Congratulations, Rockville Pikemen! You've won it all. Now, it's time to figure out how you're going to keep this championship team together. There are a few difficult offseason decisions that the Pikemen need to make this year, but so far, so good for this successful franchise. With the team pressed so close to the cap, they'll have to make a tough decision or two.
Gone for sure: Mario Idanha
Idanha had a nice run with the team for several years as a very underrated lefty reliever, but he hasn't been the same since his long stint in the minor leagues in 2035. He didn't make the playoff roster this year, and he shouldn't have, clocking in at replacement level.
Tough calls: Santiago Morales, Arthur Norris, Leonardo Gonzalez, Gabriel Delgado
Norris was the afterthought in the trade that brought Dave Martin to the Pikemen. Some afterthought: Norris hit 15 homers in 66 games with the Pikemen with a ridiculous .999 OPS. He's not THAT good, but as a lefty platoon outfielder you could do a helluva lot worse than a decent defensive outfielder with a .407 OBP. One would think he has to stay, but his option is $9 million and would be the easiest player to cut, especially with...
Gabriel Delgado is a good reserve outfielder and still has option years left and is just $1.5 million, so he's tough to cut, but his skills have eroded slightly over the past season and he could be out if they need the space. He could also be the starter as he's a much better defensive player than Norris and he's also a platoon outfielder.
Santiago Morales seems like a key reserve to us: the slick righty glove has hit over .280 in his last 570 at bats. His $3 million price tag seems to be the obstacle here.
Leonardo Gonzalez went 0-9 with a 6.18 ERA and is set to make close to $3 million. Gonzo, right? Well, no; Gonzalez allowed just 4 homers, struck out 59 in 55 innings, and set a career high in WAR, largely because he gave up an absurd .370 average on balls in play.
Probably not negotiable: Marko Efremov, Celio Marin
Efremov's resume reads a little like Gonzalez, but that's somewhat because he had a confusingly bad season against lefties. He'll get another shot. Celio Marin was thought to be a cap casualty last year, but with no stints in the rotation this year he rocked the pen so hard he's sure to be back.
Tough (and easy) 40-man roster decisions:
Nick Snyder is a really easy 40-man roster decision; he'll be in the majors sometime next year. Mathias Lovelien should be put on the roster, though he'll need to show more with his knuckle curve to hit the majors. Wiel Van Driel will probably get another season to try to improve, with the team short on pitching prospects, but he's been very unimpressive in AAA. Mathias Lovelien is probably also getting added.
GM: Aaron Weiner