SB Nation Winter Meetings Simulation Debriefing

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Whew! What a week. Let's take a look back and mock each other's transactions.

Have you ever thought your team’s GM made a stupid trade? Paid too much for a free agent? Wish you had the opportunity to run the team more effectively? I gave the opportunity to 30 fans to run their team how they saw fit in a Winter Meetings Simulation. I gave each team a recommended budget and asked them to negotiate with each other on trades, and with me on free agents.

The following is a summary of what transpired over one week. You can see complete rules and Part I of the Simulation here. Part II of the Simulation is here. A spreadsheet with the list of free agents and each team’s payroll situation following the simulation is here.

Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Non-tendered P Tony Sipp
  • Traded P Tyler Skaggs, OF Adam Eaton and OF Martin Prado to the Blue Jays for OF Jose Bautista and P Brandon Morrow
  • Traded P Trevor Cahill and P David Holmberg to the Brewers for P Kyle Lohse
  • Traded P J.J. Putz and $4 million to the Nationals for P Blake Treinen
  • Traded P Brandon McCarthy to the Mariners for OF Julio Morban
  • Traded SS Cliff Pennington to the Cubs for OF Brett Jackson
  • Signed P Matt Lindstrom to a 2 year $8 million deal
  • Signed P Matt Belisle to a 1 year $2 million deal
  • Signed P Gavin Floyd to a minor league deal
Recommended Budget: $99 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $96.3 million

Arizona was pretty involved in a lot of mid-tier free agents but kept getting outbid. I think the Jose Bautista deal is highway robbery for them. It adds an impact player for them and a nice pitcher and while I like Skaggs, they have loads of young pitching. The Cahill-Lohse deal is a bit more puzzling. I like Cahill better than Lohse, let alone throwing in a nice young pitcher like Holmberg.

Atlanta Braves
  • Non-tendered IF Paul Janish and P Jonny Venters
  • Traded P Brandon Beachy to the Brewers for C Jonathan Lucroy and 2B Rickie Weeks plus $4 million (plus $1 million if the option is picked up)
  • Traded C Evan Gattis to the Marlins for P Mike Dunn and 3B Avery Romero
  • Traded 2B Dan Uggla, P Cody Martin and $10 million to the Mets for OF Brandon Nimmo
  • Signed P Tim Hudson to a 1 year $10 million deal with $2 mill in incentives
  • Signed OF Chris Young to a 2 year $9 million deal with $2 million in incentives
  • Signed C Michael McKenry, IF Alexi Casilla, and P Edinson Volquez to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $100 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $98 million

Kudos on dumping Uggla and getting back a decent prospect to boot. I botched the Tim Hudson negotiations severely. The Giants had a terrific 2/$30 million offer early on. I gave the Braves a chance to match, and even offered them a hometown discount since Hudson lives in the area. The Braves stalled and stalled and soon the Giants offer had evaporated, leaving me to scramble for Hudson since I offended everyone with my ridiculous demands. Lesson learned! But well played Braves.

Baltimore Orioles

  • Non-tendered OF Nolan Reimold and OF Steve Pearce
  • Traded P Jim Johnson to the Dodgers for OF Andre Ethier and $34.5 million
  • Trades SS Connor Narron to the Mariners for OF Ryan Ludwick and $4.5 million
  • Signed SS Aledmys Diaz to a 4 year $8 million deal
  • Signed P Colby Lewis to a 2 year $5 million deal
  • Signed P Paul Maholm to a 1 year $2 million deal
  • Signed P Joel Hanrahan to a 1 year $2 million deal
  • Signed P Frank Francisco to a 1 year $1 million deal
  • Signed P Jamey Wright to a 1 year $1 million deal
  • Signed P Chad Qualls, P Matt Albers, P Luis Ayala, OF Nolan Reimold, and OF Steve Pearce to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $100 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $96.3 million

I like all the cheap free agent pickups the O’s got at the end, especially Diaz and Maholm. The Orioles will effectively pay half the salary of Ethier the rest of his deal, about $7-9 million per year, plus they got to dump Jim Johnson’s inflated salary.

Boston Red Sox
  • Re-signed 1B Mike Napoli to a 3 year $45 million deal
  • Re-signed SS Stephen Drew to a 3 year $33 million deal with an $11 million vesting option
  • Signed C Geovany Soto to a 2 year $15 million deal
Recommended Budget: $180 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $166.9 million

The Red Sox GM was too busy planning his World Championship parade to be too active. He quietly took care of business to retain important pieces, and I presume Jackie Bradley replaces Ellsbury in center.

