With Greinke traded, and the bullpen setting Guinness Book of World Records, I feel we proabaly can throw in the towel on 2012. I know it's not even August yet, but sans Greinke and apparently Marcum, I find it hard to see a Rockies-like surge at the end of the year to get back into the wild card race.
With that said, after an encouraging start by Mark Rogers, the fall out of the trade, and looking at the minor league prospects, I started to think about next year's club.
If Aramis Ramirez is not traded, and we keep him next year. The only 'hole' in the offense is at SS. Certainly upgrades can be had elsewhere. I think non-2012 Rickie Weeks will be an immediate upgrade over 2012 Rickie Weeks.
In pitching, bullpens are always in flux. But I see Axford, Loe, Veras (is he still under contract) still competing. And maybe some minor leaguers like Henderson, Kintzler, Stetter, Jesus Sanchez can fill in. Otherwise, we will need a veteran starter to pair with Gallardo, as obviously Wolf is not a valid option and I would be shocked if his option is picked up. So that leaves a few questions.
1. At SS - sign a veteran FA? Assume Segura can start next year? I'd be up for offering Alex Gonzalez another 1 year offer. Or would you rather go for Aybar, Peralta, Bartlett for 3+ year deals and worry about Segura's role when he earns it?
2. 1b - Keep Hart there? Let Gamel get a chance to earn it back? Give Hunter Morris, Sean Halton or Khris Davis a chance to earn it?
3. SP - Sign a veteran on a 1 year flyer? Compete for Greinke, or another high priced FA? Talk to Marcum about a 2 year deal at a lower cost? Or just let the prospects fill it out: Gallardo-Fiers-Estrada-Rogers/Peralta/Thornburg?
4. Bullpen - Who is under contract still? I would be interested in an older FA who was a closer in the past, to act like a mentor to Axford and company. Kind of a smaller version of what Hoffman did here. But mariano Rivera ain't coming here. JJ Putz, Matt Capps, or Huston Street? eh never mind that idea, unless I'm missing someone.
Let me know what you think. Thanks for taking the time to read this.