FanPost

AAOP: You mustn’t be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling

I hope you enjoy my AAOP. It started out as one idea and then took a total turn in the middle of editing it. I had hoped to write more substantially but work and school overtook my best intentions to slack off. 


Like a lot of Mets fans out there, I am tired of all the losing, tired of watching the Phillies ,Braves and Yankees make the playoffs while the Mets play meaningless games, tired of being the butt of jokes, and tired of waiting till next year. Yes, we can sit around and hedge our bets on 2013 and beyond, hoping all our young pitchers develop into immediate aces. We can hope that the hitters in the system develop into stars, that F! and Havens stay healthy, that Flores continues to hit and finds a position, that Kirk defies the projections and stays in center and that Puello puts all his tools together. However, it feels like we have been this road forever with the Mets waiting for the next year and the year after. In the infamous words of a certain sideline reporter, I want to win now not three years from now. In my AAOP, the Mets can win this year and the future.

The most glaring area that needs improvement is the pitching staff. The Mets pitchers managed a paltry 8.8 fWAR last year, which was 25th in the Majors. They were a bit better , but not much, judging on their xFIP which was 22nd in the Majors. In order to win the NL East the Mets will need to improve their pitching staff dramatically for 2012. After the jump , I will present my brilliant and ingenious plan on how this can be done. 

dream a little bigger Pictures, Images and Photos

(via http://s924.photobucket.com/profile/eunheekim)

"To win the future, we must dream big and build big" President Barack Obama 


The Mets may be in a position to acquire a front line starter this off season, should one be available and should they be willing to trade the necessary pieces. They currently have two pitchers, Zach Wheeler and Matt Harvey, who were both rated as a top 20 pitching prospect in Baseball Americas mid-season prospect report. According to this chart over at Beyond the Boxscore, compiled from Victor Wang's research, the value of a top 25 pitching is worth $15.9 million. That is a very valuable commodity. But who can the Mets trade for in order to give up this valuable piece?  There is one pitcher who would be worth trading one of our pitching prospects for. This man: 



I know there has been a lot of speculation of whether or not the Mariners will listen to offers for him. Some commentators, most notably on the Mariner SB Nation site Lookout Landing, are of the opinion that trading King Felix is unthinkable. The thinking goes, the man is a one in a generation talent and the return needs to overwhelmingly favorable to trade such a player. Others, most notably in the comments on ESPN and MLB trade rumors, believe it would be foolhardy of Jack Z not to at least listen to trades for him. If you've been listening to WFAN, you've probably heard Yankee fans discussing trading Montero for Felix. In fact three of the top five Google results for Felix Hernandez trade are trades with the Yankees.The thought process to trade him seems to be that the Mariners are in a total rebuild mode now. They have a good group of young pitchers at the MLB level and in the minors right now. They are at least two years away from making any noise in the AL West, which brings them right up to Hernandez's last year under contract. Their offensive players are a few years away at least. In the meantime, Felix's contract gets expensive starting this year where he is due $18.5 million. If the Mariners are listening to offers for him I want the Mets to be there calling. Fortunately, using this trade value calculator over at Beyond the Boxscore, we can estimate how much net value Felix will be worth over the next three years of his contract. With a contract that owes him $18.5, $19.5, and $20 million over the next three years and assuming he will be worth 6 WAR going forward, that puts his net value at near $30 million. If we were to give up one of Wheeler and Harvey that gives about half the expected value in return. The other half ? That would be Daniel Murphy. Assuming Murphy can be a 2.5 WAR player going forward, over the next three years he will return almost $20 million in net value. And that is just in the next three years. A position player who will be making the minimum salary, is under team control for the next five years and can hit like Murphy is extremely valuable. Add in Captain Kirk, who I fully expect to be upgraded to at least a B prospect by John Sickels (valued at $5 million), and Mike Pelfrey ($1 million) and the Mariners are getting back more value than they will be giving. In terms of WAR, Murphy and Pelfrey have the ability to collectively reach 5 fWAR, which is just one win shy of Felix's projected WAR, with a savings of $13 million. Pelfrey gives them a one year stop gap for their young pitchers to develop, Murphy is an instant upgrade at third over Figgins, Kirk probably jumps to the top of their outfield prospect list, and they receive one of the top 20 pitching prospects in the game. The biggest hindrance to this is how does Seattle sell this move to the fans? To make this move an easier sell, the Mets would have to add in either Jenrry Mejia ( value of $7 million) or another Grade B hitting prospect like Flores ( $5 million).