Chicago Cubs

  • Non-tendered P Daniel Bard, IF Luis Valbuena, IF Donnie Murphy, and OF Darnell McDonald
  • Traded SS Starlin Castro to the Cardinals for P Trevor Rosenthal and P Tyrell Jenkins
  • Traded OF Brett Jackson to the Diamondbacks for SS Cliff Pennington
  • Signed P Ubaldo Jimenez to a 4 year $64 million deal with a $15 million vesting option and a $4 million buyout
  • Signed 2B Kelly Johnson to a 2 year $13 million deal
  • Re-signed P Daniel Bard to a 1 year $1 million deal
Recommended Budget: $117 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $87.8 million

The Cubs came in way under budget which is probably realistic considering the direction owner Tom Ricketts is taking the organization. The Castro deal is fascinating. I’ve heard some say it’s a steal for the Cubs, others say it’s a steal for the Cards. I suppose it depends on what you think of Castro. Personally, I think he is Yuniesky Betancourt redux and I love Rosenthal and like Jenkins to bounce back, but I can see the other side too.

Chicago White Sox
  • Declined the option on P Matt Lindstrom
  • Non-tendered C Tyler Flowers and P David Purcey
  • Traded P Chris Sale to the Dodgers for OF Yasiel Puig
  • Traded IF Jeff Keppinger and P Kevin Vance to the Royals for P Jeremy Guthrie and P Sam Selman
  • Traded OF Alejandro de Aza and P Jake Petricka to the Dodgers for P Onelki Garcia, OF James Baldwin and SS Jesmuel Valentin
  • Traded IF Conor Gillespie to the Twins for P Ryan Pressley
  • Signed 1B Juan Abreu to a 6 year $80 million deal
  • Signed C Dioner Navarro to a 2 year $10 million deal
  • Signed 2B Brian Roberts to a 1 year $5 million deal with an $8 million club option ($1 million buyout)
  • Signed P Freddy Garcia and P Jon Garland to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $123 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $89.4 million

I think the White Sox fleeced the Dodgers in both deals. They parlayed Chris Sale and Alejandro de Aza into Yasiel Puig and three decent prospects? And added Juan Abreu? That’s how you rebuild a franchise.

Cincinnati Reds
  • Non-tendered C Corky Miller and OF Xavier Paul
  • Traded 2B Brandon Phillips to the Dodgers for P Zach Lee
  • Traded 1B Neftali Soto to the Rays for OF David DeJesus
  • Traded OF Ryan Ludwick and P Tony Cingrani to the Mariners for 2B Nick Franklin
  • Traded P Logan Ondrusek to the Astros for P Brian Holmes
  • Signed OF Curtis Granderson to a 4 year $68 million deal
  • Signed P Bronson Arroyo to a 1 year $9 million deal with a club option for $10 million ($1 million buyout)
  • Signed IF Willie Bloomquist to a 1 year $1 million deal
  • Signed P Manny Parra to a 1 year $800,000 deal
  • Signed C Corky Miller, IF Paul Janish, IF Kevin Frandsen, OF Grady Sizemore, and P Aaron Harang to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $116 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $115.9 million

The Reds played the market terrifically in getting Granderson and Arroyo cheap. Granderson is probably 80% of the player Shin Soo Choo is, but committed half the money it took to land Choo. Arroyo is still a 2 WAR pitcher, and it only took one year to commit to him.

Cleveland Indians
  • Non-tendered P Chris Perez, P Frank Herrmann, and P Blake Wood
  • Traded SS Francisco Lindor, OF Tyler Naquin, P Trevor Bauer, C Yan Gomes, OF Drew Stubbs and IF Mike Aviles to the Marlins for OF Giancarlo Stanton and P Jacob Turner
  • Traded OF Michael Bourn and $7 million to the Royals for DH Billy Butler
  • Traded IF Cord Phelps for 1B Justin Smoak and $1 million
  • Signed P Ricky Nolasco to a 3 year $33 million deal with a $12 million vesting option
  • Signed SS Jhonny Peralta to a 3 year $28 million deal with a $10 million club option ($1 mill buyout)
  • Signed OF Franklin Gutierrez to a 2 year $4 million deal with a $3.5 million club option ($500k buyout)
  • Signed P Joba Chamberlain to a 1 year $1 million deal with a $1.2 million club option
  • Signed P Scott Downs to a 1 year $1.25 million deal with a $1.5 million club option
  • Signed IF Michael Young, DH Carlos Pena, DH Jason Giambi, P Tony Sipp, and P Kevin Gregg to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $88 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $95.5 million

So if you were an Indians fan and this happened, you’d be doing backflips right? Yea, most exciting winter in Cleveland history. And good karmic justice for losing LeBron to South Beach.

