... sign newly acquired Richie Sexson long term. He’s a strikeout monster, but his pop is too much to ignore. You have learned the past two years how much you miss good hitters in their prime. Sexson is about as prime a young power hitter as there is around.
... move Scott Hairston along and get him in the bigs soon. Perhaps he’s not ready for the job now, but don’t do anything to block his path for a midseason arrival. He’s got big-league bloodlines and big-time talent, particularly in the pop department for a second baseman.
... though, make Matt Kata your starting second baseman. Robby Hammock and Kata’s emergence last season gave you hope in the second half. Kata might eventually become trade fodder, so build up his value. He’s a more than suitable placeholder for Hairston.
... keep Oscar Villarreal in the bullpen for now. Try your other young arms in the rotation first: Andrew Good, John Patterson, Casey Daigle and Edgar Gonzalez.
...trade Matt Mantei. The Iceman shall not goeth just yet. His contract and health questions make him more valuable to you. Plus, with Jose Valverde and Villarreal’s rise, you’ll have a nicely stocked bullpen to overcome a Curt Schilling-, Miguel Batista-less young rotation.
... hand a starting rotation spot to Casey Fossum.
... balk at adding a veteran catcher. Javy Lopez and Pudge Rodriguez, if at all affordable, would drastically upgrade your offense. The Schilling deal helped saved some coin, and using it on a catcher like Pudge would really be wise. He proved he can nurture a young rotation.
... don’t expect Randy Johnson to be an ace anymore. Thankfully you have Brandon Webb to take the torch. The Big Unit likely will struggle to stay healthy, but you should still be counted on for at least 25 starts and 10 victories.
Key to offseason
Staying aggressive. The D-Backs might feel comfy after the Schilling and Sexson deals, but there’s still some bargains to be had out there. Getting a veteran catcher like Pudge could be huge, if they can swing a bigger negotiating stick than the Marlins did.
red highlight denotes ideas which resemble horse manure.
blue highlight denotes names that make me scratch my head and ask "Is this pitcher the brother of the writer because I know there's no other way this name could be seriously considered for a starting rotation position OVER Casey Fossum when he hasn't made it passed AA and has an overall minor league ERA of 4.52, 670 hits in 588 IP and 370 K's?"