I am prone, during the dog days of winter, to let my imagination run towards what I would do if I was making the decisions about the upcoming season (you might have noticed this tendency, or even have it yourself). I'm calling this a fantasy world based on the fact that in some cases i don't know what it would take to make the fantasy come true.
Well, not entirely a fantasy world - in a fantasy world Hanley Ramirez would be our shortstop on opening day but the point is, within the context of what we have in hand and what might reasonably be done with it without going totally around the bend from reality
So, I'm going to take a pass on the pitching because there are just TOO many moving parts there. I'm not in a position to say whether McGowan comes back healthy, whether Morrow continues to improve his control, whether Zep looks better than Cecil in Spring or vice versa...almost any scenario there would be of interest to me. but on the hitting side, there's still a lot of players who don't enthuse me, so I can project a lot of potential moves.
Here's my ideal starting lineup and how I get there:
1. Damon - LF: last best hope for a competent lead-off hitter
2. Hill - 2B: needs to be hitting sixth, but no one else really fits here
3. Lind - 1B: Comfortable and no reason to move him down.
4. Delgado - DH: one sure way to keep Wells out of the spot
5. Wells - CF: maybe a bit less pressure? usually hits better when lower than #4
6. Snider - RF: run him out there and trust him
7. Encarnacion - 3B: natural place for him, hope he bounces back
8. Buck - c: no other place for him
9. Gonzalez - SS: he has to hit sometime, hiding him at nine is all you can do.
The thinking here is that while we all know Wells doesn't belong in CF, the jays are not ready to give up on that yet, plus, i am not sure that we lose more runs with Wells defending in CF than we do with Bautista as the full time lead off guy - it would be hard to believe. So Damon is the one remaining solution to the #1 spot.
I've dispatched Overbay, not because I hate him as many do, but because I'd rather have Delgado and because I hate being constrained to make up for Lyle's weakness vs LHP. I admit there are few options for dealing him - perhaps the marlins can prove they are not hording money by taking him on? Probably the biggest pipe dream here is that such a deal is out there.
Lind at 1B belies Anthopoulos' assertion that Wallace will be a 1B but even if it's only for one year (id Delgado is only here for one) Lind can muddle through and Wallace can get over-ripe in AAA. Alternately, you can take a bit longer to give up on him at 3B by playing him there in Vegas. If he succeeds as a 3B, then you can deal EE in July (if he's a success this year) or non-tender him in the fall (if he's mediocre) or outright ditch him (if he's bad) when you think Wallace is ready. If, on the other hand, you are committed to Wallace at 1B, there's still no reason that deals or injuries can't open a second-half door for him if need be. It wouldn't be be the WORST thing in the world if he was in AAA all year (in fact, that's what would happen if Overbay isn't dealt).
The money you save on Overbay, if you moved the whole deal, might very well pay for Damon and Delgado. If you had to include a reliever to Florida to get them to take Overbay, then so much the more balance for the costs.
What does all this mean in the real world? Not a damn thing really. Just wanted to have it written down.