First off, I apologize for taking as long as I have to recap the simulation. Real life ended up getting in my way, ha! Here is the original transaction thread on Royals Review for anyone looking to see all of the deals made by every team.
I'll recap all of my transactions first, then give the final 25 man projected roster and wrap up with my final thoughts on my make believe club for 2017:
Trade #1 - LAA
I traded P Taylor Jungmann and P Kodi Medeiros for 3B Kaleb Cowart and C Taylor Ward
I traded OF Ryan Braun for P Alex Wood, C Austin Barnes, P Yadier Alvarez and P Jordan Sheffield.
Trade #4 - Cincinnati
I traded P Jimmy Nelson, P Corey Knebel and P Phil Bickford for OF/1B Adam Duvall
Trade #5 - Washington
I traded P Kender Villegas for P Oliver Perez
Trade # 6 - Boston
I traded P Tyler Cravy for P James Shields ($10 mil picked up by SD), P Brian Johnson and P Jake Cosart
FREE AGENT SIGNINGS:
Jordan Walden to a 1 year, $2.5 mil deal with a club option for a 2nd year at $5 mil
AJ Achter to a 1 yr, $750k deal
Sergio Romo for 3 years 21 mil
Oswaldo Arcia to a minor league deal
PROJECTED 25 MAN ROSTER:
B Niewenhuis OR Oswaldo Arcia
B Hernan Perez
B Austin Barnes
B Manny Pina
B Kaleb Cowart
Most of my $66.4 mil payroll is tied up in Garza ($12.5 mil in 2017) and Shields ($11 mil in 2017 and $21 mil in 2018) but otherwise my financial commitments are rather negligible compared to most of the other GMs in this sim. My only significant payroll numbers are Shields, Garza, Chris Carter ($8.1 mil) and Romo.
On the field, I feel like I replaced Braun's power threat with two guys who get a lot of extra base hits. Odor and Duvall each would have led the 2016 Brewers in XBH with 70 a piece. I also like the fact that I got a catcher in Austin Barnes who has showed a propensity to take walks and get on base. Something that I think will really help if he can establish himself as the #1 guy in a battle with Susac. Offensively, I like the makeup of the team, as it is relatively young and should also be explosive with Duvall, Odor, Carter, Villar, Broxton and Santana easily capable of slugging .450 or better over an entire season. And while it's doubtful all six of those guys would be able to duplicate last season's production, I still feel confident to have 5 players of the top 30 in the NL.
I have a lot of positional versatility and some really good defensive players. Villar and Perez will give the real-life Brewers versatility in 2017, but in this simulation I added Barnes, who can play multiple positions, as well as Kaleb Cowart who is a switch hitter and plus defender at multiple IF positions. Even Adam Duvall came up in the Giants organization as a 1B and gives me an option there if Carter was to miss extended time.
Drawing walks, working counts and getting into an opponent's bullpen is going to be a challenge for this team. They are going to strikeout and I have 3 players who hit for a lot of power, but don't get on base enough in Odor, Duvall and Carter. In Odor's case, I'm hoping he develops his eye at the plate as he is still only entering his age 23 season and should be able to push his OBP into the .325 range as he enters his prime. Duvall and Carter are not long for the lineup together as Carter is going to get dealt in July or non-tendered in the winter. Barnes gives me one shot at a regular who has a good track record in the minors of drawing walks and limiting strikeouts. I also have Lewis Brinson who should help me in that department once a position opens up for him to play every day.
From a prospect perspective, I swapped out players that I wasn't overly high on in Ortiz (injury concerns) and Bickford (might not stick as a starter) for Alvarez, who I really like, and Sheffield. I also added 2 good catching prospects in Barnes and Taylor Ward, both of whom are better bets to stick behind the plate than Jacob Nottingham, who can now move to 1B and hopefully ascend through the system more quickly based on his offensive capabilities.
I'm not overly broken up about anyone I traded save Brauny. He's been my favorite player for almost a decade and it would hurt to be the guy who actually traded him away. In some ways, I hope Stearns and Co. decide to keep Braun in a Brewers uniform for the rest of his career, but I have a feeling that might not be in the cards this winter. Coming to grips with a Guerra trade wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I felt fairly confident that I was selling high on Juni G and there's a good chance he may never replicate what he did in 2016.
Overall, I like the team's construction. Which I should, since I was the one that made the moves. This team wouldn't be a World Series winner in 2017 but I think there are a lot of pieces here to build a playoff baseball team. Namely, 2 young starting pitchers in Davies and Wood, a host of young, MLB ready talent on the 25 and in AAA and a solid defensive team top to bottom. I should also win 5-6 extra games in '17 based on the strength of the bullpen and the high leverage relievers I invested in. I think this team would compete with St.Louis and Pittsburgh in the middle of the division and has an outside chance at a second Wild Card birth if everything fell into place. I think the floor for this team would be somewhere around 70 wins and the ceiling would be 85.