So to summarize: Move # 1 - The Mets send Daniel Murphy, Mike Pelfrey,  Matt Harvey or Zach Wheeler, KIrk Nieuwenhuis and one more Grade B prospect to Seattle for Felix Hernandez.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

                   Looks real nice, huh?

 

Move # 2-  Resign Chris Capuano to a two year $11 million deal.

Headshot_16660_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

 

 

Capuano had a decent season and was actually worth 1.8 fWAR this past season. He proved himself durable as well this past year as he threw 186 innings. His FIP was 4.04, which while not spectacular is quite decent for a number four starter. So the rotation will be Felix Hernandez, R.A Dickey, Jon Niese, Johan Santana, Chris Capuano. This also allows the Mets to keep Dillon Gee in the minors as insurance should anyone get hurt, or Santana can't pitch effectively. In this plan we are not really relying on Santana that much, so if he really can't do much like those that have had the surgery before him, it is no big loss.

 

 

I'll let R.A. Dickey and his son make the case for the last big move of the off sesason. 

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

 

(via r.a.dickey's twitter account)

Move # 3 - Resign Jose Reyes.

Most people are saying 5/100 so I'll go along with that with the first year of the contract paying him $16 million. The Mets need to keep their top players if they want to compete in 2012. Reyes is one of the top players in baseball. Nothing more needs to be said.

 

The easier moves....

Move # 4 -  Go to arbitration with Ronny Paulino and Manny Acosta

Headshot_40851_medium          

Headshot_31858_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

This one was a bit tough as Paulino, while he hit well vs. lefties (wOBA of .328), it appeared as if his defense was lacking behind the plate. However, good backup catchers are not really available, and Paulino may reach Type B status next season, making him valuable to the Mets.  At MLB trade rumors, they value him getting $1.5 million in arbitration.

Acosta was easier for me. He was perhaps the Mets best reliever last season. His K/9 was close to nine while his BB/9 was close to three. He pitched with a slightly high BABIp and still managed to keep his FIP at 3.8. MLB trade rumors thinks Acosta will receive an arbitration value of $1 million. 

 

Move # 5 - Sign Angel Pagan to a 3 year $12 million contract. 

Poopswag_medium

via www.ihiphop.com

Pagan is a classic buy low candidate. He put up incredible numbers in 2010 and in limited plate appearances in 2009. In fact, he was the fifth best CF in baseball in 2010 judging solely on fWAR. His 2011 season however, saw a stark decline in all categories, offensively and defensively. While he walked more and struck out less than he did in 2010, his power disappeared,  and Pagan saw a huge decrease ijn his wOBA. However, it does seem as if he was battling some bad luck all season as his BABIP was below his normal by about 45 points. On the defensive side of the ball, UZR/150 saw a stark decline in 2010 as well putting him at -16.1 at CF. DRS was a bit kinder putting him at about average.  It is difficult to believe though that what we saw in the two previous years was an aberration. It would seem hard to understand that one can go from a plus 13 fielder to a negative 16 fielder in one year. It has been said by sportscasters often that struggling in one area of the game such as  a batting slump, will often lead to struggles in the field as well. Perhaps that was part of it. Whatever the case, I think we can count on Pagan to rebound nicely this year. In the worst case, the contract is only for 4 million a year, where to be worth the contract all he has to do is be worth 1 WAR per year. 

Move # 6 - Resign Miguel Batista for $0.9 million as a long man/spot starter.

Headshot_282_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

 

 

With these moves plus the money the Mets are already committed to paying, I have just about reached the $110 million cap.That means remaining players must all come from the organization and be cheap. Here I present the total 2012 NY Mets.

