Looking at our team, I can see a team with a good amount of youth, a large amount of older players (with heavy contracts), and a small amount of players in their prime. We obviously need some more depth in pitching, both relief and starting, as well in hitting, catchers and third basemen. Here is what we need to do in order to have a team for the future, as well as for now, all while spending the $20 million budget that we have. First Jerry DiPoto must get in touch with the Atlanta Braves GM at the GMs meeting in Milwaukee next week to discuss a trade involving Martin Prado. This 28 year old SS, LF, CF, RF, 3B, 2B, can flat out hit. Coming off a poor season last season, but 2 great seasons prior, we may have a very nice buy low, sell high type of deal that can get done. The Braves also have quite the crowded outfield that consists of Nate McClouth (2012 option), Michael Bourn, and rising star Jason Heyward. They will need a middle infielder this year this year (if they can't re-sign Alex Gonzalez) and could be something that we can provide... No not Erick Aybar, but prospect Jean Segura. If we could package him with Tyler Chatwood, who has great stuff to transform into a well equipped bullpen arm (where besides setup man Jonny Venters, they don't have a lot of) and receive Mr. Prado, I'd take it in a heartbeat and so could the Braves. This trade would cost an efficient $2.1 million.
In addition I'd love to sign Chad Qualls, RP, to a $15mil/3yr deal, adding more depth to our bullpen for a veteran still able to throw heat and is absolutely dominate vs. right handed batter who can only maintain a .218 batting average against him last year. He does have struggles with lefties though, but that is why we Takahashi! Another key statistic is that, when facing hitters hitting in the 1, 2, 3, and 4th spot in opposing teams lineups Qualls has posted an outstanding .230 batting average for opposing hitters! This shows that we can take our starting pitcher out and put in a reliever into the game even if he is about to face the core of a lineup with men in position as he averages a .244 opposing BA with runners in position and a .139 with runners in position with 2 outs.
Next acquisition i'd like to get to is catcher. That's when we welcome in the man who has experience with Chad Qualls behind the plate and can hit with some pop in his bat and can hit to get on base. Drumroll please... NICK HUNDLEY! Hundley, injured for the first half of last year's season posted a .288 BA and an outstanding .824 OPS. Do I need to say any more... ok fine I will! Nick's career fielding percentage is at .991 compared to whiffer Jeff Mathis's .987. Is it that much of a difference no, but include the hitting hitting and you get the opposite. I leave it up to you guys to comment what you may want to give up for him in terms of players or even if you guys had other options you may want us to trade for.
Last, comes a SP. I personally would love to open up the #5 spot to Williams and Richards to battle for and see who wins, but with left over money I believe we can sign a more elite arm. And that man is C.J. Wilson for $60mil/5yrs. (12 million/yr). This can only be a smart move. It adds a southpaw to the rotation as well as a pitcher that no longer pitches for the Rangers. It takes away from them and makes us better. Everybody knows the season he had last year and with our defense his numbers can only improve as the years go on.