My first post on here, trying to keep it as realistic as possible. I'm going to try to incorporate 2 main themes into this plan: cutting costs (to account for the declining team revenue) and developing younger players.
The following players are free agents who I won't bring back:
Jose Reyes (too expensive for a guy who misses time every year with leg injuries)
The following are the players I'd non-tender:
The players I would re-sign:
Mike Pelfrey (find me another pitcher in this market who can deliver 200 innings consistently with at least some degree of success for less than 10 million per year)
Chris Capuano (another year removed from injury, should be better than last season)
Roster outlook before acquisitions:
SP- Dickey, Pelfrey, Capuano, Neise, Gee, and potentially Santana
RP-Parnell, Acosta, Beato, Byrdak, Daniel Herrera, Josh Stinson
IF- Wright, Davis, Turner, Tejada, Murphy
OF- Duda, Bay, Hairston, Nieuwenhuis (promoting him, he looked ready last season prior to injury)
Closer, Backup Catcher, SP depth, Backup middle infield, backup CF
C Jose Molina (2 years, 1.5 million per year)- strong defensive option with some potential offense
2B/SS Jamie Carroll (1 year 2 million)- can backup entire infield, gets on base well
OF Rick Ankiel (1 year 2 million)- excellent defensive OF, good mentor to work with Kirk N., could pitch if bullpen gets overworked (just kidding!)
SP Mitch Talbot (minor league deal w/ spring training invite)- always helps to have pitching depth, struggled, could do better in NL
SP Armando Galarraga (minor league deal w/ spring training invite)- always helps to have pitching depth
RP Joe Nathan (2 years, 7.5 million per year)- the big acquisition, veteran presence to anchor the pen, year removed from injury will prove he still has what it takes.
I don't see the mets making any major trades, it just doesn't make sense for the organization at the moment to make big moves. However, I would make 1 lesser trade to improve the outfield defense:
Mets trade OF Lucas Duda and pitching prospect Brandon Moore to Oakland for OF Ryan Sweeney. Mets need a strong defensive outfielder and the A's could use an outfield bat so this trade suits both teams reasonably well. Sweeney is arb eligible and will likely make around 2.5 million this season.
So the roster for 2012 will look like:
SP- Dickey, Pelfrey, Niese, Gee, Capuano, Santana if healthy (Harvey, Familia, Schwinden,Talbot, and Galarraga as AAA rotation)
RP- Nathan, Parnell, Beato, Acosta, Stinson, Byrdak, Herrera (DJ Carrasco, Manny Alvarez, Armando Rodriguez, and Elvin Ramirez are minor league options, Mejia moves to pen after he returns from injury)
C- Thole, Jose Molina (Nickeas in AAA)
IF- Davis, Turner, Tejada, Wright, Murphy, Carroll (Havens up by mid-year if he's healthy to take over 2B, Satin and Valdespin are other emergency options)
OF-Bay, Nieuwenhuis, Sweeney, Hairston, Ankiel (Fernando, Pridie, Baxter in AAA)
So no major acquisitions are made (unless you count Joe Nathan), but the team gets better defensively, improves its pitching depth, and gives the younger kids another year to develop. What do you think?