Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How to Fix the Cubs - Part 3

When we left off yesterday, we set up a situation where Paul DePodesta is very excited to be working for the Cubs after Jim Hendry listened to Hott Joe and cleared out a ton of money. After the moves that we went through yesterday, let's check out how much money (estimate) we save going into 2011.

Kousuke Fukudome - $1.33 million in 2010, $13.5 million in 2011
Ted Lilly - $4 million in 2010
Derrek Lee - $4.33 million in 2010
Carlos Silva - $3.83 million in 2010, $6 million in 2011
Switching from Lou Piniella to Ryne Sandberg - $2 million

When all of this is added up, the Cubs save about $35 million. All I can say is holy shit, I did an awesome job clearing up some cash. Unfortunately, before we can start going after new guys, we have to take care of the guys who are already here. Let's have a quick run through the Cubs roster.

1. Returning Players in need of contracts - First off, we need to take care of our own. The guys who are up for arbitration are going to be estimates. If something seems grossly out of whack or I miss a player who is due a big raise, let me know.
A. Ryan Theriot - Theriot makes $2.6 million this season after losing his arbitration case where he was looking for $3.4 million. He is going to be due a raise, and for simplicity's sake, we'll hope that he'll accept a $2 million bump in salary to put him up to $4.6 million for 2011.
B. Carlos Marmol - He was paid $2.125 million in 2010, so let's give him a realistic bump up to $5 million since he's a closer and that gets overvalued in arbitration cases. Since, we just under $35 million in savings, this will take care of that rounding off.
C. Mike Fontenot - We'll bump him up $1 million, so he's at about $2 million.
D. Sean Marshall - A guy that gets the $.5 million bump to be at around $1.5 million.
E. Tom Gorzelanny - This is where things get interesting, and we actually try to lock up an arbitration eligible player. Gorzelanny will be signed to a four year, $16 million deal, so we can buy out his arbitration years and a couple free agent years. Gorzelanny will be part of the rotation so this type of investment seems worthwhile. Salary wise, we'll structure it 3, 4, 4, and 5 million so it's only about a $2 million raise for 2011. I have to admit that Gorzelanny is my favorite Cub, so much so that I'm going to put an image of him up, mostly just to spice up the blog:

F. Geovany Soto - He's at about a half million right now. I'm nearly positive he'll be an arbitration eligible player and bump him up to $3.5 million, meaning we spend an extra $3 million on him.

2. Players Already Under Contract - I'm just going to quickly go over any changes in salary to players that are already under contract:
A. Aramis Ramirez - Save $1 million.
B. Ryan Dempster - Gets $1 million raise.
C. Marlon Byrd - Gets $2.5 million raise.
D. John Grabow - Gets $2 million raise. This was painful to write. Not only am I stuck with John Grabow for another year, but he's getting a huge raise too, nice one Hendry.

3. It's not you, it's me - These are the players that will not be coming back for the 2011 Cubs.
A. Xavier Nady - $3.3 million that we don't have to worry about for 2011. I'll take that money and run.
B. Jeff Baker - When it comes to Fontenot and Baker, you can have one or the other, but there's no need for both. Baker's OBP is under .300 this year, so it was nice knowing you, but goodbye.
C. Koyie Hill - Not like it's going to provide us much savings, but I'll take $.7 million, and invest it in somebody that doesn't make me feel awful if they're forced to take over full-time catching duties. I'll gladly offer him a minor league deal though.
D. Angel Guzman - Stick a fork in him, he's done.
E. Bobby Howry - Only costing us the minimum this year, but I'll let the young guys in the system replace him in the bullpen, no need to overpay middle relief.

4. The Dirt Cheap - If I haven't mentioned a Cubs player by now, it means that they're dirt cheap, and we'll bring them back, because they'll be making the minimum and if they suck, they're still eligible to go to the minors.

5. Recap - We started off with $35 million to work with, let's break down what we have left:
A. We spent $11.5 million on guys that needed new contracts.
B. We gave $4.5 million in raises to players already under contract.
C. We save $5.5 million on people who we will not be bringing back for 2011.
D. Overall we are left with approximately $24.5 million from our savings. This doesn't seem like much until we also factor in that we no longer have to pay Derrek Lee or Ted Lilly since their contracts were up which were savings that were not yet factored in. Lee makes $13 million, and Lilly makes $12 million for 2010, meaning that we have $49.5 million to spend without raising payroll for 2011.

I realize this article has been a lot of housekeeping, but I promise that tomorrow will lead to an exciting conclusion for how the Cubs can be awesome in 2011. And, not to brag or anything, but you are going to be wowed when you see how genius my ideas are and how it actually is possible for the Cubs to be successful in 2011.


P.S. I'm sure you have all seen this by now, but we have some very sad news regarding #1 Prime Time League pick, Brennan Cougill as he has been ruled ineligible for this upcoming basketball season. On the bright side, I'm picking Kirkwood to win the JuCo National Title.

P.P.S. Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts, which is an awesome website to find out just about anything you would want to know about baseball contracts. This would just be unintelligent babbling with no real hard facts without the help of that site.

P.P.P.S. Is it sad that I'm genuinely nervous about what goes down at midnight tonight? I know it is, because LeBron is probably taking at least a week before he makes a decision. But if the Bulls sign Joe Johnson at 12:01, I'm stabbing someone.

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