Colorado Rockies
  • Exercised the option on P Jorge de la Rosa
  • Declined the option on P Matt Belisle
  • Non-tendered P Mitchell Boggs, P Manny Corpas, and IF Jonathan Herrera
  • Traded P Juan Nicasio, P Drew Pomeranz, IF Josh Rutledge, 3B Pacheco and P Wilton Lopez to the Mets for P Jon Niese and 2B Daniel Murphy
  • Traded OF Charlie Blackmon and P Rex Brothers to the Tigers for P Rick Porcello and P Luke Putkonen
  • Signed OF Rajai Davis to a 2 year $4 million deal
  • Signed C Kurt Suzuki to a 1 year $2 million deal
  • Signed SS Clint Barmes to a 1 year $1 million deal
  • Signed P Roberto Hernandez to a 1 year $750,000 deal
  • Signed P Kevin Jepsen to a 1 year $750,000 deal
  • Signed P Chris Perez to a 1 year $750,000 deal
  • Signed P Mitchell Boggs, P Jeff Francis and P Manny Corpas to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $95 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $91.1 million

Rick Porcello seems like a terrific fit for Colorado, doesn’t he? I can see that trade happening in real life. I like Jon Niese a lot, but that seems way too high a price to pay for a #3 starting pitcher and an above average second baseman.

Detroit Tigers
  • Non-tendered IF Don Kelly and P Phil Coke
  • Traded P Rick Porcello and P Luke Putkonen to the Rockies for OF Charlie Blackmon and P Rex Brothers
  • Traded P Al Alburquerque to the Mariners for P James Gilheeny
  • Re-signed 2B Omar Infante to a 3 year $30 million deal
  • Re-signed P Joaquin Benoit to a 2 year $16 million deal
  • Signed P Grant Balfour to a 3 year $15 million deal
  • Signed P Eric O’Flaherty to a 2 year $5 million deal
  • Signed P Brian Duensing to a 1 year $1 million deal with a team option for $1.5 million
  • Re-signed IF Don Kelly to a 1 year $750k deal
  • Signed P Phil Coke to a minor league deal
Recommended Budget: $162 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $175.1 million

The Tigers seemed very business-like, and I thought they got their free agents done at very reasonable prices, despite my best efforts. There was a bit of a bidding war for Omar Infante that surprised me.

Houston Astros
  • Non-tendered OF Trevor Crowe
  • Traded IF Brett Wallace to the Dodgers for P Chad Billingsley and $6 million
  • Traded P Lucas Harrell to the Royals for IF Jeff Keppinger and P Jason Adam
  • Traded P Brian Holmes to the Reds for P Logan Ondrusek
  • Signed OF Corey Hart to a 2 year $30 million deal
  • Signed OF Garrett Jones to a 2 year $12 million deal
  • Signed P Edward Mujica to a 2 year $10 million deal
  • Signed P Boone Logan to a 2 year $6 million deal
  • Signed SS Rafael Furcal to a 1 year $4 million deal
Recommended Budget: $60 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $60 million

I was curious to see what direction the Astros would go. They had a ton of money to play with but obviously a ton of holes to fill. I like that they didn’t spend it all one big name player, instead spreading it out to fill different needs. I thought maybe they’d invest in some of the young Cuban players, or take on bad contracts to add prospects, but perhaps the desire to win now is greater in Houston than I thought.

Kansas City Royals
  • Exercised the option on P James Shields
  • Declined the option on IF Jamey Carroll
  • Non-tendered C Brett Hayes, P Luis Mendoza, IF Emilio Bonicafio, and IF Chris Getz
  • Traded DH Billy Butler to the Indians for OF Michael Bourn and $7 million
  • Traded P Danny Duffy, P Aaron Crow, P Wade Davis, and P Michael Mariot to the Angels for 2B Howie Kendrick and P Daniel Tillman
  • Traded P Jeremy Guthrie and P Sam Selman to the White Sox for IF Jeff Keppinger and P Kevin Vance
  • Traded IF Jeff Keppinger and P Jason Adam to the Astros for P Lucas Harrell
  • Traded P Tim Collins to the Mariners for P Hector Noesi
  • Signed Chris Capuano to a 1 year $5 million deal with up to $1.5 million in incentives and a $6.5 million vesting option
  • Signed P Shaun Marcum to a 1 year $4 million deal with $3 mill in incentives and a $8 mill team option ($2 mill buyout)
  • Signed 1B Paul Konerko to a 1 year $3.5 million deal
  • Signed IF Luis Valbuena to a 2 year $2.8 million deal
  • Signed P Dalier Hinojoso to a minor league deal with a $4.25 million bonus
  • Re-signs P Bruce Chen to a 1 year $2 million deal
  • Signed OF Travis Snider, P Blake Wood, P Jerome Williams, P Jose Mijares, P Jeff Karstens, and P Luis Mendoza to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $85 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $84.1 million

