- Assuming they can get over the trauma of one of the biggest collapses in baseball history, the Braves are actually in pretty good shape. Lots of talented youth and not a lot of holes.
- With Tyler Pastornicky slotted in to start at shortstop, look for a veteran backup in case he struggles. Guys like Nick Punto, Jack Wilson, Ronny Cedeno all fit the bill.
- Keep Martin Prado around, with the plan of having him and Uggla split second/third base when Chipper inevitably retires/gets hurt.
- Add some mash potential by signing a corner outfielder. These guys are easily found this offseason--Josh Willingham, Ryan Ludwick, Luke Scott, Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Beltran.
- Keep rotation intact for now. That means the top four guys (Hudson, Hanson, Jurjjens, Beachy), plus whichever young stud grabs a hold of the fifth spot. Jurjjens and Hanson have both been fairly fragile, and will need fill-ins. Use this year to figure out which of the prospects are "boom" and which are "bust." Then trade those who are "bust" before anyone else realizes they are not that good.
- Also, make sure to frequently tell Craig Kimbrall that he is still really good.
- The Phils have a lot of money committed to guys who are about to get really old, really fast. With that in mind, the strategy is do whatever we can to "win now" without getting rid of any young players.
- Go hard after Michael Cuddyer. He can fill in for Howard while he is hurt, and can then start in a corner outfield spot when Howard returns. Perfect fit.
- In the theme of winning now, while going younger, look into trading with the Padres for Chase Headley (27) to take Polanco's spot at third. Headley's power has always been suppressed, but in the Philly's park, that power will be exaggerated. Polanco then becomes a utility infielder
- Do whatever possible to dump Joe Blanton's salary, and replace with someone much cheaper (Paul Maholm? Zach Duke?)
- Re-sign Jimmy Rollins, but not to a five-year deal. Preferably three. Then tell him to make a guarantee about the Phillies winning the World Series.
- Agree to a bunch of outrageous free-agent contracts with big name players that will excite fan base.
- Sell season tickets to excited fan base.
- Before first game of season, put a big "Closed Until Further Notice" sign on front of new stadium, and disappear with season ticket-holder money to remote tropical island.
New York Mets
- The outlook is not good for this year, or the next couple years. That means full rebuilding mode.
- Trade David Wright for the best collection of prospects that is offered.
- Trade anything else of value (Jason Bay, Mike Pelfrey) for prospects.
- Convince Brian Cashman that Johan Santana is healthy, and then trade him to the Yankees.
- Hang onto Ike Davis as the interim "face of the franchise." Cash in on as many Ike Davis bobblehead nights as possible.
- Looking at the National's roster on paper makes me think that this is a team that could surprise some people. If nothing else, they are really close.
- Sign Prince Fielder. He plays first, Mike Morse moves to left, and the heart of the lineup looks like this: Zimmerman, Fielder, Werth, Morse. Not too shabby.
- Give Bryce Harper a "chance" to earn a starting outfield job in spring training, but unless he blows up, send him back to the minors for one more year of seasoning.
- Look to trade for a center fielder with good OBP to lead off. Perhaps re-ignite talks with the Twins about Denard Span, as he would be a great fit.
- Look for a seasoned veteran with a good track record of success to lead the staff of young high-upside starters (Strasburg, Zimmermann, Detwiler, etc.). In terms of free agency, Oswalt fits the bill. In terms of trading, talk to the Cubs about Garza, the Astros about Wandy/Myers, and maybe the White Sox about Jake Peavy.