blue Jays, and you can make as many roster moves as you like.  You have no viable trading partners, and there are no useful waiver wire acquisitions, so any moves must come from within the organization.  Otherwise, there are no limits.  If you want, you can have a six man or even a five man bullpen.  Here would be my moves:

1. DFA Phillips, call up Thigpen.
2. DFA Clayton, call up Olmedo
3. Option Wolfe and DeJong to Syracuse, call up Lee Gronkiewicz and Brandon League

What would yours be?

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Nope, it's not a lead-in for a sunburn remedy ad.  Today, you are the General Manager of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and you have a pleasant problem.  You've got the following position players at or near the major league level for 2007: Iwamura, Longoria, Brignac, Zobrist, Guzman, Cantu,  Baldelli, Crawford, Young, Dukes, Gomes.  Who do you want to be in your every day lineup as of the All-Star break in 2007, and at what positions, and who do you want to move (for pitching)?
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...not coffee, but left-field choice for the Tigers in Game 4 against Jeff Suppan.  So suggests Nate Silver.  According to the plan, a struggling Curtis Granderson would sit and Craig Monroe would move to centerfield.  For the second time this season, you get to step into Jim Leyland's shoes.  Which way would you go?
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Jim Leyland's decision to bat Neifi Perez second in the lineup last night caused more than a few eyebrows to be raised. So, for today, pretend that you are Jim Leyland and you're going home with a 2-0 lead to face Rich Harden. What is your batting order for Game 3?

And, for bonus points and the Schizophrenic Manager (is there any other kind?) Award, pretend that you are Ken Macha and tell me your batting order to face Kenny Rogers in Game 3?

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Today on, Jim Caple -- one of the top five baseball writers alive today -- has a story on "Page 2" that encourages the Yankees to trade, not Alex Rodriguez, but Derek Jeter. Of course, this will never happen, but as always, Caple makes good sense.

Anyway, here's the question ... don't be the manager, be the General Manager, of any team -- your choice! -- except the Yankees. Make an offer for Jeter, your (likely) 2006 American League MVP. And be for real -- who needs a shortstop, can afford Jeter's contract, and has enough to offer?