Yesterday we defeated the final boss and published the final summation of our off-season plan, and managed to do so before Dipoto completely rendered our plans moot. (Even though he sure tried, with that tricky sneaky Ryon Healy pickup. We see you, Jerry.) Now it’s your turn to try your hand at an off-season plan. Think you can do better than us? Well, you’re probably right. So put on your jauntiest jacket, pick up a six-pack of Red Bull, gel up your hair just enough to make it clear there’s product in there but not so much that it looks New Jersey, and arrange a baker’s dozen of cell phones in front of you, because it’s time to do some Jerry Dipoto cosplay.
What to do:
- Start a new FanPost by clicking here and pushing that big beautiful teal button that says “New FanPost.” But read the rest of the directions first! Who are you, charging off half-cocked to chase a wild idea, me?
- Before you start, you’ll want to look at how much money the Mariners already have committed to 2018 salaries and what their perceived payroll flexibility is. It’s very easy to cry for the Mariners to sign all the top FA’s, but that’s 1) unrealistic and 2) kind of lazy. When constructing our plan, we tried to keep within 10-15% of last year’s payroll. Ryon Healy may cost zero dollars but that doesn’t mean we’re having a payroll of $200MM.
- Related to salaries: decide whether or not you want to tender a contract to each of the arbitration-eligible players, and what you think the team should offer. Free tip: do not offer Drew Smyly 6.85 million dollars.
- Decide which free agents you think the Mariners should sign, and what contract you’d offer each. Helpful guides for this can be found at MLBTR (a list of all free agents, and predictions) or Fangraphs.
- List trades you think the Mariners should make. Remember the key rule of a realistic trade scenario: it should hurt (or help) each side in theoretically equal measures. Take into account the inflated value of starting pitching, teams with roster space issues, and whether teams are rebuilding or in win-now mode.
- You can decide how you’d like to present the information. If you want to write out a full 25-man roster, go for it. If you’d rather just highlight the players who you’re advocating to bring on under each of the categories (arbitration, free agency, trades), you can do that. You don’t have to do hard math, but ballpark your ideas to make sure you’re sort of in the range of what the Mariners might spend. Make charts and graphs if you want, you big math-loving weirdo. No matter how you choose to present your plan, explain your thinking and reasoning. That’s the real interesting part of this, more so than the list of names; we are curious about your vision for the team. If you want to blow everything up, that’s fine as well. No one is asking you to be realistic. This is your dreamscape.
- Here are some examples of off-season plans from Athletics Nation, where I stole this whole idea from. Not really! But sort of.
- We’ll pick our favorite plans/the ones that come the closest to what the team actually does and hold a community vote to determine a winner. The winner will get a PRIZE, like an actual physical prize that’s pretty cool and no I’m not telling you what it is stop asking. But more importantly, the winner will get to know they are SUPERIOR, which really, is there any greater prize?
- That’s it! Get to it! Make sure to title your post “[Your Name’s] Off-Season Plan” so we can find them easily. Happy Hot Stove season! It’s the most wonderful time of the year.