I don't have much time to elaborate because I have a lot of work, but this is my plan:
Trade Luis Castillo (6.5 mil) for Chris Snyder (4.5 mil). This gets rid of Castillo, frees up second base, and gets us a decent catcher. Santos can back-up, with Thole ready in the minors.
Chris Snyder in one his final happy moments before the fracturing of one of his testicles in 2008.
I don't think Murphy is too bad of an option, but in my plan I had enough money to sign Nick Johnson to a 1 year, $6 mil contract. If Nick gets hurt, we still have a Murphy/Evans/Carter platoon available. Murphy can be a super-sub, playing 1B, 3B, LF, and maybe RF and 2B.
With Castillo gone, the Mets have a few players to chose from. There is Felipe Lopez, Orlando Hudson, and my choice, Placido Polanco. Placido has a decent bat and a great glove. I would sign him for a 2 year, $10 mil contract.
LF is a major hole for the Mets, and Matt Holliday is the perfect solution. Jason Bay is a horrible defender, Carl Crawford will cost prospects, and Mike Cameron is not as good as Holliday, and getting older (but not declining yet). I would sign Holliday for a 5 year/$100 mil contract.
"I collapse in the big moments and have a very smooth head"
Step 1- Non-tender Jeff Francoeur.
Step 2- Trade Eddie Kunz for Matt Murton. Murton was designated for assignment this year, so he wouldn't cost much, and he would be a good platoon mate for Angel Pagan.
Sign Craig Counsell for a 1/1 contract. He is decent, and can play 2B, 3B, and SS pretty well. Sign Endy Chavez for a 1/1 contract as an extra outfielder.
Tatis is gone, unless he is willing to sign for less than he did last year ($1.5 mil). Reed and Sullivan can stay on minor league deals for very little money if they want. Goodbye, Alex Cora and Carlos Delgado.
Sign Rich Harden for a 1/7 contract and Brad Penny for a 1/3 contract. Rich Harden is a great player when healthy, and Penny is a projected 4.00 ERA/FIP for cheap. Maine, Perez, and Niese can fight for the 5th spot. If Maine or Perez lose, they can move to the pen, and if Niese loses he can go to AAA and be ready in case of injury.
Sign Kiko Calero for a 2 year, $4 mil contract, and Takashi Saito for a 1/1.5 mil contract. No more JJ Putz. Nieve, Stokes, and Figueroa are ready in the minors. There is no reason to spend extra money on a closer, such as Valverde, Gonzalez, or Soriano.
"I add racial diversity to the Mets"
(That probably is not optimized exactly right, but the best 3 hitters should be 1, 2, 4. I have to read the lineup section of The Book again.)
Player Salary (Millions)
Matt Holliday 20
Carlos Beltran 18.5
Oliver Perez 12
Franky Rodriguez 11.5
David Wright 10
Jose Reyes 9
Rich Harden 7
Nick Johnson 6
Placido Polanco 5
Chris Snyder 4.75
Brad Penny 3
John Maine 2.5
Kiko Calero 2
Pedro Feliciano 1.6
Takashi Saito 1.5
Angel Pagan 1
Craig Counsell 1
Endy Chavez 1
Mike Pelfrey 0.5
Matt Murton 0.5
Sean Green 0.5
Daniel Murphy 0.4
Omir Santos 0.4
Bobby Parnell 0.4
Pat Misch 0.4
With my $8.5 million surplus I have decided to sign Ben Sheets to a 1 year, $7 million contract. This moves Maine/Perez/Niese to the bullpen, and makes the rotation Santana, Harden, Sheets, Penny, Pelfrey. The total payroll is now $148.45 mil.