For my "Amazin'ly Awesome OMGZ Plan" I take a stab at a realistic but, in my opinion, winning plan. With this complete team I see no reason why the Mets can not win the NL barring disastrous injuries from this past year. This plan keeps the "core" together which is only smart. Who wants to trade David Wright for Nelson Cruz anyway? c'mon that's crazy talk...
Anyway I tried to avoid trade scenarios involving: Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Carl Crawford etc. because, as much as I would love any of those players, I just couldn't come up with a logical trade for them. Instead I make a few trades involving minimal prospects but taking on a little salary. I also get rid of Castillo although I am one of his few supporters. I was giddy when the Mets acquired him and I even own a jersey. Now I know I might get flamed for that but I have always been a fan of his. However I just don't see him being on the 2010 team even if it means we eat a few million left on his salary. I also tried to avoid a few FA signing that will be too expensive for this plan. Sure I'd love to sign Chone Figgins but I couldn't fit it in this plan, same for John Lackey.
After the jump check out the plan as well as some very un-graphically artistic graphs and pictures.
I am going position by position with this plan and I'll start with the infield.
1B- First base is a hard position to fill this year in my opinion. The top-tier players such as Pujols and Tex are not available. I feel Gonzo and Fielder will just cost us too much for the future of this franchise. The FA options, well they SUCK...period. Nick Johnson isn't dependable (which is much needed) Branyan definitely has appeal, especially after last year's power input but I don't trust him. So I'm gonna contradict myself and go with
CARLOS DELGADO. He gets signed on a 1 year deal with 3.5 million with incentives that could push it to 8 for the year. The Mets will keep a close eye on him this winter. The power and bat will be there (I have no doubt) but the question is will his health be there? We'll see this winter. If he doesn't stay healthy in the winter league I believe the Met sign a guy like Eric Hinske or Hank Blaylock to platoon with Murphy or Evans. These two guys might be available on a cheap 2 million dollar deal.
2B- Second base is tricky in that where will the Mets unload Castillo? I think the Mets can trade him to the Cubs once they trade Milton Bradley to anyone BUT THE METS. Cubs receive Castillo and 2 Million and the Mets receive 2 single-A prospects. I am thinking Tyler Colvin and Su-Ming Jung. That maybe too much but I think that gets it done.
To fill the 2B position the Amazin' sign FELIPE LOPEZ. As much of a fan of Orlando Hudson I have been throughout his career (especially him being from the same area I live in) he isn't the best choice. Felipe Lopez is the cream of the 2B crop and we can get him for 3.5 per. I think it takes 2 years at that salary so he signs for 2 years, 7 million. If that doesn't do it sign the O-dawg. As much as he claims to love the Mets he might take that same deal minus the second year. Felipe flies under the radar in the media but he has pop and glove and could bat anywhere in the lineup.
C- Catcher is easy. Josh Thor
will not be ready until 2010 to work on his defense. I was intrigued by Ryan Doumit but I think his cost (salary and prospects) along with his defense (horrible) is too much for the Mets to risk. The FA offering are intriguing with Rod Barajas, Pudge, and not so intriguing Bengie Molina.
For this plan we go with MIGUEL OLIVO. His defense is questionable I know but he has some good power. We should be able to sign him for 2 million with performance incentives maximizing at 2.6 million. He forms a stable duo with Omir Santos for the 2010 season while Thole prepares for the full-time gig in 2011.
The remainder of the infield goes to none other than SS Jose Reyes and 3B David Wright - two players that should be in Met colors for the remainder of their careers.
On to the Outfield
although by the day that seems increasingly impossible. My choice is ANGEL PAGAN. He was very impressive in his time last year and with some nice players on the bench (we get to that later) he is an ample starter in the Bigs.
CF- Here is the thing for me. There is no doubt Voltron is on this team for years to come but does he go to CF or LF. I'm moving him to LF to preserve his knees. This move rules out Matt Holliday which might piss a lot of you off. However, I truly believe Delgado regains form and easily hits 30 HRs in the 4 spot with Beltran batting 2nd and Wright 3rd. Our 2010 Centerfielder bats fitth and his name is Mike Cameron.
