I’m A Lousy GM, But I’m Good At Adding Payroll

by on September 30, 2010 · 6 comments

In this follow-up to “Play GM For A Day”, you get to see just how poorly I play the aforementioned game.  While I lack both business acumen and talent evaluation ability, it’s probably my inability to emotionally detach that ultimately will derail my career as a GM.  Honestly, the members of Cardinal Nation may have a meltdown once they see the ticket prices go up in order to support the payroll monster that I would create.  As a wise man once said, “Show me the money!”.  Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 St. Louis Cardinals:

PITCHERS: 5 starters, 8 relievers => $54,365,000

NON-PITCHERS: 12 players => $54,710,000

TOTAL OPENING DAY SALARY:  $109,075,000

In defense of my decisions: 

  1. I consider 2011 to be a transition year, so it’s a year for hedging.  The team needs to be prepared to move forward with or without Albert.  If Albert signs an extension, then payroll flexibility becomes a huge issue, and 2011-2012 are key years due to Carpenter’s contract ($15m/yr) still on the books.  That likely means that the 2012 payroll could balloon to a record high ($120m range), but the following years could fall back in line with revenues ($110-112m).
  2. The NL Central promises to become more competitive for the next 2-3 years.  The Reds are unlikely to step back significantly, and the Cubs and Astros could step up.  Look for 90-95 wins to take the division every year for a while.  Redbird Up!
  3. The roster lacks switch hitters as it stands.  Sorry, but the switch hitters really didn’t add a lot in 2010.  Maybe that’s because good switch hitters don’t usually appear in the form of bargain free agents.  However, this team has plenty of guys who can hit both LHP and RHP.  Check the splits for Jay, Rasmus, Freese, Holliday, and Pujols.  Maybe there is a spot there for TLR favorite Aaron Miles, but I’d rather give the roster spot to someone like Descalso or Craig. 
  4. Yes, there is a logjam in RF.  If Uggla is signed, then it’s likely that Skip and his $2.7m salary become expendable.  If a starting pitcher is lost to injury, then it might make sense to package Skip and someone else together to obtain a young, affordable starting pitcher.  
  5. There is an open slot for a LHP in a relief capacity.  After going through the entire list of arbitration eligible LH relievers AND potential Type-A and Type-B free agents, I determined that there isn’t anybody out there who both 1) stands out as a significant upgrade over Reyes and 2) can likely be suckered signed for $1m for a 1 year deal

Interesting Factoids: Things you can buy with $109,075,000 => 545 tickets for Virgin Galactic spaceflights, 90,000 pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes at Neiman Marcus, 1983 Dez Bryant-type dinners with friends, or lifetime season tickets for the contributors here at PH8 with plenty left over for all the other stuff you want to do *hint hint*. 

Now, let’s hear how other amateur GMs would put together the team for 2011.  Feel free to tweet at me or provide feedback here at PH8.

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Cardinals fan since I could hold a fishing pole steady. Accidental blogger. Opinionated. I could care less about what you think of me. Constantly confounded, bemused, and confuzzled (ie I'm a pc and a mac). I'm an IT infrastructure analyst with a penchant for breaking tech toys. I ate a sabermetric primer for breakfast. I love playing "All-powerful GM of MLB". The 2010 Cardinals represented a good, practical definition "cognitive dissonance". The 2011 version got by on duct tape and a prayer, and I'm fine with that. They just need new tape for #12 in 12.
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