AAOP -- Rays of Hope

I had a long write-up, with deep explanations, 80% prepared, but that got erased, so I am doing a reader's digest version at the office.  I recognize that this will probably cost me the chance to explain the genius of my Plan, which was complete with batted ball analysis and other deep ruminations.  I also take the facts as I find them, so I will give me Ronny Paulino and DJ Carrasco, neither of whom would make my list, but neither of whom are materially better or worse than Gerald Laird, my suggestion, or whatever reliever I settled on.

The key to my plan is to gain flexibility, both position flexibility among my players and flexibility on payroll for the future so that, if the opportunity avails itself (and that is looking more unlikely by the day), we can make big moves in 2012, including for Pujols or Fielder if they are around.

Move 1. 

Release Oliver Perez -- preferrably from a plane flying at high altitude, and Luis Castillo.  Pitchers who can't pitch and slap hitters who can't field well or many positions don't fit the Mets needs. 

Move 2

Trade Ike Davis, Kirk Nieuwenheis, Zack Lutz and Kyle Allen and/or Mark Cohoon for Ben Zobrist and Matt Garza.  I did a long analysis on Zobrist, who was disappointing last year, but basically think he can be a .275/.375/.475 hitter, and can man second, short (if we need to trade Reyes or can't re-sign him), right-field or even first base at some future point with passable defense.  The Rays have him signed to a team-friendly long term contract, but the $4.5 million he is owed next year is not nothing.  The Rayst may be willing to trade him because of his disappointing year and because his value as a right-fielder is much lower than as a middle infielder.  Moreover, with Pena gone, Davis represents a long term inexpensive replacement at first.  From the Mets point of view, it comes down to what you think of Davis.  When I see Davis, I see Adam LaRoche with defense.  That is not a knock, and as he is just starting his second year under team control, that is pretty decent value, which is why the Rays do it.  But I don't think Davis is so special that you can't do better elsewhere.  The rest of the trade is basically to get Garza, a guy who slots in as 200 inning pitcher with a sub 4.00 ERA and a FIP only slightly above that each of the last couple of years.  He appears available, and I think the offer is pretty realistic.

After making this trade, I split first base in a platoon among Duda and Evans, with an occasional start and defenseive substitute from Dan Murphy.  First base defense just isn't that important, and a platton of Duda and Evans could out-produce Ike on offense and puts both players in a position to succeed, as each has shown big minor-league splits.

Move 3

Sign the healthier of Jeff Francis or Chris Young for one year $3.5 million.  I like that Francis is a lefty, I like that Young is a fly ball pitcher that would benefit from Citi and that he was one of the centers who could run the Princeton offense, but really, a move like this is all about finding the most likely player to contribute base on health.  I will pick Francis for now, but would be fexible.

Move 4

Fill out the bullpen with Joel Peralta, 2 years $2.5 million, George Sherrill, 1 year at $1.75 million.

Move 5

Jerry Hairston for the bench at $1.2.  Flexibility and a decent right-handed  bat

Attempted Move 6 

I offer Beltran and $10 million for Matt Kemp.  Kemp appears to have upset Dodger management.  If I can pay the difference between their salaries, I will take Kemp, and have him for two years.  I expect the Dodgers to say no, so I don't count this.

From the Farm

Dan Murphy makes it as a super utility.  If he fights his way into first base, great.  If not, he can be a poor man's Mark DeRosa, or Ben Zobrist.  Justin Turner fights his way on as an infielder.  I give Igarishi another chance and reward Misch as a swingman/long reliever because all he does is pitch effectively.


My lineup against righties

1. Reyes ss. 11

2. Pagan cf.   3

3. Wright 3b.  14.25

4. Beltran rf.   18.5

5. Bay.            18.1

6. Zobrist       4.5

7. Duda       .4

8. Thole       .4


Dan Murphy (super utility)  .4

Justin Turner (inf.)  .4

Evans .4

Paulino  1.2

Hairston  1.2


SP 1.  Dickey  3

SP 2.  Garza  4.5

SP 3. Pelfrey  3.5

SP 4.  Niese  .4

SP 5.  Francis 3.5

[DL Santana 22.5)

Cl.  Frankie  12.2

RP.  Parnell  .4

RP.  Carraso 1.25

RP.  Peralta 1.25

RP Sherril1  1.75

RP Igarishi 1.75

RP. Misch .4


My total: 148.15 (inclusive of the Perez and Castillo contracts).  If I underestimated Garza, this should give a bit of flexibility. 

The Genius of the Plan

This team could be competive, but if it is not, we can trade Jose and slide Zobrist over and in a year, we can go for Pujols or Fielder.  (Admittedly, I liked the plan before Gonzalez was traded to the Red Sox).  Zobrist's position flexibility permits the team to position itself to let one its perenially hurt prospects, such as Havens or F-Mart, to emerge without being blocked at a position.  Also, I think Davis is replaceable, as there are always first baseman are now.  We are trading cost-savings to the Rays for positional and personnel flexibility and I think it would be a good trade for both teams. 

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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