Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Added by trade.....RHP Shawn Marcum, RHP Jason Motte, OF Johnny Damon

Traded away.....LHP Mike Montgomery, 3B Josh Vitters

Designated for assignment....OF Aaron Cunningham and Donovan Tate

Granted their immediate release.....RHP Jason Frasor, OF Felix Pie

Signed as a free agent....1B/3B Mark Reynolds

Returned to the minors....RHP Matt Guerrier, LHP Zach Britton

Likely future promotions....rookies Randall Delgado, Todd Frazier and Jesus Montero

The possibilities for any playoff roster, at a glance (but this could still change if Kevin Youkilis is unable to play in the final weeks):


C AJ Pierzynski 3.38
C Jason Varitek 1.50
C Jesus Montero 1.20

1B Paul Konerko 12.00
1B/3B Kevin Youkilis 9.13
3B Jose Bautista 2.40

2B Kelly Johnson 2.35
SS Alexei Ramirez 0.88 FP
2B/3B Neil Walker 0.40
IF/OF Todd Frazier 1.20

OF Vernon Wells 5.25
OF Chris B. Young 3.25
OF Johnny Damon 2.00
U Mark Reynolds 0.40

RHP Roy Oswalt 12.00 FP
RHP Bronson Arroyo 8.80 K
RHP Brett Myers 6.20R
HP Heath Bell 4.00
RHP Rickey Nolasco 1.90
RHP Joaquin Benoit 1.50
RHP Matt Guerrier 0.79
RHP Rafael Betancourt 0.40
RHP Randall Delgado 1.20

LHP Scott Downs 4.00
LHP Joe Saunders 0.93
LHP Franklin Morales 1.20

"In case anyone has forgotten," growled GM "Trader" Jack McKeon, "This is what we started with, all those years ago:

C Ronnie Paulino
C/IF Brandon Inge
IF Felipe Lopez
IF Nick Punto
SS Cesar Izturis
IF/OF Ryan Freel
IF/OF Casey Blake
IF/OF Ben Zobrist
OF Johnny Damon
RHP Kyle Davies
RHP Gavin Floyd
RHP Frank Francisco
RHP Freddy Garcia
RHP Edwin Jackson
RHP Yusmeiro Petit
RHP Chris Ray
RHP Juan Salas
LHP Jamie Moyer
LHP George Sherrill
LHP Jason Vargas

The only player still remaining from that original roster is Cesar Izturis, and that after only signing him as a minor-league free agent as insurance. Wecashed in Inge, Zobrist, Floyd, Jackson and Vargas in trades that were favorable and allowed me to accumulate prospects. In our first draft, we added Shin Soo-Choo and Alexei Ramirez. We turned Carlos Quentin and some prospect depth into the draft pick that was Jose Bautista, easily our best move. We signed a lot of unwanted players off the scrap heap, including the eventually-expensive Paul Konerko. Throw-in players in some deals (Kelly Johnson, Neil Walker, Jason Varitek) and another major trade on draft day (Kevin Youkilis) rounded out our lineup, and about a month back the club finally got the legitimate closer, Heath Bell.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


With the recent announcement of capitulation by the Philadelphia Rebels, the St. Francis Friars (with 71 wins, second in BARB) now find themselves in an unfamiliar position: not merely contending, not merely leading their division, but with at least ten games between themselves and both the Rebels and the Casselton Horned Toads, who lost 11 of 13 to fall out of the race.

In other words, barring an historic collapse, the Friars will finally achieve the goal of every expansion team, win a division and make the playoffs.

But problems remain on the horizon. Despite acquiring Heath Bell to close, and adding LHP Joe Saunders off the free-agent scrap heap, there can be no doubt that St. Francis's pitching staff is a notch behind the other major contenders for the playoffs. While each starter is capable of winning on any given day, and all but Roy Oswalt can be counted on as inning-eaters, the fact remains that Brooklyn, Frostbite Falls and Yuma have better rotations, with comparable (or superior) bullpens. That puts a great deal of pressure on the Friars lineup to score early and often.

Further, the avenue to trade for pitching is closing, and good starting pitching appears to be all but impossible to pick up, given the limits imposed by the salary cap, unless St. Francis is willing to completely gut their farm system.