Ok, I´m going to take another crack at this, despite and because of all the critical comments about my first attempt. I know it´s too late to be considered, but what the heck.
1.The Mets won´t challenge for the playoffs in 2012, but would like to be competitive as they build towards 2013/2014 and the arrival of some of their prospects.
2. Jose Reyes will choose to sign elsewhere, and Tejada will play SS. Not what I believe should happen, just what I believe is inevitable. (NB- Please don´t debate Reyes here. It´s been done to death. Just accept this as an assumption and go from there. Thanks.)
3. Mets will not trade Wright.
4. Bay is unmoveable. Worth keeping around to see if he rebounds.
5. One of their biggest needs, if not the biggest, is starting pitching. Their offense was decent in 2012 (the loss of Wright and Davis for large chunks of 2011 will be offset by the loss of Beltran and Reyes for 2012), but the pitching was sub-par. They need better innings, and can´t count on Santana to be the Johan of old. A better rotation improves the pen too.
So, release the hounds!
1. Trade Pelfrey, Turner, Collin McHugh (who had a very low HR rate and very high GB/FB ratio at AA), and possibly Beato or Parnell to Colorado for Huston Street, OF Seth Smith, and pitching prospect Chad Bettis. Street is mostly to even out the payroll in the deal but can play a role in the pen. Bettis is the prime target; he has great K:BB ratios, which is one of my complaints about Mets pitchers. Smith is RF filler until we can evaluate Cap´n Kirk/Vaughn/etc.
2. Trade Gee, Murphy, Gorski, Parnell or Beato (whoever isn´t in the CO deal), and maybe Flores or Tapia to CWS for Gavin Floyd. A28 yo RHP with a good pitcher´s body, Floyd is controllable for 2 more years and cost-certain. He can give you innings with much better peripherals than Pelfrey. Won´t block the young prospects, as his 2013 option can be declined, or accepted and traded if the Mets prospects come on like gangbusters in 2012. CWS reportedly wants to scale back, and doesn´t have many prospects.
3. Here I have two options:
3a: Trade Duda, Bettis or Familia, and a lower level prospect (like Flores/Tapia/Whitenton type) toTampa for either James Shields or David Price. Tampa needs a 1B and DH, or possibly a LF-- Duda fits this profile. While TB doesn´t like giving up young pitchers, they are well stocked and we would send them Familia/Bettis. They had the second lowest attendance in MLB, and lost money in spite of making the playoffs.
or 3b: Trade Duda, Familia/Mejia, and FMart to Oakland for Gio Gonzalez. While not as good as the dynamic duo from Tampa (Gio walks a lot of guys), he´s still pretty good, and controllable. Oak had MLBs lowest attendance, needs offense, and faces serious uncertainty because of ballpark issues.
4. Another two options for getting a C.
4a: Trade Valdespin and C Juan Centeno or A. Cordero to SF for AAA C Hector Sanchez. Sanchez is ready to step in, and the Giants have Buster Posey; they also have catching backups and another C prospect in their Top 10. They could use offense in the middle IF.
or 4b: Trade Valdespin and Centeno/Cordero to the Reds for Catcher Y. Grandal. He´s a little further away than Sanchez, so I prefer option 4a, but he might be ready in 2013. Reds have another good young catcher in Masoraco, so they could spare Grandal for needed middle IF depth and a possible replacement for Phillips after 2012.
6. Resign M Batista as insurance/swingman. We don´t know for sure if Santana will be ready, so it´s a cheap worthwhile gamble. Yes he´s almost as old as me, but he did OK in limited duty in 2011.
7. Non-tender Paulino.
Note: I´d include Lagares if it was a deciding extra factor in getting Floyd, Price/Shields, or Gonzalez.
The team in 2012:
Santana $24 mill
Dickey $4.5 mil
G. Floyd $7mil
C: Thole $0.5
1B: Davis $0.5
2B: Carroll $3mill
SS: Tejada $0.5 mill
3B: DW $15mill
LF: Bay $18mill
CF: Pagan $5mill (no, I´m not wild about him, but there aren´t a lot of other options and we have prospects for 2013)
RF: Smith $2.5mill
Sanchez (C) $0.5
Did I give up some prospects? Yes, but I got proven ML talent. Did I give up young ML talent? Yes, but either marginal back end rotation (Pelf, Gee) or out of position and defensively challenged(Duda). Did I block any prospects for 2013/2014? Not seriously. Did I decrease long-term flexibility? No. Did I improve the team and make it competitive for 2012? I think so. I hope so.