Preamble - Too often the Mets management have made lots of moves that really don't make much sense for the long run or really address the team needs. All of the moves I am trying to make fall under the general scheme of plug holes with better players without giving up the farm system in trades or signing people to long bad contracts.
With the pitching staff I have a very specific goal, increase our starters IP/start. This has been the problem with the Mets since 2006. We have considerably over worked our bullpen every year. The only pitcher in our staff next year that can average over 6 IP per start is Santana, 6.6. Last year Big Pelf averaged 5.9 ip/start, Maine 5.4 and Ollie 4.7. Those were all down years granted, but oliver's best year was 6.1 and Maine's was 5.9. With a starting staff that can barely get through 5 there is no way to have a bullpen that stays strong throughout the season. We can expect more top 5 IPs per season from our bullpen if this trend continues. We know that during the Mets 2006 season the bullpen had a ridiculous WAR, there was a post on here awhile ago that showed this. By signing pitchers that can pitch over 6 and closer to 7 innings per game and stock pilling pitching depth we can save wear on our bullpen.
With the hitting I will attempt to improve our weakest positions without taking on too much payroll. Let's get too it.
Catcher: Last year our platoon of catchers provided little to no offense. Omir santos had a -7.3 hitting component to WAR and Schneider was even worse with a -15.3 hitting component to WAR. We can improve our hitting the most by getting a good hitting catcher. This year there are tons of freeagent catchers, but I want a trade. Ryan Doumit of the pittsburgh Pirates can be an all-star catcher. His 2008 season was phenomenal where he posted a 4.0 WAR and +15.3 hitting. Also Doumit can play first and some outfield and is due 3.5 mil in 2010 and 5.3 mill in 2011. He will not block T-Hole and can you imagine in June Doumit and Thole as our two catchers. The great thing about Ryan is that we can get him for relatively cheap. A trade that has super sub-Dan Murphey and Chris Carter I think could get it done. We could replace carter with Parnell or even throw in Omir in the trade if we need too. Lets say we trade Murp, Carter and Parnell, though I think this is a little more then it would take.
Santos-.4mil Thole will be called up in June on this team
First Base- This is another huge hole for us last year. Ike is our guy here, which is why we could trade carter, so we don't want to block him. He may be ready sooner rather then later as a platoon player so LETS RESIGN DELGADO. When healthy he should still be good for 30Hrs and 100RBIs. We can get him cheap and if he gets hurt we have Doumit, Ike/Nick Evans platoon or money left to make trades.
Second base- Stuck with Louie nobody really wants him. Every other plan has some unrealistic trade for Overbay or Roy Hallady but I think we are stuck with him. Hopefully Jose's defense can make up for his lack of range. If Castillo gets on base like he did last year he will score a ton of runs in the 2010 Mets lineup.
SS- I miss you so much Reyes please make my dreams come true by playing awesome in 2010 and winning an MVP.
Reyes 9 mil
3rd Base. Wright and Reyes back again. Side note on Wrights power decline, he had NO PROTECTION IN THE METS LINE-UP with all the injuries. We saw what Holliday did in oakland with no protection then had Pujous in Stl and that made a huge change in his numbers.
CF-Only the best in the game, but I wouldn't mind moving him to a corner spot if the knees can't take it.
RF- Bring back MIke Cameron, We can get him cheap he has great defense he can play center if Beltran can't. Cammy got pop and walks .340 OBP. Holliday was going to cost at least 20 mil everyone saying they are signing him for 17 is crazy it may take 21 or 22 mil to get him over 6 years I don't want that contract, although it is much better then some of the other contracts Omar gives out.
Cameron-1yr-5mil (Beltran better wear a helmet)
LF Pagan/Evans Platoon- Angel proved he can hit righties effectively last year. Evans mashes lefties lets put them together. Pagan has great defense. Imagine a defense of Beltran, Pagan and Killa Cameron.
Pagan-.6mil (i couln't find his contract info for 2010 but we signed him)
Offense payroll-65.4 Mil
On to the pitching staff
Santana -Best in baseball on second thought maybe second best, but still great.
John Lackey- There are a lot of people hating on Lackey saying he is not worth the price. Lackey is still a very good pitcher who has the potential to earn a contract of 18 mil per year. Lackey has averaged 6.8, 6.8, 6.5 ip/start. He only walks 2-3 batter per start. Everyone is saying that he is declining and he is injury prone. He was mildly injured in 2008 and 2009, but last year he still made 27 starts and pitched 176 inning with a 3.9 WAR. That season alone was worth a 17.6mil contract. His last fully healthy years 2005-2007 he was a 5-6 WAR pitcher. His K/9 is steady at 7.2 and he doesn't walk people. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect a 4-5 WAR season from him. I think we can sign him for 5 years 86 mil. Now a smart GM will do things to make this contract more palpable for the team in the long run. I will be way under the 150 mil payroll which I will talk about later, so we could front load Lackeys contract giving him 20 mil the first year it makes the later years of him contract much easier to deal with and trade later. The last four year of his contract he will only be making 16mil. A smart GM would front load this deal for future flexibility.
Ben Sheets- He is an injury risk but when healthy he is one of the top pitchers in baseball. He has averaged 6-7ip/game many years when healthy. He can be had for cheap with an option for next year if he turns out be be a true baller. Sign him to a 1yr contract for 5mil a year with a 2011 option for 8mil.
Pelfrey-.5Mil - with reyes back and his slider (fast spinner/change-up) developing expect his numbers to improve.
Perez-12 mil worst contract in baseball, he can't consistently go five innings and he sucks, but he can't be worse then last year at least I hope.
Starting pitching = 58.5mil
Bullpen- First we need to move John Maine (2.5mil) to the bullpen. He can't pitch deep into games so the pen makes sense. He can start if we have injuries to Sheets, Lackey, or Perez is ineffective. We also will have Neise and Nieve in the minors to make starts if necessary. I am hoping that he could be the "set-up man"
Sign Darren Oliver 1yr 3mil/ option for 2011 at the same price. He was the key to 2006 we never should have let him go. Kelvim Escobar-2mil 1yr, this is another guy that maybe could start if we get hit with the injury bug. feliciano(1.9 mil) K-rod(11.5mil) green (.5mil) stokes (.4mil)
Total payroll 143.4 mil.
By keeping our payroll under the limit it gives us option during the year to trade for a bat or sign pitching if the circumstance presents itself. Too many people spend the entire payroll before team needs are really known. This payroll should give us flexibility to be a player in the 2011 freeagent market.
2010 mets line-up