My plan for the 2010 Mets is very conservative. My goals were simple. I wanted to put the best team on the field while retaining the maximum amount of talent in the system. Maintaining depth insulates against injury, and affords payroll flexibility. Ideally, a team should strive to attain a low amount of dollars spent per win, make the play-offs, and maintain a structure that ensures long-term success. Under this plan, the Mets can make the play-offs, have solid long-term structure, and eventually maximize salary efficiency when the minor league depth starts to mature.
Free Agent Signings
The best way to infuse major league talent into a ball club, without sacrificing minor league talent is through free agency. Having a first round exemption creates an even greater incentive to use free agency.
Matt Holliday- I was split about taking a cost conscious approach this year, and waiting for next years’ free agent class. The problem is that there appears to be a dearth of quality corner OF talent for the next two years. The 2010 class is headlined by Carl Crawford, after which you have Jason Werth, Jason Kubel, and Adam Dunn as the remaining notable players. I was tempted in holding out for Carl Crawford, but found it too dangerous to wait for a player that may never make it to free agency. Matt Holliday does not give us the HR’s Mets fans crave, but he gives us slugging, and that is just fine with me.
Contract: $19M over 6 years with one player option for the 7th year and a mutual option for the 8th (both team and player would have to exercise the option) Total Potential Value $152M.
Contract: $9M for two years, and a 3rd if innings requirements are reached. Total Potential Value $21M.
Rich Harden- This is less than a sure thing here. It was between Randy Wolf, Jason Marquis, and Rich Harden. I did not like Wolf’s Average Against, and BBAIP. They were lower than his normal. It seems like there could be a regression to the mean, and I would be paying $10M over three years for $6M over two years type production. Rich Harden generates a lot of strikeouts. His injury concerns worry me, but Maine, Perez, Niese and Figgy gives the team depth. If Marquis were available at $6-$7M I would look at him.
Contract: $6M with $8M in incentives with an extension trigger for 1 year at $8M.
Troy Glaus- He gives you right handed power, and versatility. He can spell David Wright at 3rd base and platoon with Daniel Muprhy at 1st base. This move gives us a security blanket. I would love to give Daniel Murphy a full season to develop, but this is just a luxury the Mets do not have. I can see an American League club going hard after Glaus. In the event that he does not garner that much attention, I would scoop him up.
Contract: I think $8M for 1 year would do the trick.
Kiko Calero- Despite a fastball that sits in the high 80’s, he does an amazing job at missing bats with help from his killer slider. His strikeout per nine sat at 10 last year and his career average is at slightly above 9. He can walk his fare share of people, but his BAA usually sits in the low 2’s. He has had some health problems, which could help in tamping down his contract value. He might be a risk, but well worth it.
Contract: $1.5M but could reach $2M with innings and health incentives along with a 1 year extension trigger.
Adam Everet- He can play short and second. He provides a security blanket if Jose were to go down again. His offense would be non-existent but he would provide excellent defense for Pelfrey and Pineiro. He also provides back up for Castillo and a late inning defensive replacement.
Contract: 1yr $2M.
Contract: $3M for 2 years. $2M-2010 $4M 2011.Total Value $6M.
1.Jose Reyes (6)
2.Luis Castillo (4)
3.Matt Holliday (7)
4.Carlos Beltran (8)
5.David Wright (5)
6.Jeff Francouer (9)
7.Daniel Murphy/Troy Glaus (3)
8.Rod Barrajas/Omir Santos/Thole (2)
Oliver Perez/John Niese
Oliver Perez/John Maine
2010 Free Agent Payroll Impact:
Calero $1.5M -$2M
Adam Everet- $2M
*Please note that the Mets 2010 salary payouts are at roughly $92M.
**Total salary payouts with free agent salary amounts to roughly $142M
The structure of the team still allows for the possibility of bring signing Carl Crawford for RF next year by simply declining to offer Francouer arbitration. If Niese develops, then Harden would create a slot. If his performance triggers an extension then he could be traded. There were some tough breaks that I had to swallow.
The trade market was not very kind. I tried to find a way to trade Castillo away, but could not find any realistic options. There was not enough steam behind the three way Blue Jay/Cubs deal to warrant a solid trade possibility. The same goes for the D-Backs-Castillo rumors. Luis was a tough chip to trade. I know the Cubs want what Castillo has to offer but the logical scenarios would involve eating salary, plus paying O-dog or Polanco $4M-$6M. Adam Everet saves a few million.
I think Freddie W would appreciate that. I also explored the possibilities of Brandon Phillips in a Mets uniform, but again, I could not find a realistic scenario. There were no rumors that gave much credence to Phillips being available. The Reds have not even come out and expressed what they would be looking for in such a deal. All that is written is that they need salary relief. I would imagine they want pitching, but who? It could range from Pelfrey to Tejeda, Holt and Niese. In the end it became clear that the Brandon Phillips rumors did not provide me with enough information to make a credible trade scenario.