I dont think there is anything too crazy in my AAOP. We all know there is great potential in this team, and I feel the best way forward is to nurture that. I do not think its a crazy thought to think the Mets can make the playoffs this year if injuries do not get in the way.
Here is what I would do if given the reigns of my most favorite team.
Starter – Thole (100 games)
Backup - Kelly Shoppach (62 games)
Thole gets a shot for no other reason then there are no better options out there. We all know about him, he has the ability to be a quality catcher, and he gets this year as a shot.
Shoppach is coming off of a down year, but this article went a long way in convincing me:
He is a few years removed from a good season, but he was a good prospect and has generally had a good OBP, without striking out a ton and his defense, apparently, got pretty good last year. At the age of 32 (next seasons age), he is a little older then prime, but he got to the MLB a little late, at the age of 26. I would rather take a former prospect that has yet to find it then a carrier journeyman who has shown to be consistently mediocre. We have Nickeas for that. The catching situation may not be our strong spot, but with these two at least the pitchers have some good targets and there is some potential. Everyone may get laid.
I think he can take a 1-year deal for $ 1.7 mil.
He is a great platoon with Thole.
tOPS+ 147 against LHP (77 vRHP)
tOPS+ 106 against RHP (33 vLHP *SSS)
With Nickeas in the minors, there is a +D catcher in the waiting in case it doesn’t work out or injury. I would be interested in Flores for a minor league deal, but I bet he could do better.
Starter – Ike Davis (140 games)
Backup – Murph-dog (22 games)
Ike is part of the future and I am assuming he comes in fully healthy. Even with that, coming off of an injury I would like to see the Mets rest Ike a little and let Murphy get some starts at 1b, where he is prob at his best. (As you will see, this is a theme for me. I am not a fan of running these guys out there every day. I think giving guys rest allows the bench players to feel involved and helps retain strength. Day games after nights… then allow them to pinch hit later in the game if needed).
Starter – Tejada (120 games)
Backup – Turner (22 games) Murph (20 games)
Tejada, one of the youngest of Mets, had a very good season for us last year (STATS!). You know what you learn from that link… in almost every kind of category, he is moving in the right direction (save for power). He is a SMART ball player. He gets it. His defense is a + and he can be part of a great double play combination.
As much as I like Murph at 2b, I feel it is the least natural of his positions. Turner is our "grit" player. The plus side is, he is not horrible. I have always agreed with the idea that these kinds of players are valuable beyond their stats, but their efforts can’t replace poor performance. Turner, was actually good last year in addition to being a "sparkplug." He is a good guy to come off the bench and seems to be a good clubhouse guy. He comes cheep, has red hair and did very well with runners in scoring position, which is a quality that may not be real… but if I am going to have a guy be a bench player, I would rather him show better stats with RISP then worse.
Starter - Jose Reyes 18 (145 games)
Backup – Tejada (17 games)
Resigning Jose is an obvious choice for me. My fav met, I don’t see him being replaceable. I would give him 6 years at 18 mil a year. I would limit his games, because I think he runs himself tired and his lack of rest has caused some of his injuries (tired legs get hurt easier). I would rather him play 145 games with no nagging injuries and always be rested and ready then 145 games due to missing 3 weeks with an twist or sprain that then hangs around all season.
Starter – David Wrongz (150 games)
Backup – Murph-cat (12 games)
Here too I see benefit to giving David a few extra games off. Not only does it keep Murphy happy, but it keeps our star rested and ready to go.
Murphy starts in 54 games if there are no extra injuries. He gets in a bunch more with some double switches and maybe hopefully a bit of time in the OF. Turner gets some reps in at 2nd but is best bench buddies with Murphy. During the season, we come up with a much better nickname then that and they both have an excellent year being the backup infield guys. They play in almost every game, including pinch hitting. They are the poster boys for this team, with their good attitude and hard play and everyone gets laid.
Starter – The Dude Abides
Backup – Evans
Nothing crazy here. Duda can be very good. I know I have to find a backup, as its empty right now, but someone will turn up.
Starter – Pagan
Backup – Ankiel
Pagan is good. We know this. Besides, there is not much better out there. I think with his good bud Beltran back he can have a turnaround year. We have some options down in the minors that can come in if he drops the ball or gets hurt. I don’t need to go to crazy with explanation here, as I feel it will be preaching to the choir.
Starter – Beltran
Backup - Ankiel
Yeah, I did it. Carlos comes back, and Wheeler has a dominant season in the minors all while Sandy smiles. I sign Carlos for 2 years 18 mil. He is happy to come back and has his press conference on the same day as Jose. It’s a nice day in metland and everyone gets laid. He cites the love he received during the trading deadline from the fans, and the friendships he has formed during his time here as main reasons for coming back. He cites the new management as wiping away the previous issues and has nothing but confidence in the direction of the team. The Mets commitment to Jose showed him what he needed to see, and at the same time the Mets commitment to bringing back Carlos showed Jose what he needed to see in the direction of the team.
