Did somebody say Roster Talk?
In as few words as possible, here's my vote for 2010.
Let 'Em Walk: Rich Harden (offered arb, won't take it), Kevin Gregg (no arb), Reed Johnson (no arb), John Grabow (could be resigned depending on price), Aaron Heilman (permanent member of Lou's dog house).
Total 2009 Salary for Walkers: About $18 million
That leaves us with the following set-up, with a few holes to be filled via free agency:
1. Felipe Lopez, 2B (2-year, $18mil deal, maybe a third-year option)
2. Milton Bradley, RF (.400 or so OBP against lefties AND righties)
3. Derrek Lee, 1B (he's earned it)
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B (no brainer)
5. Kosuke Fukudome, RF (.470 SLG in '09, .550 SLG in July, .650 SLG in August)
6. Alfonso Soriano, LF (gotta play him; plus he still has some power)
7. Geo Soto, C (contingent upon significant weight loss)
8. Ryan Theriot, SS (best 8 hitter in the league? maybe)
Bench: C Hill, 2B/3B/LF Fox, CF Fuld, 2B/SS/3B Miles (damn it Jim Hendry!!!!), Triple A Flavor of the Week
Rotation: Z, Lilly, Demp, Wells, and Gorzo
(I guess you could spend $10mil on a Garland or a Davis or a Duchscherer; I'd rather do that than sign Harden for many many years. I'm scared of that arm.)
Bullpen: Marmol, Guzman, Marshall, Stevens, and a few of your favorite free agents on the cheap (or Berg, or Caridad, or Gaub)
That should do it, right?