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November 17, 2013

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Posted 12-27-2013 at 01:52 AM by JoeyMac

Philadelphia announced a trade today with Chicago that will send 28 year old left handed reliever Jeremy Horst to the Cubs in exchange for 18 year old minor league RF Justin Williams. In 2013 Horst appeared in 47 games for the Phillies pitching 47 innings with a 3.45 ERA and 10 saves. The Cubs plan to utilize Horst as a left handed set up man.

The Oakland Athletics traded veteran RF Brandon Moss and $1.6 mil. in cash to the Miami Marlins in return for 30 year old minor league reliever Mitch Talbot and 17 year old minor league 1B Victor Acosta. Moss batted .233 last season with 26 HR and 73 RBI. The Marlins plan on using Moss as a left handed platoon option in RF.

In evaluating the roster we know that we have a good core heading into 2014 but also that there are some glaring weaknesses. As they say you can never have enough pitching and we would love to add a veteran innings eater who can compete with our younger pitchers for a rotation spot. The bullpen ranked 12th in the NL last year and we are looking to add some depth. We also need to bolster our bench preferably with a utility infielder.

With the trade of Brandon McCarthy in exchange for Jed Lowrie we have about $2 mil. that we can spend on free agents. Obviously we are going to need more cash to complete all of these tasks and we are hoping to be able make trades to fill these needs. We can also delve into free agency after the initial spending spree is over but we will need to clear at least one of the more expensive contracts on the 2014 payroll in order to do so. Here is a list of our highest paid players as we head into next year:

Wandy Rodriguez: 13 Mil.
Chris Perez: 9.6 Mil. (A)
Russell Martin: 8.5 Mil.
Francisco Liriano 8 Mil.
Andrew McCutchen: 7.3 Mil.
Garret Jones: 5 Mil. (A)
Jason Grilli: 4 Mil.
Jed Lowrie: 4 Mil.
Neil Walker: 4 Mil.
James McDonald: 3.4 Mil. (A)
Jose Tabata 3 Mil.
Gaby Sanchez 2.1 Mil.
Adam McKenry 1.5 Mil. (A)

One option to consider is non-tendering Garret Jones which would save $5 Mil. but we also would be losing a power bat in the middle of the line up with no guarantee that Gaby Sanchez could step into a starting role at 1B and put up the kind of numbers that he did in 2010-11.

A second option would be non-tendering Chris Perez but there really isn't enough depth in the bullpen and no clear answer for the closer role.

Wandy, Martin, Liriano, McCutchen, Lowrie, Walker and Tabata will be staying put but beyond those players we will be open to any offers that can improve the team and create payroll flexibility.
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