Mets sign MIKE CAMERON for 2 years at 16.5 million dollars. WOAH 16.5 million ARE U CRAZY? No. He was worth 8.3 WAR the past few years. He still has the pop and plays very stellar defense in center field. He strikes out a ton but I can live with that because he can also draw 70+ walks. He has been worth way more than 8 million the past 4 years. He is also known to be a great clubhouse guy. The moment I see a fly ball to left center will be scary for me though because we all remember "The Incident". This also saves us some dough for free agency next year when we could go for one of the big pitchers in the market.
LF- CARLOS BELTRAN
Recap of positional starters:
C- Olivo 1B- Delgado 2B- Lopez SS- Reyes, 3B- Wright, RF- Pagan LF- Beltran CF- Cameron
This lineup gives the Amazin' excellent defense up the middle and much needed power that was missing from last year. It is also a very cost efficient plan (salary recap later)
"and I'm on to tha next one" Rotation:
I'm not a big fan of putting a number by a starter so you won't ever see me say a number 2 starter, a number 4 etc. I don't feel the need for it. We know that Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, and Oliver Perez (for better or worse) will all be guaranteed starters on next year's squad but that still leaves two spots available for the taking. We will fill one of those by trade and the other by free agency.
SP Johan Santana SP Mike Pelfrey SP Oliver Perez
Here is the interesting part. I looked at many scenarios to fill the remaining spots and I think one of our best options to acquire an impact starter is to trade for Aaron Harang. From 2005-2007 he average an obove 5 WAR. That makes his 12.5 salary look awesome. However the past 2 years haven't been so rosey. I think Dusty Baker makes him worse and I also think the slightly bigger park makes his HR tendancicies go down. Even at 3.5-4 WAR he is a good value and he can strike guys out. Plus his player option becomes mutual in 2011 (at 14 million I believe) so if it doesn't work out we show him the door. He also has one of the better nicknames in baseball, The Harangutan! The Mets eat the remaining salary and send over Eddie Kunz and Jose Coronado to the Reds. Neither prospect (if you even want to call them that) is needed for the future and the Reds are wanting to cut payroll. This should get the deal done. I'll throw in a single-A guy if needed.
SP Aaron Harang
This leaves one more spot in our rotation and I'm going to FA Market and signing Rich Harden. He is getting a much worse rep than he deserves but that helps the Mets sign him to a 1 year deal worth 7 million (and could escalate to 10) with a mutual option for 11 million in 2011. Harden, when on his game, is an all-star shut-down pitcher. If he misses some time we have some spot starters available to fill in (Niese, Nieve etc.)
SP Rich Harden
A rotation involving Santana, Harang, and Harden to be prove to be a top-flight rotation and coupled with the potential of Pelfrey and Ollie (I think he has potential, right?) could make for one of the top rotations in all of baseball.
Bullpen: We all know K-Rod, Feliciano, Parnell, and even Shawn Green should be locks for the bullpen. Which leaves 4 spots remaining in my plan. One of those spots should be Socks! I mean Brian Stokes. I'd also tender Fernando Nieve a contract to be the long man/spot starter. I'm not a fan of giving big money to bullpen members. I'd sign J.J. Putz to a 1 year deal worth 1 million plus incentives to be the set-up man. Hopefully he accepts if not I wouldn't be opposed to sign Octavio Dotel to a 1 year deal worth 2.5 million if he takes the paycut. No biggie here if that doesnt happen. I'm going with a 8 man pen and calling up Adam Bostick to take some innings off of Pedro Feliciano.
Bullpen: K-Rod, Feliciano, Parnell, Putz/Dotel, Green, Nieve, Stokes, and Bostick.
This essentially leaves up with 5 spots on the 25-man rotation. Daniel Murphy becomes our super-sub, and we sign Oil Spill to a 500K contract to be our back-up middle infielder. Endy Chavez also comes back for a million to be a late inning def. replacement/occasional starter (Imagine Beltran, Cameron, Chavez roaming the outfield). Omir Santos is slotted in the backup catcher spot and I'm signing Fenando Tatis for 1 year 1.6 million to be our any-position guy.
This roster comes to around 144 million dollars if I did my math right. That is also including incentives that push J.J. Putz to 4 million, Delgado to 8 million, Olivio to 2.6 and Harden to 10 million.