Ok, this is my AAOP, which I tested in MLB: The Show 2011.
First up is we re-sign Jose Reyes for 5 years, $80 million.
Second step is we sign Albert Pujols for 8 years, $120 million. Now, I know what you're saying: "the Mets can't afford those contracts with the $110 million payroll cap for next year." Right, well here's where the genius part comes in: we turn around and trade Pujols and Johan Santana to the Nationals for Steven Strasburg, Ryan Zimmerman, and Bryce Harper. We move David Wright to left field, and all of a sudden we've upgraded our infield defense, our overall offense, and gotten a younger, much cheaper ace, and we've saved a ton of money. Oh, and Bryce Harper should be ready to split time with Josh Thole before turning into Babe Ruth 2.0 in 2013.
Third step is to use that money to sign Prince Fielder for 6 years, $90 million. I know, I would have preferred to have kept Pujols as well, but Fielder is cheaper, and wouldn't have been able to fetch quite as much in that trade to the Nationals. Now, you might be wondering where we play Fielder and/or Ike Davis, and the answer is simple: Davis plays 2nd base. If Murphy was able to play 2nd, Davis definitely can. He doesn't have much range, but he makes way less errors than you'd expect in my game.
Next step is to get rid of Jason Bay's contract. First, I offered him to the Phillies for Cole Hamels, but the Phillies declined the trade. Then, I went to the options menu and turned on the "force trades" option, and went back and completed the trade, this time also taking back Chase Utley. Since I already have Ike Davis playing second base, I turned around and traded Utley to the Tigers for Justin Verlander. Since I was feeling particularly vindictive, I also traded a fictional minor leaguer for Ryan Howard, who I then stuck at Binghamton for the whole season.
My finished product:
C - Thole/Harper
2b - Davis
3b - Zimmerman
LF - Wright
CF - Pagan/Nieuwenheiss
RF - Duda
SP - Verlander
SP - Strasburg
SP - Hamels
SP - Niese
SP - Dickey
Like I said in the title, this worked in MLB The Show 2011. After finishing with 69-wins in my fictional 2011, the new look Mets finished with 103 wins in 2012. Nieuwenheiss stole the CF job from Pagan halfway through the season and didn't look back, putting up a rookie of the year contender season. The bullpen wasn't great, but it was good enough (I don't know how, but David Aardsma ended up on my team sometime during the 2011 season and he had a decent 2012 with 44 saves and a 3.52 ERA, so we've gotta figure out a way to pick him up too). The best part is that my dual trades crippled the Phillies, who finished with 84 wins and no playoffs. Oh, and Ryan Howard hit 49 homers in Bingo.
All in all, this was an excellent season for my Mets, and I hope Sandy Alderson tries to replicate it in real life.
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