Well, he's gone.
Are the choices really to hope the Wilpons win $100m at roulette or prepare for Rebuild on a Budget?
Maybe another year of Sandy "over-slotting" with the best of 'em will be a quick fix . . . Oops the new CBA means he can't.
But 3 first rounders will be a huge boon! Huh? The "Revenge of the Giant Heath" deems one to be a third-rounder?
Crap. We're screwed. Well yeah, but it's time to get creative to try to salvage something.
How about spending the Jose dinero on a higher priced FA that we flip into prospect(s) in July?
He needs to be on a short-term deal, not be getting extravagent dollars and be in demand at the trade deadline.
Think starting pitching - think Hiroki Kuroda.
He made $12m last season and is rumored to be trying to snake the Snakes into a 1 year + 1 year player option deal. So maybe a $12m + $2m buyout of a mutual option gets it done. Even a regression from the past two years to his mlb average performance should make him the apple of many a July contenders eye.
That deal would cost the Mets $8m since we're only paying for 2/3 of the season - $10m if we need to sweeten the pot for a better prospect. Come July he's shipped to contender-land for the next Zach Wheeler. OK, that's probably an over-reach but he ought to fetch something of real value.
The bigger point is we can't spend $8m over-slot in the draft but we can spend that money on a big leaguer that gets turned into a prospect(s).
He also fits into the "pitching & defense" philosophy & strengthens a weak rotation. He won't sell tickets but hot starts by 3 of Ike/Duda/DWright/JayBay could lead to a winning April/May that could sell more summer tickets before a likely regression to 70-75 wins. Jose won't be forgotten but maybe a surprising start eases some of the sting. And if by some miracle Johan is healthy and 80% of his former self a Santana-Kuroda-Dickey-Niese-Pelfrey rotation could keep us in our fair share of games.
And if the $8m is too steep, "tender and trade" Pelfrey for a wild/big-heat AAer and give Gee a job. The risk of course is that Kuroda has a bad year or gets injured.
I'd rather roll the dice on a single signing that could return a high-ceiling prospect than 2-3 low-ceiling mlb-ers that take us from 68 to 73 wins.
Maybe Kuroda isn't the right guy - who else might fit that type of profile?
The point is there's a young future star out there we'd love to fall in love with, maybe moves like this could be the way to acquire him.