Ah, my Royals. The Kendrick deal is awesome. He would upgrade the Royals immensely and Duffy is the only part Royals fans would really miss and he’s an injury risk that struggles to get through five innings. The Butler trade is a bit less of a slam dunk, although I say that as a big Billy homer. The Royals need pop, and while Bourn is a really good player, the trade leaves the Royals with a hole in their lineup.
Still, can we fire Dayton Moore now and hire Josh Duggan?

Los Angeles Angels
  • Non-tendered P Tommy Hanson, P Jerome Williams, P Kevin Jepsen, P J.C. Gutierrez and IF Chris Nelson
  • Traded 2B Howie Kendrick and P Daniel Tillman to the Royals for P Danny Duffy, P Aaron Crow, P Wade Davis, and P Michael Mariot
  • Traded C Chris Iannetta, P Robert Coello, OF Zach Borenstein, and IF Andrew Romine to the Yankees for P Ivan Nova, IF Eduardo Nunez, and C Francisco Cervelli.
  • Re-signed P Jason Vargas to a 3 year $27 million deal
  • Signed IF Emilio Bonifacio to a 2 year $4 million deal
  • Signed 3B Eric Chavez to a 2 year $10 million deal
  • Signed P Pat Neshek to a 2 year $4 million deal
  • Signed IF Casey McGehee and OF Skip Schumaker to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $151 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $147 million

The Angels GM and I agreed that it would be okay if the Angels blew past their budget recommendation to land an elite free agent, which he almost got in Shin Soo Choo. Ultimately, the Angels stayed fairly quiet, although from what I understand they were almost able to dump Josh Hamilton on someone.

Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Traded OF Yasiel Puig to the White Sox for P Chris Sale
  • Traded OF Matt Kemp and OF Scott Van Slyke to the Phillies for P Jonathan Papelbon, OF John Mayberry, 3B Cody Asche and P Cesar Hernandez
  • Traded OF Andre Ethier and $34.5 million to the Orioles for P Jim Johnson
  • Traded P Zach Lee to the Reds for 2B Brandon Phillips
  • Traded P Chris Withrow to the Athletics for IF Alberto Callaspo and P Jerry Blevins
  • Traded P Chad Billingsley and $6 million to the Astros for IF Brett Wallace
  • Traded P Onelki Garcia, OF James Baldwin and SS Jesmuel Valentin to the White Sox for OF Alejandro de Aza and P Jake Petricka
  • Signed OF Carlos Beltran to a 2 year $34 million deal
  • Signed O Nate McLouth to a 2 year $10 million deal
  • Signed C Brayan Pena to a 1 year $900,000 deal
  • Signed P Chad Gaudin to a 1 year $600,000 deal
Recommended Budget: LOL
Projected Simulation Payroll: $224 million

I thought the Dodgers would use their massive budget to bully other teams, but the team was not super-aggressive in going after the elite free agents. They did trade almost their entire outfield, going from Crawford-Puig-Ethier-Kemp to Crawford-Beltran-McLouth-de Aza, which seems like quite a downgrade. They did land Brandon Phillips after missing out on Omar Infante, and Chris Sale is a nice addition to the rotation, and they were able to shed some expensive contracts.

Miami Marlins
  • Non-tendered C Koyie Hill and P Kevin Slowey
  • Traded OF Giancarlo Stanton and P Jacob Turner to the Indians for SS Francisco Lindor, OF Tyler Naquin, P Trevor Bauer, C Yan Gomes, OF Drew Stubbs and IF Mike Aviles
  • Traded P Mike Dunn and 3B Avery Romero to the Braves for C Evan Gattis
  • Traded 1B Logan Morrison to the Rangers for SS Hanser Alberto and P Michael Kirkman
  • Signed 1B James Loney to a 2 year $14 million deal with a $7 million club option and a $2 mil buyout
  • Signed P Vin Mazzaro to a 1 year $700,000 deal
Recommended Budget: $37 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $34.8 million

The Marlins were pretty handcuffed financially, but I really liked the small moves they came up with. I don’t know what to make of the Stanton deal. I feel like they could have gotten more, but fans always say that and blockbusters like this always seem to disappoint the fans of the team getting the prospects. I love Lindor and Bauer and Naquin is a nice sleeper so its not like they come away not getting any talent.

