So, let's break a few things down - some of you are going to hate this -
Like the postseason roster, we'll go by category.
FA's the need to be re-signed -
Ryan Dempster - this is kinda a flyer, but THE most consistent starter wire to wire
Kerry Wood - Should be even better as a closer next year, especially if he gets a similar deal
Henry Blanco - A better backup catcher cannot be found.
FA not to be signed -
Daryle Ward - He's a pinch hitter. Forgot how to hit. You gonna hire a carpenter without a hammer? Nuff said.
Howry - Buh bye. In fact, who are you? I don't know this man. Security!
Not UNTOUCHABLE, but whoever we get better have the last name "Ramirez"
Carlos Zambrano - A headcase, yes. But too damn good to give up.
Ted Lilly - Can you argue with back to back 15 win seasons?
Rich Harden - Take the option - make him a #3 or 4 starter.
Carlos Marmol - Actaully, you'd need two guys for him, and they both better be named Ramirez
Aramis Ramirez - Clutch power-hitting #4 guy. Not great in the post season, but he's won a lot of games for the Cubs. just stop double clutching.
Geovany Soto - If you even think of his name while on the phone, you need to be shot.
Mark DeRosa - Super Utility guy who can play ANYWHERE, short of beer vendor, and play it as well as a regular. You can't pay enough for that.
If you can get a good deal, deal them -
Derrek Lee - Oh my Gawd Lee? Yes DP Lee. Got hurt in 06, numbers plummeted since. Good hitter, not a power hitter any more.
Ryan Theriot - "The Riot?" Yes The Riot. Shortstop is becoming more and more of power position - Reyes, Rollins, Tejada. This is why it has to be a good, borderline GREAT deal. But he is dealable...
Sean Marshall - Quietly becoming a solid #4 or #5 starter. Left handed. Passable out of the rotation or the Pen.
Alfonso Soriano - Nobody will want his salary, so you don't move him unless they take it. Can carry a team single handedly, but only for 7-10 days and only twice a year. That's roughly 15 games out of 162. We can live without him.
Neal Cotts - a bubble pick. Right now our only lefty out of the 'pen. If we get Fuentes, he's a great #2 lefty.
Kosuke Fukudome - See Soriano, except for the carrying a team thing.
Mike Fontenot - Second baseman of the future at this point. Keep him around for off the bench work and for when DeRosa's off saving someone else's butt.
Jeff Samardzija - Have seen too little to make the call to outright deal him, but he's got some nasty potential as either a reliever or a starter.
Ronny Cedeno - Security! Seriously why do we keep giving him a shirt?
Jason Marquis - Switching things up this year - sucked to begin and a decnt second half. If he's youre number 5, and ONLY YOUR #5, keep him.
Felix Pie - Still just a prospect. And likely that's all he'll ever be in Chicago.
Now, for Johnson and Edmonds - The two of them make a pretty darn good center fielder. I think they're both on one-year deals, so they're Free agents. Re-signing them depends entirely on your plans for center field. If you can get a Nate McLouth, then screw th two of them. If that's not in the cards, keep them. If Edmonds retires, Johnson solo will do, but then plan on getting another outfielder.
So that's my take. May be revised at some point.