The starting line up:

SS-  Headshot_31511_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

2b-   Headshot_56850_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

Ruben Tejada had a very nice 2011 season. Playing in a bit less than 100 games, he was worth 1.8 fWAR due to to an average bat for second base and some good fielding all while being only 22 years of age. Look for Tejada to add some power to make him more valuable in 2012.

3b-  Headshot_31514_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

Nothing more to say about David.Hopefully the changes to Citi field bring back at least some of the old David Wright.

1b-  Headshot_57778_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

After an extremely promising rookie season, came out mashing last year, only to have an ankle injury cause him to miss most of the season. Hopefully Ike comes back next year and picks up right where he left off.

CF-  Headshot_40737_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

LF-  Headshot_56196_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

Lucas Duda looked like nice young player with the bat last year. However, he needs to improve on his defense at least a bit in order for him to have much value. He was only worth 0.9 fWAR due to abysmal fielding ratings. Hopefully moving him to LF where he is more comfortable will help him with his defense. 

 

RF- Headshot_31518_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

There doesn't seem to be much the Mets can do with Bay at this point. Hopefully he figures something out at the plate. In the field, Bay moves to RF to allow Duda to play at his natural position. With the new dimensions at Citi, he should not have too much difficulty making this switch. 

C-  Headshot_46730_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

Josh Thole had a rocky rookie season. However he did manage a 310 wOBA against righties and had some good moments over the course of the season. In fact in June and August he posted a wOBA of .390 and .364 respectively. The other months? Awful. But hopefully Thole improves in 2012 and gives the Mets more value at the catcher position. 

The starting pitching..

 

# 1- 7487_medium

via static.foxsports.com


# 2- Niese-bisons-headshot2_medium

via cdn3.sbnation.com

Jon Niese was absolutely greatv last year. While he pitched to an E.R.A. of 4.4, his FIP and xFIP were almost a full run lower suggesting a lot of bad luck for Niese. If he can avoid the freakish injuries, he should be a valuable part of the Mets rotation.

# 3-285079_medium

via www.rotowire.com

The man god at AA, Dickey once again had a brilliant season. 

# 4 -Headshot_16660_medium

via www.baseballprospectus.com

# 5- 2993_medium

via www.rotoworld.com

I am not sure what to expect from Santana. The othe rpitchers who have gone through similar surgeries do not have a good track record coming back. plus, we haven't heard much about his recovery since progress was derailed in late August. We do have Dillon Gee at AAA in case we need, plus Miguel Batista can be placed in the rotation if need be. 

 

 

Here I present the final total roster with the salary in millions and (my) projected WAR for 2012.

 

Name

Salary

Po

Projected WAR

Jose Reyes

$16.00

SS

5

Ruben Tejada

$0.40

2B

2.5

Angel Pagan

$4.00

CF

2.5

Ike Davis

$0.40

1B

4

David Wright

$15.00

3B

3.2

Lucas Duda

$0.40

LF

2.5

Jason Bay

$16.00

RF

2

Josh Thole

$0.40

C

1.5

Jason Pridie

$0.40

OF

0.7

Justin Turrner

$0.40

INF

0.4

Nick Evans

$0.40

OF

0.3

Ronny Paulino

$1.50

C

0.7

Josh Satin

$0.40

INF

0.5

Tim Byrdak

$1.20

RP

0.3

D.J. Carrasco

$1.20

RP

0

Manny Acosta

$1.00

RP

0.4

Bobby Parnell

$0.40

RP

0.6

Daniel Herrera

$0.40

RP

0

Miguel Batista

$0.90

RP

0.5

Pedro Beato

$0.40

RP

0

R.A. Dickey

$4.25

SP

2.5

Johan Santana

$24.00

SP

2

Jon Niese

$0.40

SP

3

Felix Hernandez

$18.00

SP

6

Chris Capuano

$5.50

SP

1.8

$113.35

42.9

As you can see in my plan, the Mets should have about 43 total WAR next season which puts them at about 91 wins and definitely in the Wild Card race. Should any of the young players perform better than expected, or Wright and Bay return to form, winning the NL East is also quite possible. The total salary project at  about $113.5 million, or $3.5 million over the cap given by AA. However, the extra 3 million should pay for itself with a run deep into the playoffs.

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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