If money were no object, some team in baseball could potentially add nine future Hall of Famers to its roster this offseason, including what is obviously a baseball first: available sluggers who have reached the 700, 600, 500, 400 and 300 home-run plateaus.
First, the possible -- not all probable -- Hall of Famers: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, Andruw Jones, Mike Piazza, Mariano Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Curt Schilling and Sammy Sosa. I'm not going to go into here the debate about whether Jones and Schilling are Hall of Famers, just like I'm not bothering with the technicality that Clemens hasn't filed (and could very well retire) and that Sosa's election to the Hall is very much in doubt.
And the homers:
Even in such a weak free-agent class, some video-game roster finagling could still produce a pretty competitive team. Obviously age is a factor in the real world, but not on the Xbox -- particularly if you turn off the injuries. A rotation consisting of Clemens, Glavine, Schilling, Kenny Rogers and Livan Hernandez would pile up some wins. Todd Jones or Eric Gagne could close. First base would be a problem -- Doug Mientkiewicz and Ryan Klesko seem to be the only options, unless you count Julio Franco -- but Kaz Matsui is there at second, David Eckstein at shortstop and A-Rod, obviously, at third. Or go with A-Rod at short and Pedro Feliz at third. The outfield has options from Bonds, Jones, Sosa (left to right) to an all-center lineup of Jones, Torii Hunter and Aaron Rowand, or some other grouping. Mike Piazza, Paul Lo Duca and Jorge Posada are there to catch.
But the team would probably have a payroll of $300 million, a tenth of that spent on A-Rod alone.
Labels: Alex Rodriguez, Andruw Jones, Barry Bonds, Curt Schilling, free agents, Hall of Famers, home runs, Hot Stove, Mariano Rivera, Mike Piazza, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Tom Glavine