What Do You Do?

So, you want to be a GM?

Everyone thinks they can sign players, release players, trade players, spend money, negotiate with agents, tackle arbitration cases, appear on radio/TV, work in a beautiful office, watch hundreds of games and players.  Trades are simple, “We’ll trade you a box of pop corn for your gold watch.”  Grab a yellow pad, jot down 3-4 trades and let’s start the season.  Easy.

Sorry, folks, it isn’t that easy.

Ruben Amaro Jr.’s job took a potentially complicated turn today with the announcement that Chase and Pedro are having surgery.  The announcement will push Donovan McNabb off of tomorrow’s sports pages.

Total recovery for Chase may require 4 to 6 months, mostly dependant on what the arthroscopic surgery entails.  He could miss the start of the season.  No one really knows right now.  Pedro should be back for spring training.

With Eric Bruntlett and minor league infielder Jason Donald on the roster, they are on hand to fill in.  Donald has been a shortstop.  He spent time in the Arizona Fall League playing both second and third.  Today, he was chosen as the Arizona Fall League’s Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award. The award exemplifies unselfishness, hard work and leadership.  Plus, he has some definite baseball tools.

So, you are the GM?  What do you do? Panic isn’t an option.  Neither is signing Hall of Fame second baseman Ryan Sandberg, bringing back Manny Trillo or moving Carlos Ruiz back to second base, where he played as an amateur.

What’s on your yellow pad?


Ok, here’s my 2 cents: Feliz shouldn’t be an issue, but if he returns late, you use Greg Dobbs until he is ready to go. As for Utley, bring up Donald if he is ready to go, if not, use Eric Bruntlett. He did great at shortstop when Jimmy was out and will have plenty of notice to prepare to play 2nd. However, I like Donald’s bat over Bruntlett, so go with Donald if he shows in Spring Training that he is ready. I really think this team has all the tools it needs to move forward without Utley for a short time, but this will also depend on left field. I am hoping we can get Burrell back, but if not, there has to be a solid replacement. I am not fully sold on the Ibanez idea as he is getting up there in years. Baldelli is a definite no; he is constantly playing through pain and rarely makes it though a whole game. Jerry Hairston Jr. has potential, but did not have good numbers his first 2 seasons and has not yet been a full time starter. Hermida is young and did not have a great average and lots of K’s. We did just pick up John Mayberry Jr…if he is ready out of Spring, that’s a possibility. Tough decisions all around, but I agree that no one should panic. This team has proven over and over again that it can and will get the job done despite injuries and setbacks. I think Ruben should work with what he has and then keep his eyes and ears open for any right-handed bat that may be available and can bolster the line-up. And as always, I am available for consultations anytime :O)


It appears that Feliz should be available for the start of the season. I think we need to be cautious and monitor Chase closely to see when he will be available. No need to look for any long term replacement while we have Bruntlett and Donald as options. If his rehab drags out through spring training, we may need to look at other options at that time. No need to panic right now.

Left field could be an issue if we can’t sign Burrell to a reasonable “home-town” contract. I would offer him two years at 10 million per, with an option. He is getting up there in years and has never been much of an outfielder. He’ll probably get substantial offers from AL teams to DH and play a little in the outfield when necessary. Otherwise, Jenkins will probably get a lot of playing time, but we’ll need a righthanded bat to platoon and fill in at times as the fourth outfielder. Werth looks like an everyday player.

Marson should have the opportunity to make the roster and earn some playing time at catcher. Ruiz had a great postseason, but he still is what he is. I think, in the end, he will have a great career here as a solid backup.

Re-sign Moyer. Happ and Kendrick can fight it out for the fifth spot, with the loser going to Lehigh Valley as insurance. Carrasco should get lots of innings in spring training and should be considered as a bullpen piece similar to what the Yankees did with Chamberlain and the Rays did with Price. He should be ready for the rotation in 2010.

Where’s my contract and where do I sign?

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