Milwaukee Brewers
  • Exercised the option on OF Nori Aoki
  • Traded OF Ryan Braun to the Pirates for P Jameson Taillon, P Luis Heredia, P Nick Kingham, P Tyler Glasnow, and P Clay Holmes
  • Traded P Kyle Lohse to the Diamondbacks for P Trevor Cahill and P David Holmberg
  • Traded C Jonathan Lucroy and 2B Rickie Weeks (plus $4 million) to the Braves for P Brandon Beachy
  • Signed P Matt Garza to a 4 year $75 million deal with a $18 mill vesting option
  • Signed 1B Mark Reynolds to a 1 year $3 million deal
  • Signed C Chris Stewart to a 1 year $500k deal
Recommended Budget: $97 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $87.7 million

So this is the trade I originally vetoed. I conferred with some outsiders on their view and they argued "if the point of this simulation is what you think would realistically happen, why even have 30 participants?" Which is right of course. And its not entirely implausible the Brewers would trade Ryan Braun the more I think about it. My question is, if you’re going to trade Braun, why not go into full rebuild mode and deal Aramis Ramirez? Why sign Matt Garza?

On Garza, I’ve heard some thing its an overpay, but I think that’s absolutely the going rate for a solid #2 like Garza. Compare it to the real contract of a guy like Gil Meche, who the Royals paid 5 years and $55 million with a far shakier track record at the time.

Minnesota Twins

  • Non-tendered P Brian Duensing
  • Traded IF Brian Dozier to the Athletics for P A.J. Griffin
  • Traded OF Josh Willingham and $5 million to the Rays for 2B Thomas Coyle, IF Vince Belnome, P Jacob Faria and P Jose Alvardo
  • Traded C Ryan Doumit to the Blue Jays for OF Melky Cabrera
  • Traded P Ryan Pressley to the White Sox for IF Conor Gillespie
  • Signed P Dan Haren to a 4 year $48 million deal
  • Signed P Ervin Santana to a 4 year $40 million deal
  • Signed C A.J. Pieryznski to a 2 year $14 million deal
  • Signed 2B Mark Ellis to a 2 year $12 million deal with a $6 mill club option
  • Signed IF Jeff Baker to a 1 year $3 million deal
  • Signed 1B Justin Morneau, P Johan Santana, and P Tommy Hanson to a minor league deal
Recommended Budget: $100 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $90.4 million

The Twins had a lot of money to play with and I don’t think they disappointed. I think they overpaid on Haren, but they got a steal in Santana. And any Twins fan that had to watch Kevin Correia, Scott Diamond, and Sam Deduno last year would be thrilled to see Haren, Santana, and A.J. Griffin headlining their rotation.

New York Mets

  • Traded P Jon Niese and 2B Daniel Murphy to the Rockies for P Juan Nicasio, P Drew Pomeranz, IF Josh Rutledge, 3B Pacheco and P Wilton Lopez
  • Traded OF Brandon Nimmo to the Braves for 2B Dan Uggla, P Cody Martin and $10 million
  • Traded OF Lucas Duda to the Mariners for 3B Ty Kelly
  • Signed OF Shin Soo Choo to a 7 year $137 million deal
  • Signed P Scott Baker to a 1 year $3 million deal with up to $6 million in incentives
  • Signed OF Marlon Byrd to a 2 year $12 million deal
  • Re-signed P Latroy Hawkins to a 1 year $2.5 million deal
  • Signed P Jason Frasor to a 1 year $2 million deal
  • Signed P Daisuke Matsuzaka and P Mike Pelfrey to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $90 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $92.4 million

It will be really interesting to see how much money the Mets owners commit to in real life. Would they have the money to pony up for Choo? I think the annual value for Choo is pretty close to what he’ll get, but I don’t see him getting seven years. Choo was probably the most sought after free agent in this entire simulation, so is not surprising his number went up so much.

