New Milford made steps towards completing the 2017 roster by announcing some contracts, promotions and cuts.
The biggest announcement were the contracts given out. The headliner was Mookie Betts getting a 10 year Franchise tag, which will keep him in New Milford until he is 33 years old. “We feel comfortable doing this with a speed guy. He is a special player. We thought about not franchising him, but the 16M in savings over the life of the contract told us otherwise. He is face of our franchise for the next decade.”
New Milford also handed out a pair of 4 year contracts to C James McCann and OF David Peralta. “Again, no brainers to us.”
OF Michael Saunders got a 3 year contract, with P Shane Greene getting a 2 year deal. RP Jerry Blevins, CF Michael Bourne, IF Dan Descalso, CF Kirk Nieuwenhuis, RP Blake Treinen, and OF Richie Weeks got one year deals.
Five members of the 2016 farm were promoted to the big club. OF Hyun Soo Kim, RP’s Matt Bowman, Buddy Boshers, Hunter Cervenka, and Chris Devenski. “Our farm was so good last year, even guys we cut (Broxton and Sardinas) made teams, just not ours,” said an embarrassed Peburn.
Matt Carpenter, Jason Castro, Troy Tulowitzki, Derek Dietrich and Greg Garcia were kept on the hitting side. The rotation of Kershaw, Tanaka, Quintana and Moore was untouched.
Matt Albers, Abraham Almonte, CJ Hinojosa, Jed Lowrie, Clint Robinson, Felipe Rivero, Charlie Furbush, Connor Gillepsie, Jake’s Marisnick and McGee, Xavier Scruggs, Richie Shaffer, were all handed pick slips as well as long time Blazer Brett Anderson. “Brett was great for us but justifying that contract was just not feasible, so we cut him without penalty. We wish him the best,” said Peburn.
The Blazers now have just under 30 million dollars to fill 10 roster spots. With only one need, the Blazers have some flexibility. “We only really need one hitter then we can just hunt for upgrades. With Carpenter’s positional flexibility, we don’t have to overpay for a position and can just let the auction come to us,” smiled Peburn.
With a auction loaded with talent, there is lots of buzz about the possibilities. The most frequent scenario has long time Blazers Robinson Cano re signing with the Blazers. “We have signed him to two contracts in the past, so it seems logical,” explains Peburn, “but we’ll just see where this goes.” “Other then the SS’s in the auction, we can really sign any IF, so we will look for a good value. We can also upgrade in the OF, SP or RP if anything falls. We also have some money earmarked for the draft for a few players we have our eye on.”
The farm is barren with all the promotions leaving only stud pitchers Kopech, Anraku and Medeiros, with ML ready OF’s Jones and Eibner. “It is tough restocking the farm every year picking so low, but again, our under rated GM abilities will do the job filling the pond as we always do. We’ve done our homework and can’t wait to grab 10 guys who interest us in the farm draft.”
After failing in the playoffs again, New Milford has made some moves to position themselves in 2017 division race. “We aren’t hyper traders like Salem and St Louis, so we don’t get the recognition for General Managing, but we make smart moves to put us into position to win every year,” said GM Anthony Peburn.
In the first deal, New Milford shed Hisashi Iwakuma’s 6M salary for 100K platoon guy Tyler Saladino. New Milford also acquired salary dump Jimmy Paredes (800K cut) and fallen prospect Shelby Miller ( 2,100, 2018) . “We figured Miller was a good flier for 2018 and would keep him if need be.”
The next deal saw New Milford flip the salary they just acquired in the first deal (Miller and Paredes) plus prospect Taylor Guerrieri to Myrtle Beach for utility player Daniel Descalso (500K) and Shane Greene (100K). “We dumped another 3 million of dead weight (6 million overall) and upgraded Brandon McCarthy’s roster spot with spot starter Greene and reaquired long time Blazer Descalso to fill in the IF.”
Deal #3 flipped Saladino from the first deal to Granite State for the 500K Michael Bourne. “Bourne is a great fit to platoon in CF for us this year on the cheap,” said Peburn.
Deal #4 saw New Milford cut more dead weight in the 600K cut Kelly Johnson to Akron for Abraham Almonte. “Kelly wasn’t going to make our squad, so he was happy to go to Akron to get some PT.”
Finally, New Milford traded McCarthy, who lost his roster spot to Bear Country for Jake Marisnick. “Jake failed his post trade physical, so we will cut him. Since we weren’t going to carry McCarty anyway, we decided not to file a grievance with the commissioners office.”
Five deals, nothing flashy, just quality pieces for another run plus an extra 6.5 M to spend.
In an article just to painful to write, the Blazers were eliminated from the playoffs in the OLCS for the 1,ooo,oooth time, 4th time overall by Los Altos. The Blazer’s potent offence was lulled to sleep by Los Alpo’s pitching and was swept. “We now realize what makes us such a good team in a 4 game series and a terrible one in a seven game series,” said GM Anthony Peburn. “Corrections will be made in 2017 and you won’t see your typical Blazer team out there, other than winning a ton of games and the division.”