This team has been amazing this year and the great news is that most of this team is signed for next year.
Catcher: McCann $8.5M,
First Base: Freeman $400K
Second: Uggla $13M
Third: Jones $13M
Short Stop: Open
Left Field: Prado Arb. made $3.1M this year probably $5-6M next year
Center Field: Bourn Arb. made $4.4M this year probably $6-7M next year
Right Field: Heyward $400K
Jurrjens Arb. made $3.25M probably $5.5-6.5M this year
O'Flaherty Arb. made $895K this year probably $1-1.25M
Moylan Arb. made $2M this year probably won't make much more next year
7th spot Open
5th bench spot Open
There are 3 spots on this 25 man that would need to be filled: SS, RP, and Bench spot.
Best case scenario is we find a team that will take at least half of Lowe's remaining salary. At this point I think we could be safe trading Jurrjens also. I know he's a good young pitcher but we have 4 guys in the minors that are ready and Jurrjens is going to leverage this season into a big gain in arb. He made $3.25M this year and would not at all be surprised if he was able to double it next year. We could probably move Jurrjens for a 3B prospect or a good corner outfield prospect.
I think resigning Gonzalez is the way to go at SS. He's a solid defender and has his moments on offense. This years FA class at SS really isn't very good. The only guy right now set to be a FA that's under 30 years old is Jose Reyes.
My plan for the offseason would be to resign Gonzalez for $3M. He only made $2.5M this year so it would be a raise and since he'll turn 35 before next season he has to know that there won't be a long term deal around.
I would then move and sign Infante. He can play 2B, SS, 3B and OF for short periods and was a fan favorite. He's not having a good year so a big contract is out of the question. I think 2 years $7M is fair.
I would then see if Sherrill would sign for $1.5M next year. He has been pretty good adds a veteran presence to a young bullpen. If he would sign for that then we would need to find a guy who has a proven healthy record and doesn't mind middle relief.
I firmly believe that one or both of Jurrjens and Lowe will be traded. As much as $20M could come off the books and maybe allow us to spend a little more in extending players. Right now priority for extensions would be Prado, McCann, Hanson, Bourn.
I know its early to look ahead but thanks for reading.