I'm going to try and keep mine realistic. I see Houston as currently being below average at C, RF, LF, DH, SP, and Closer. But I know that this is a rebuilding effort and Houston isn't going to go out and sign free agents to fill all of those holes and become and overnight contender. So here is my 'realistic' wishlist:
LF Melky Cabrera
($7M/1yr). Houston desperately needs to get better offense out of it's corners and since Hamilton, Swisher, Napoli, Ross, and LaRoche are all likely to be too expensive, Cabrera appears to be the best option out of the next group. Would also be happy with Ludwick, Hunter, or Bay if the price was right.
I know this pushes Martinez to AAA but I'm ready for Houston to add some damn offense.
DH Lance Berkman
($5M/1yr). Despite his comments, if he is able to play physically, this just makes too much sense. Wouldn't mind Rolen, Chavez, Gomes, or Pena in this role, if the price was right.
OF Grady Sizemore
($1.5M/1yr). I like the name recognition and he'd be an upgrade over Brandon Barnes
with upside to be a starter in RF. Contingent on him being able to spot Maxwell in center. Would also be cool with Ichiro.
C Gerald Laird
($1.5M/yr). Luhnow is familiar with him, his brother is in the organization, and he'd be a cheap way to upgrade the offense (over Corporan). Would also be cool with Barajas, Blanco, Navarro, Snyder, Paulino, Ross, Schneider, Shoppach, or Torrealba.
IF Ryan Theriot
(minor league deal). Could compete with Greene and Marwin for the backup SS role. Would also be happy with Bartlett on a minor league deal.
OF Rick Ankiel
(minor league deal). Could compete with Sizemore and Barnes. Also wouldn't mind Morgan or Podsednik.
SP Joe Saunders
($6M/1yr). They need to add an innings eater. Several other guys I'd be happy with (Haren, Jackson, Dempster, Blanton). Assumes Greinke, A Sanchez, Kuroda, and Lohse are too expensive.
SP Roy Oswalt
($4M/1yr). Makes a lot of sense. He obviously doesn't want last season to be how he goes out and with a full offseason committed to pitching he could rebound. Other rebound candidates I'd like: McCarthy, Guthrie, Marcum, Liriano.
SP Dallas Braden
(minor league deal). Jonathan Sanchez or Chris Young fit this mold too.
CL Francisco Rodriguez ($5.5M/1yr). Lots of possibilities here, but bottom line is Houston needs to add an alternative to Lopez at closer.
That puts payroll at a very realistic $50M (including minimums, arbs, buyouts, and Wandy).
Whattaya think? Who you got?