Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Yoopers-going forward

Like our country and many industries and people, the Yoopers currently have money woes. It seems we made a few miscalculations on our way to enjoying some wealth, and now it is time for a payback. Sound familiar? Part of the organization is holding out hope for a bailout, or a stimulus bonus. But business goes on.

The Yoopers are coming off a very strong 109-53 regular season. This was the I build for, putting many of our eggs in one basket (it is close to Easter). However, Murphy’s Law and a very strong Diamond team visited us in the playoffs, and we meekly bowed out 4-1, and were not even competitive in the losses. So it is back to the drawing board in some ways, but also the same as usual as we have some very big contracts.

Of immediate concern is having operating cash for the upcoming season. That problem has been solved by a trade that will be announced. Of a greater concern to me is the following off season. I have Sean Marshall, Fausto Carmona, Bobby Jenks, and Ryan Theriot all on A3 contracts this year. It is doubtful I will be able to sign them all in the way I want. I already had to Give McCann an A3 contract instead of an A5 that I would have liked. It is my hope that I will move one of my big money guys next off season.

The key to our continued success will be to continue to draft well. I have used prospects like Briednac, Buchholz, and Adam Miller (there are more, this is off the top of my head) to acquire veteran help. The focus will now shift to maintaining more of our prospects. The only amateur I currently have is Nolan Reimold, who I hope will graduate this season. My other amateur, Jaime Garcia, graduated, but now faces Tommy John surgery. But I also need some Y1 and Y2 guys to step up. Luckily, my favorite part of strat leagues (I am in two) is drafting and following how young players are doing. So I am excited to try to rebuild thru the draft.

I anticipate being a playoff contender for the upcoming season. I am strong in the infield with Beltre, Theriot, and Berkman all coming off good years. I will have to get more Abs at 2B, where I have Bonifacio and Punto. But Punto will probably also be a backup SS. Burrell will be my DH. And McCann is coming off a very good year, although I will need to draft a back up catcher.
My outfield is more of a concern. Crawford is coming off a down year, and will have to miss about two months. The only back up I currently have is Barton. Although I could put Burrell out there and DH Buscher. CF is great with Tori Hunter. But I have no other rated CF on the roster, so I need a backup. RF is a hole, I have nobody currently. It is a high priority in either the draft or trade.

I should be solid at the top of the rotation with Guthrie, Oswalt, and Lannon. Currently the 4-5 spots will be filled in my the disappointing Carmona, Sowers, Laffey, and maybe Dumatrait and JoJO Reyes. It is my hope to use Marshall’s innings in the bullpen. I hope for one starter in the draft as well.

I will also have to fill in my pen. I have a closer in Jenks. A good lefty set up guy in Thornton, and another lefty in Marshall. But I will need RH relievers.

In short, we have our work cut out for us. But I look forward to it. When I joined the league, my franchise had never been to the playoffs (we have been in the last two years) and was among the dregs of the league, with cap problems We have transformed our selves into a solid contending franchise, and I hope to continue those ways. And all, start saving those pennies, as a big name guy will be available next offseason. LOL. Best of luck to everyone this offseason.
Bob-GB Yoopers