Well, this is perhaps my fantasy. But to me this all makes sense.
1) Make a push for Matt Holliday
Going by some calculations over at Drivelinemechanics, I think a contract in the range of 5 yrs, 90-100mil is fair (Holiday is not Teixeira and 18mil+/yr is what Carlos Beltran is making). I wouldn't go above 20 mil/yr. Overall personal projection: 5 years 18.5 per year. 92 mil total.
2) Sign Rich Harden
I pick him because I believe that Harden's injury woes are behind him and is undervalued in the market. His days spent on the DL have decreased from 100 to 38, to 24 last year while he has never had TJ,
Overall Personal Projection: Sign him to an escalator laden contract worth 2 years 11 mil guaranteed (5 mil in 2010, 6 mil in 2011 guaranteed, and a club option 3rdyear worth 4 mil. The salary increases to 10mil/year if Harden gets 15 Quality Starts that year.
3) Fill the bench with high wOBA and/or good fielding players.
I think bringing in players such as Jamey Carroll, and even Matt Murton could help the team (though Carroll looks like a tough sign—so we may have to settle for someone likeBobby Crosby), aside from that, Pagan, Murphy and Santos make a pretty awesome bench. –about 6-7 WAR combined. Sign them to the league minimum ~400k
4) Grab Greg Zaun
He has one of the best gloves at the position and a good enough bat to suffice for a catcher. Also no draft pick compensation.
Personal Projection: A one year deal worth 2.5 mil with a club option worth 1.5 mil in 2011.
5) Move Oliver Perez to the Bullpen
Keeping him as a starter is a death wish regardless of what type of hitting you bring in. Also, perhaps the the idea of only having to throw for an inning or may improve his performance (see Joba or Phil Hughes)
6) Do Not Tender Jeff Francoeur
7) Acquire Jonathan Sanchez
Jonathan Sanchez to the Mets
This deal fills the void for the Giants left by Randy Winn, and with Lincecum in the midst of perhaps signing one of the largest arbitration deals on record, they may not be able to afford to keep Sanchez as well long term. Kunz is a solid relief arm that may help them, and Miller may progress into a big league starter. This also allows Bumgarner to go right to the rotation. It allows the Dodgers to fill their 2B hole without splurging. Nick Evans gives them a back up for Loney that hits especially well against LHP (as Loney’s strength is RHP), so they can platoon those without having to get a 40 year old 1B like Thome or Giambi. Finally, Sanchez is an awesome lefty 4 starter, and is a better option than someone like Randy Wolf.
Crawford is one of the best fielders in baseball and his skill set is perfect for Citifield. Balfour has had a solid FIP throughout his career and would be a great help to the bullpen perhaps as a setup man. He may not be tendered by the Rays anyway, so this would not be a huge loss for them (especially with the rise of players like Mcgee, Hellickson, Davis, etc. Mejia and Holt both are huge red flags for me, as Holt’s lack of secondary pitches and Mejia’s wild command, coupled with a lack of positive experience at higher levels makes them expendable in my eyes. Under this plan, the Mets retain Tejada, Flores, Davis, Nieuwenhuis, F-Mart, and Havens so it’s far from a complete depletion of the system. Furthermore, all signs are pointing at Mejia making a switch to the bullpen, decreasing his value.
9) Sign Nick Johnson.
He’s a year and a half younger than Overbay, puts up better numbers with the bat, and doesn’t strike out. Also I’d only play him 65% of the time and give the other 35% to Daniel Murphy and if possible, a sept callup of Ike Davis. Meaning, Nick won’t have the pressure of playing 6 games a week—only about 4. Also, unlike his prior teams, he’d be hitting lower in the lineup, putting him under less pressure to get on base, and perhaps Murphy would be better if he only played 30% of the time, a la Omir Santos last year.
Personal Projection: a 1 year deal worth 5 mil with a club option for 2011 worth 2.5 mil.
10) Sign Chone Figgins
I like him a lot. He can play a billion positions, all with respectable UZRs. Consistently puts up good WAR #’s, and has performed this well in the AL—a switch to the NL may be rough at first but will definitely be worth it in the long term.
Personal Projection: A 3 year deal worth 28 million: 2010: 9mil 2011: 9 mil 2012: 10 mil
These moves are almost the same in my mind as Bradford’s health risk compensates for Green’s slightly worse performance.
Either way, I wouldn't spend more than 600k
Projected Salaries (4 mil is a rough estimate of Jonathan Sanchez's arbitration case)
C) Greg Zaun 2.5 mil
1B) Nick Johnson 5 mil
2B) Chone Figgins 9 mil
SS) Jose Reyes 9 mil
3B) David Wright 10 mil
LF) Matt Holliday 18.5 mil
CF) Carlos Beltran 18.5 mil
RF) Carl Crawford 10 mil
B) Daniel Murphy 400k
B) Bobby Crosby 400k
B) Omir Santos 400k
B) Matt Murton 400k
B) Angel Pagan 600k
SP) Johan Santana 21mil
SP) Rich Harden 7mil
SP) Mike Pelfrey 500k
SP) Jonathan Sanchez 4 mil
SP) John Maine 4mil
LR/Spot Starter) Jon Niese 400k
MR) Bobby Parnell 400k
MR) Pedro Feliciano 1.2 mil
MR) Sean Green 400k
MR) Oliver Perez 12 mil
SU) Grant Balfour 1.5 mil
CL) Francisco Rodriguez 11.5 mil