Bay is traded for Peavy. I have searched AA for arguments against the idea, and cant find anything that can dissuade me (its been discussed a couple times, most notably here: Link to AA FanPost). I am not sure that the ChiSox will do it, but it’s my AAOP and I want it to happen. DJ Carrasco is thrown in and the Mets will also add in 5 mil to do that. If needed, the Mets can throw in a minor leaguer, someone not on the top 10 list (or one of the top picks from last year). It is from someone else’s AAOP, but I would be willing to add in FMart.
Ankiel is on my bench. I want Rick to come back to the place his problems started and finally figure it out again. Full circle shit. He comes for 1 year at 2 mil because he wants that chance. He seems like the perfect Met. The underdog guy for the underdog team. He has a gun of an arm and plays solid defense with some power. I think the fact that he moved from pitcher to the field gives him a couple extra years before he hits his prime, and with that… he is only 32. If he plays hard the crowd will go crazy and everyone gets laid.
Lineup (salary in millions|Estimated2012WAR) ($48.4|31.6)
Pitching ($46.7|12 WAR)
Bullpen: ($10 |1.9 WAR)
Pelf is gone. I would love to keep him, but not for the 5 mil he is gonna cost. Whatever, I wish him well. Remember how lots of people though Maine could be good and fretted over him then he was all of a sudden gone and nobody cared anymore or ever thought about it… yeah. Maybe Sandy can trade him for something. For this AAOP lets assume he is traded to Colorado for a lower level prospect.
I am not comfortable with the injury risk we have, but there is hope in the minors and… whatever, it can work. This is my AAOP. With the arms we got in the minors (love writing that) I don’t want to bring in any long term deals for starters (besides the fact that nobody is really out there worth spending the cash we don’t have on). Peavy could have a bounce back year returning to the NL, and if Santana can remain healthy with Neise and Gee taking steps forwards, there is potential for a solid if not spectacular rotation. I think the couple guys in the minors can fill in for the year and get shots if there is injury. Stinson and Schwinden are the first two to get shots if needed. I don’t think it’s prudent to sign guys who have the same chance of being avg as our young guys who are under team control for not a lot of money.
Why Linebrink? Historically good K/BB rate. Coming off of a down year, so he comes cheep. Been there and done that kinda guy. Has an ERA+ over 100 for 13 of the past 15 seasons. He is a vet, and can add some good stability and mentor-ship to the bullpen. 1 year 1.5 mil deal with some kind of options for a second year. Consistency, thy name is Linebrink.
Why Frank Fransico? He has been very good, he is not that old and he can be good for couple years. I would sign him to a 2 year deal at 5 mil per and make him my closer for the next 2 years. He strikes guys out, and walks a few more then I would like but has not been bad by any means. He throws multiple pitches (mostly a fastball, but his splitter has been improving. His curveball is not spectacular but improving and while stopped throwing a changeup the past couple years, maybe he can get it back). Its prob the riskiest move in my AAOP, but with Parnell as the 8th inning man in waiting there is some security (also with Acosta). At 5 mil for just 2 years he is not an albatross if it doesn’t work out.
check out this article bout him: Article Link
After opponents managed a .301 average and .880 OPS off of him in the season’s first half, Francisco has shut hitters down in the second half to the tune of a .185 average and .545 OPS in close to the same amount of at-bats. Innings-wise, he’s actually pitched more in the second half, replacing his first-half 5.92 ERA and 1.849 WHIP with 1.42 and 0.829 marks, respectively.
I would love another lefty out there in the pen, but what are you gonna do. 2 is better then 1.
UPDATE: Some questions about the pitching depth have been raised. If I was Sandy, I would try to get some arms for the minors and or could potentially beat out Gee and send him down there. Prospects for that include: Justin Duchsherer, Chris Young and Freddy Garcia (not really totally sold on any of them, but that style of a guy). For my AAOP, lets assume that Young and Duchsherer sign minor league deals and Gee makes the rotation out of spring.
I made performance estimates based on previous WAR numbers from fangraphs. Nothing scientific, I think some guys will get a little better and due to roles some may be a little worse. I think I was fair.
Total = $110 million.
WAR = 50.65 + 43.5 = 93.15 wins (playoffs bitches… everyone gets laid)
Sorry for the lack of pictures. They seemed needless... so to appease the masses: here are all the dickey faces I have made.