New York Yankees
  • Non-tendered C Chris Stewart and IF Jayson Nix
  • Re-signed 2B Robinson Cano to a 10 year $230 million deal
  • Traded P Ivan Nova, IF Eduardo Nunez, and C Francisco Cervelli to the Angels for C Chris Iannetta, P Robert Coello, OF Zach Borenstein, and IF Andrew Romine
  • Traded P David Phelps and P Dan Burawa to the Athletics for P Dan Otero, OF Seth Smith, and $300,000
  • Traded OF Ichiro Suzuki to the Phillies for P Mike Adams
  • Signed P Masahiro Tanaka to a 6 year $90 million deal with $10 million in incentives and two $21 million vesting options with a player opt-out after year four. If the player opt-out is exercised, the remaining years turn into $20 million club options. Yankees pay a $72 million posting fee as well.
  • Signed P Scott Feldman to a 3 year $24 million deal
  • Signed P Bartolo Colon to a 2 year $16 million deal
  • Signed SS Brendan Ryan to a 1 year $2 million deal
  • Signed P Kyle Farnsworth, P Ted Lilly, P Rich Hill, P Joe Saunders, IF Jayson Nix and IF Placido Polanco to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $180 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $179.9 million

The only other bidder on Cano was the Dodgers. The Yankees kind of blew the Dodgers initial offer out of the water though.

Eight teams bid on Tanaka, with the Phillies, Mariners, and Yankees engaged in a very contested negotiation process to win his services. It came down to the Phillies and Yankees with both teams offering very creative contracts to lure Tanaka.

Oakland Athletics
  • Exercised the option on OF Coco Crisp and P Brett Anderson
  • Declined the option on OF Chris Young and C Kurt Suzuki
  • Non-tendered 1B Daric Barton and P Pat Neshek
  • Traded P A.J. Griffin to the Twins for IF Brian Dozier
  • Traded IF Alberto Callaspo and P Jerry Blevins to the Dodgers for P Chris Withrow
  • Traded P Brett Anderson, OF Michael Choice and $6 million to the Phillies for P Adam Morgan
  • Traded P Dan Otero, OF Seth Smith, and $300,000 to the Yankees for P David Phelps and P Dan Burawa
  • Signed C Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a 4 year $48 million deal
  • Signed P Scott Kazmir to a 2 year $20 million deal with a $10 million vesting option
  • Signed P John Lannan and P Travis Blackley to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $68 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $71.6 million

I think its interesting Kazmir and Bartolo Colon found so much interest early on from teams, while guys like Paul Maholm, Joe Saunders, and Bronson Arroyo received basically no interest until it was clear they were dirt cheap. I really misread the market on those guys.

The A’s could have declined the option on Brett Anderson, but instead will pay $6 million and give up Michael Choice to acquire Adam Morgan. The A’s scouting department must really love Morgan.

Philadelphia Phillies
  • Non-tendered IF Kevin Frandsen, OF Roger Bernadina, P Kyle Kendrick, and P John Lannan
  • Traded P Jonathan Papelbon, OF John Mayberry, 3B Cody Asche and P Cesar Hernandez to the Dodgers for OF Matt Kemp and OF Scott Van Slyke
  • Traded P Adam Morgan to the Athletics for P Brett Anderson, OF Michael Choice and $6 million
  • Traded P Mike Adams to the Yankees for OF Ichiro Suzuki
  • Traded OF Casper Wells to the Mariners for 3B Leury Bonilla
  • Re-signed C Carlos Ruiz to a 2 year $12 million deal
  • Signed P Jesse Crain to a 2 year $5 million deal
  • Signed P Randy Messenger to a 2 year $8 million deal
  • Signed IF Alexander Guerrero to a 4 year $16 mill deal with a $8 mill club option
  • Signed 1B Kevin Youkilis to a 1 year $4 million deal, with a $5 million club option
  • Signed C Kelly Shoppach, IF Chris Nelson, P Phillip Humber, P Kyle Kendrick, and P Ryan Madson to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $178 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $166 million

I love the Phillies GM. The guy LOVES the Phillies and no one has more enthusiasm about this simulation than him. He got outbid for a lot of the top free agents, but did really well with some of the mid-tier guys and you have to like the Brett Anderson and Matt Kemp trades he pulled off. Watch your back Ruben Amaro.

Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Non-tendered OF Travis Snider and P Vin Mazzaro
  • Traded P Jameson Taillon, P Luis Heredia, P Nick Kingham, P Tyler Glasnow, and P Clay Holmes to the Brewers for OF Ryan Braun
  • Traded OF Starling Marte to the Cardinals for 1B Matt Adams, P Carlos Martinez, P Joe Kelly, OF Stephen Piscotty, and P John Gast
  • Traded P Joe Kelly to the Giants for P Clayton Blackburn and C Andrew Susac
  • Signed OF David Murphy to a 2 year $10 million deal
  • Signed IF Wilson Betimet, P Brett Myers and P Matt Thornton to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $90 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $77.1 million

Two ballsy trades from the Pirates, trading a bunch of prospects for Braun, then trading Marte for a bunch of prospects and players. If they think Carlos Martinez can be a starter, this could work out really well for them. If not, and if Marte turns into an All-Star, it could be really ugly. But I love when GMs take those kind of chances.

San Diego Padres
  • Non-tendered P Clayton Richard
Recommended Budget: $80 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $73.6 million

I think this guy was busy. He did make some offers on players, so he is alive. The Padres were pretty limited by their budget, and have a decent nucleus, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them be quiet, although they probably will trade Chase Headley and some of their depth for prospects.

San Francisco Giants
  • Non-tendered P Jose Mijares
  • Declined the option on P Barry Zito and P Ryan Vogelsong
  • Traded P Clayton Blackburn and C Andrew Susac to the Pirates for P Joe Kelly
  • Re-signed P Tim Lincecum to a 2 year $32 million deal
  • Signed P Hiroki Kuroda to a 2 year $32 milion deal
  • Signed P Joe Smith to a 2 year $10 million deal with a $5 million vesting option
  • Re-signed P Javier Lopez to a 2 year $8 million deal
Recommended Budget: $160 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $147.6 million

Quick and efficient. The Lincecum and Kuroda deals both came together very quickly and then it seemed like the Giants were pretty much done. I wonder if they would have been nuts enough to do the Hunter Pence extension.

St. Louis Cardinals
  • Declined the option on P Jake Westbrook
  • Non-tendered C Rob Johnson
  • Traded P Trevor Rosenthal and P Tyrell Jenkins to the Cubs for SS Starlin Castro
  • Traded 1B Matt Adams, P Carlos Martinez, P Joe Kelly, OF Stephen Piscotty, and P John Gast to the Pirates for OF Starling Marte
  • Signed P Phil Hughes to a 3 year $24 million deal
  • Signed P Fernando Rodney to a 2 year $12 million deal
  • Signed P Brian Wilson to a 1 year $6 million with incentives ($1 million for every 15 games finished)
  • Signed P Jonny Venters to a 1 year $2 million deal
  • Signed P Francisco Rodriguez to a 1 year $2 million deal
  • Signed P Jason Hammel to a 1 year $1.5 million deal
  • Signed C Ramon Hernandez to a 1 year $1.5 million deal
  • Signed IF Nick Punto to a 1 year $1.5 million deal
  • Signed OF Luke Scott, P Jake Westrook, and P Barry Zito to a minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $128 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $124.9 million

The Cards had a pretty interesting strategy – let’s take all the young good relievers and trade them for assets, then re-stock the en with cheap free agent vets. A lot of people told me Phil Hughes got overpaid, but Hughes is the youngest major free agent available. I think he’ll almost certainly get $8 million a year, its just a matter of whether he gets that third year or not in real life.

Seattle Mariners
  • Traded P Charlie Furbush to the Nationals for IF Danny Espinosa and P Erik Davis
  • Traded OF Julio Morban to the Diamondbacks for P Brandon McCarthy
  • Traded 2B Ryan Franklin to the Reds for OF Ryan Ludwick and P Tony Cingrani
  • Traded OF Ryan Ludwick and $4.5 million to the Orioles for SS Connor Narron
  • Traded 3B Ty Kelly to the Mets for OF Lucas Duda
  • Traded P James Gilheenry to the Tigers for P Al Alburquerque
  • Traded P Hector Noesi to the Royals for P Tim Collins
  • Traded 3B Leury Bonilla to the Phillies for OF Casper Wells
  • Traded 1B Justin Smoak and $1 million to the Indians for IF Cord Phelps
  • Signed OF Jacoby Ellsbury to a 7 year $120 million deal with a $10 million club option that Seattle can exercise if Ellsbury spends six months on the disabled list
  • Signed P J Joe Nathan to a 2 year $15 million deal with a $7 million club option and a $2 million buyout
  • Re-signed 1B Kendrys Morales to a 3 year $26 million deal
  • Signed 1B Gaby Sanchez to a 1 year $3 million deal
  • Signed C John Buck to a 1 year $2 million deal
  • Re-signed P Oliver Perez to a 1 year $2 million deal with a $2 million club option and a $500k buyout
  • Signed P Erik Bedard to a 1 year $1 million deal with $1 million in incentives
  • Signed OF Andres Torres and OF Raul Ibanez to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $90 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $93 million

Wow, lots of trades! Pretty good ones too in my opinion. I’ve already called on the Royals to try to trade for Espinosa and McCarthy in real life, and if that’s the asking price, then that would be a steal. The Mariners also got Morales and Nathan pretty cheap when the market dried up for those guys. I think they overpaid for Ellsbury, but there were a lot of aggressive suitors for him, so that was the going rate.

