The latest rumor, courtesy of Phil Rogers, is that Magglio is now on the trading block. Magglio will be paid $14 million this year and will be free agent in 2005. The Sox plan on having a payroll of $60 million next year and have already committed 43.4 million to 6 players:
This doesn’t include arbitration eligible players such as Carlos Lee, Buerhle and Garland. As you can see the Sox will not have much room to sign any free agents unless they unload some players.
Now the two obvious choices to unload would be Koch & Konerko. But it would be real hard to find any takers. But it doesn’t make any sense to try and unload Ordonez. Yes he will earn the most of any Sox player next year, but he is also been the best Sox player for the past 4 years. It’s hard to see them competing without him on the team. Especially since, if what Rogers writes is true, they would only be looking to get players such as Percival & Erstad in return.
If the Sox don’t think they could resign Magglio for 2005 they could always look to trade him in mid-season if the Sox are doing poorly. I don’t see the urgency to let go of him even before the season starts.
The person Williams should be trying to trade in Carlos Lee. He has put up some good numbers although with a low OBP & walk total. But there are still plenty of GMs out there willing to trade for a .300/30/100 player. The Sox have a few young outfielders they could try in left. They'll probably give Joe Borchard the first shot, although he seemed to regress in AAA. But you also have Rowand, Harris and Rios. I admit these are not great options, but with a $60m payroll, you’re going to have some weak spots. There is also Jeremy Reed who hit lights out at AA this year. The bottom line is that the Sox do have some options in the outfield.
One thing that doesn’t make sense to me is how Colon could have been offered $33m for 3 years if the Sox want a payroll near $60m. Who would they have gotten rid of then?
All I can say is that I hope the Magglio rumor is not true. I have to believe Williams is smarter than this.