Note: Up until the deadline for submitting the AAOP's, I will correct my plan as it relates to the current market. ie: can't trade players that were non tendered, etc.
Before I begin, I just want to say that I've been reading this blog for about two years. I learned a lot from what people had to say, and from the different opinions presented. This offseason, I couldn't wait to publish my plan. For someone who hopes to become Mets GM one day, I can't wait to see the feedback and responses from what I think that the Mets should do. Without any further to do, here it is:
To be honest, I can't stand the talk that the Mets need to use 2011 as a rebuilding year for 2012. True, the Mets of 2012 will most likely be better than the Mets of 2011 because Sandy Alderson and Co. will be able to assess the whole organization, create the "Mets" way of doing things, and institute some fundamental changes throughout by this point. But I see no reason why going for it in 2011 should hinder 2012 and the future. We should be able to make moves that are not merely one-year rentals, but have acquired players that are under team control for several years at least. Look at the 2010 Padres. Everyone wrote them off at the beginning of the season, and they came very close to winning the NL West pennant with one the smallest payrolls and one of the most anemic offenses in the league. No one should be giving up before the season starts. With this in mind, my first move would be to...
1. Trade Fernando Martinez, Jordanny Valdespin, Juan Urbina, and Zach Lutz for Matt Garza
Tampa Bay has massive starting pitching depth, and will look to trade Garza because he is arbitration eligible. However, Garza is under team control through 2013, and the Mets can certainly afford whatever he earns through arbitration. The Mets also have a glut of outfield prospects in the minors (Duda, Capt. Kirk, Ratliff, Ceceliani, Vaughn, etc), second basemen (Murphy, Turner, Tejada, Havens), and Lutz is blocked by David Wright at 3rd. Tampa could very well use Lutz at first base with the departure of Carlos Pena, and F-Mart with the departure of Carl Crawford and dissatifaction with BJ Upton. Garza gives the Mets a number 2 starter that strengthens the rotation and fills the void while Santana is recovering.
2. Release Oliver Perez
He's toxic, no one wants him, and is untradeable. Releasing him now will free up a 25 man roster spot that could be used for someone at least somewhat productive. You're going to pay him 12 mil to suck, so might as well pay him that same amount not to hurt you on the field.
3. Trade Luis Castillo and 3 mil. for Casper Wells
Castillo is simply, like Ollie, a negative of the Omar Minaya era, yet still has some trade value. The Tigers are spending big this offseason, and look like they are going for it. However, the Tigers are weak at 2nd base. Scott Sizemore may not be fully ready to assume full time duties at 2nd. Castillo gives the Tigers a veteran placeholder at the position, and Wells is in an outfield logjam. Wells gives us a good fourth outfielder under team control that could possibly start in right field when Beltran leaves after this year.
4. Sign Chris Young to a one year, 5 million base salary that can be increased to 8 million with incentives.
You can never have too much starting pitching depth. When healthy, Young is a dominating starting pitcher. He is also an extreme fly ball pitcher that would benefit from the pitcher's park of Citi Field.
5. Non-tender John Maine
I like John Maine. Who can forget the one-hitter that he threw in the second to last game in 2007? Unfortunately, Maine has had numerous injuries over the past few years, and paying him in arbitration would be a waste. Give him a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.
6. Sign Russell Martin to a 1 year deal, eligible for arbitration, will get probably 5 million
My previous plan was to trade Chris Carter and Jefry Marte for Mike Napoli, but since Chris Carter was nontendered last night, obviously this became impossible. With Russell Martin being nontendered last night, this gives the Mets the opportunity for a low risk, high reward situation at catcher. By platooning Martin, who's coming off injury, and was one of the top catchers in baseball a couple of years ago, with Thole, Sandy Alderson achieves his stated desire for catcher depth. Martin will get a chance to rebuild his value in New York. A win-win for both sides.
7. Sign R.A. Dickey to a 2 year, 10 million dollar deal with a team option for 3 million for 2013
Dickey wants a long term deal and security. Dickey is a damn good pitcher, and is unpredictable on opposing lineups. The Mets would do well to secure him for the next couple of years. 5 million each guarenteed year.
8. Sign Erick Threets to a major league minimum contract
There's been talk that Sandy isn't going to spend big on the bullpen, which is a good thing. This means we won't have anymore (hopefully) overpaid relievers. Threets was just released today by the White Sox, along with Bobby Jenks being non-tendered. He didn't strike out a lot in the minors, but he has an over 50% groundball rate, and had an excellent ERA. Oh, and I did I forget to mention that he's a lefty too? Great bargain bin pickup to replace Perpetual Pedro.
The following accounts for projected arbitration raises, and for the sake of argument, uses 440k as the major league minimum. Salary numbers are from Cot's Baseball Contracts.
SS-Reyes 11 million
3-Wright 14 million
LF-Bay 16 million
CF-Pagan 4 million (arbitration)
RF-Beltran 18.5 million
Russell Martin 5 million (arbitration)
Nick Evans 440k
Justin Turner 440k
SP-Santana 22.5 million
SP-Garza 6 million (arbitration)
SP-Dickey 5 million
SP-Pelfrey 5 million (arbitration)
SP-Young 5 million plus possible incentives equals 8 million max.
Cl-K-Rod 11.5 million
RP-Igarashi 1.75 million
Tejada, Mejia, Duda, etc. will be in Triple-A Buffalo to start the year.
Also sign Brian Bannister to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Provides depth at Triple A.
Assuming that Chris Young earns his incentives, the total payroll of the roster would be $133,490,000
Factoring in the 3 million owed to Castillo, the 12 million to Oliver Perez, and the 1 million for 2011 owed to Gary Matthews Jr. (ugh), the final payroll for 2011 would come out to $149,490,000
This team, in my opinion, can easily win 90 games, and can definitely contend for the NL East title, or at the very least, a Wild Card spot. Sorry, this is my first ever post on AA, and I'm still getting used to the posting format, so excuse the lack of pictures, graphs, etc. But I hope this plan speaks for itself.