Tampa Bay Rays
  • Exercised the option on IF Ben Zobrist, SS Yunel Escobar, OF David DeJesus and P Juan Carlos Oviedo
  • Non-tendered P Jeff Niemann
  • Traded for 2B Thomas Coyle, IF Vince Belnome, P Jacob Faria and P Jose Alvardo to the Twins for OF Josh Willingham and $5 million
  • Traded OF David DeJesus to the Reds for 1B Neftali Soto
  • Signed C Tyler Flowers to a 1 year $2.5 million deal with a $4 million club option
  • Signed P Octavio Dotel to a 1 year $1.5 million deal
  • Signed 1B Daric Barton to a 1 year $1.5 million deal
  • Signed C Yorvit Torrealba to a 1 year $750,000 deal
  • Signed OF Delmon Young, P Mike Gonzalez and P Jeff Niemann to minor league deals
Recommended Budget: $60 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $62.9 million

Seems very Ray-ish. Willingham is a nice pickup without giving up much in prospects or having to pay his entire salary. I thought for sure they would deal David Price, but maybe the overwhelming offers weren’t there.

Texas Rangers
  • Declined the option on DH Lance Berkman
  • Traded SS Hanser Alberto and P Michael Kirkman to the Marlins for 1B Logan Morrison
  • Signed C Brian McCann to a 6 year $110 million deal
  • Re-signed OF Nelson Cruz to a 2 year $30 million deal
  • Signed OF Mike Morse to a 1 year $5 million deal with a $7 million club option and a $1 million buyout
Recommended Budget: $120 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $124.4 million

The Rangers were pretty active on McCann and quiet otherwise. Nelson Cruz had pretty much no market, which is understandable considering the qualifying offer he declined and his recent PED suspension.

Toronto Blue Jays

  • Exercised the option on IF Mark DeRosa, 1B Adam Lind and P Casey Janssen. Declined the option on IF Murenori Kawasaki
  • Traded OF Jose Bautista and P Brandon Morrow to the Diamondbacks for P Tyler Skaggs, OF Adam Eaton and OF Martin Prado
  • Traded OF Melky Cabrera to the Twins for C Ryan Doumit
  • Signed P Suk Min Yoon to a 3 year $30 million deal
  • Signed P Seung Hwan Oh to a 2 year $8 million deal
  • Signed P Roy Halladay to a 1 year $6 million deal with up to $8 million in incentives
Recommended Budget: $150 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $135.4 million

The Jays are sure to be the most popular team in Seoul. I didn’t really get the Bautista deal. Are the Jays rebuilding? I upped the Jays payroll after an article came out last week that the team would increase spending, but the Jays GM didn’t go after elite free agents like I thought he would.

Washington Nationals
  • Traded IF Danny Espinosa and P Erik Davis to the Mariners for P Charlie Furbush
  • Traded P Blake Treinen to the Diamondbacks for P J.J. Putz and $4 million
  • Signed C Jose Molina to a 1 year $800,000 deal
  • Signed P Tsuyoshi Wada to a minor league deal
Recommended Budget: $129 million
Projected Simulation Payroll: $127 million

The Nats were in on a few free agents for a bit, like Ricky Nolasco, Omar Infante, and Mike Morse. But things were pretty quiet for the most part. I wonder what they would have paid had I suggested a Bryce Harper extension.

Overall I was pretty impressed with the quality and creativity in the trades and free agent negotiations. I think we all learned that just the transactions portion of being a general manager is tougher than we think it is and we should keep that in mind when we complain that a team should sign Player X for such and such amount.

I want to thank all thirty participants for their time and commitment. I would also like some feedback on how we could improve this simulation for the future. Specifically, would it be better to shorten the simulation to just three days? Things got pretty slow by Thursday. Four days? Should we have it run partially on the weekend so people don’t have to deal with work? Any other suggestions would be welcome.

Also use this to give your opinion on transactions (but please be respectful to the GM!) and for the GMs, talk a little bit about what happened behind the scenes.
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