If '07 (and possibly '08) is a bust...

Assuming that '07 becomes a bust very quickly after the All-Star Break, here is what I would like to see happen as we play out the rest of the season - assuming we won't make any splash in the free agent market:

At the end of the season, we could see a rotation of


and a bullpen of


On offense, I say we go with who will be here next year:

Kennedy - I don't think we can unload this contract
Rolen - or this one
Encarnacion - or this one

A bench of

John Rodriguez

When Johnson comes of the DL, send him down for a rehab stint at Memphis.

I would make the following trades for something of value in the farm system...not for ML ready players:

Trade Edmonds - who could have some trade value as he is under contract for $8 million next season.

Trade Izzy - who will have some trade value as he has a club option for $8 million next season.

(Those first two trades are contingent upon Edmonds and Izzy signing off as they are 10/5 players.)

Trade Looper - who will have some trade value as he can be seen as a starter, a setup man, or a closer by the receiving party (at only $5.5 million next season.)

Trade Percival while he is back and hot because he does not figure to be a part of the pen next season.

For next year, Gary Bennett has an option.  Since Bryan Anderson will not be ready for another season, most likely, you pick it up.

Springer, Wells, Wellemeyer, Miles, Eckstein, and Taguchi all have contracts that expire at the end of the season.  If you can deal any of them, do it...but I don't think you could if you wanted to.  You let them go.

Next year you have three reliever spots to take care of and 3 Bench spots to take care of.  Since they obviously see Shumaker as ready for the show, you have him up.  Also, bring up Ankiel and one infielder (Travis Hansen? - he's already on the 40 man roster.)  For the three reliever spots, you use Cavazos, Jiminez, and Keisler (possibly) since they have all been up already.

That looks pretty bleak for next season, but the following season you lose Juan, Mulder (club option), Spiezio (club option), Flores, and Bennett and can really start the youth movement with a good core (still) of Carpenter, Pujols, and Rolen (if he can be considered part of a core)...especially if you can trade Rolen and/or Juan next year if they play just slightly better even.


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