With Spring Training almost here, but large numbers of MLB(tm) players unsigned, I propose a little exercise amongst the denizens.
1. Among the unsigned Free Agents with MLB-experience, pick two or three to add to the M's roster.
2. Assume Commissioner Manfred unilaterally imposes a 26-man regular-season roster, with a 25-man series roster in September, and a 13-man maximum of pitchers. Assume as well, that the Commissioner re-implements the extra man/men on the roster in April that used to exist from 1957-67, so there will be 27 men to start the season. The 27th man may be a pitcher (i.e., 14 pitchers for first weeks of season).
3. The M's budget is still in force and should be discussed.
If the roster allowed, many would go after Yu Darvish, or Lance Lynn. I'm going to do a little smaller add.
Jason Vargas -- A dependable, Jamie-esque change-up lefty that many in Seattle still love (me, for one) for his moxie. Get him on a contract that isn't insulting, but make him the 6th man hole card, and decide whether Erasmo or Jason is the long man.
Eduardo Nunez -- Questions remain about Motter and Romine. This guy is absolutely legit as a short-bench UT guy. Will he sign for Nicasio money?
Tony Watson -- Sign him to a reliever contract with a small discount for the late date, stick him in the pen, and see who performs. Between Watson and Rzepczynski, I'm not sure who's best, but for that 27th spot to shake out the pen, he'd be perfect.
My guess is that Vargas and Nunez still want 2 years. But maybe Dipoto can swing 1 + options and incentives that will work. Watson is a question. He's been very good. Is he still? Will he bet on himself by signing to perform better than all but 6+Diaz?
Also, will the Commissioner try to ease the problems on rosters and signings by unilaterally imposing the 26-man roster or the expansion in the first few weeks in April? (From 1957-1967, the roster in April was 28, but the season started mid-April, so it was about 2 weeks). Interestingly, it was the PLAYERS who rejected the roster growth during the closeout of CBA talks, but the Commissioner retains the right to implement it now. The drumbeat of player complaints would seemingly be reduced by 30 or more quick signings. I assume if he does so, there will be a 2018 condition to sign one of the 90+ guys who have MLB(tm) experience.
So, now what available players look interesting to others? Remember, signing JD Martinez, Darvish, AND Hosmer likely scrapes the $197M Luxury tax line, so keep it reasonable :-)