One could argue that the fate of the "rebuilding" moniker for the 2011 season was sealed long before a front office overhaul, let alone the calendar ever caught up to its present time. Optimism abounds as the first of the 3 most anticipated roster sheddings has ensued with Castillo dropping a few days ago. Soon to follow BETTER BE Oliver Perez. And eventually what hopefully amounts to be a trade of our most eagerly awaited trade chip in the injury riddled Carlos Beltran.
I've touched on this topic on several occasions to the dismay of what quintessentially amounts to the 4 Horsemen of the Acostalypse: Ogre39666, JackStr, MisterMet and MookietheCat. For good reasons, each have respectively had their share of my rump in conjecture regarding the trade speculations I've brought up. Those who have been victim of my abhorrence on the matter know my angle and that I've been a proponent of trading everyone on the roster. To give you an idea how maniacal I've been at times, I've liberally induldged in the heretic idea of shipping off my guy David Wright, even given the most unrealistic and non sensical situations. Suffice to say, I've actually learned a couple things and to start this post I have indeed shaken the "Traid da DubZzZ" disorder for a slew of other head bangers. Don't say I didn't warn you about what follows the jump!
TOP PRIORITY: Trade LF-Jason Bay as soon as he displays any semblance of a return to career norms.
I view Jason Bay as a major neusance on our existing and future roster for strictly his contractual burden and nothing more. I like his hustle when healthy even though he morphed into a gap power guy who seemingly had more triples than homers in 2010. Lets face it, even Dubs needed a full season to adjust to the cavern that is CitiField. His salary is a swollen figure but not unmanageable. But his deal is hefty enough to make me think that its enough of a figure to force the hand on another guys future or lack there of. He is a guy I'd MUCH rather have remain on my team, even at his anticipated inflated market value in 2012. He is none other than Jose Reyes.
WHO WANTS HIM: If Vernon Wells can find a home then so can a resurgent Jason Bay.
PRIORITY #2: Trade RHP-Mike Pelfrey before his budget gets too big for his britches.
Yes, he still has 2 full years of arbitration eligibility restricting him free agency rights until 2014. He's also a good 2 full seasons from hitting the 1000 innings pitched milestone as well. His peak value could still be in the making but I personally am convinced that he is every bit the 2.5+/- WAR, career 1.455 WHIP, 4.31 ERA, 5.1 K/9, 1.56 K/BB guy he is profiled to be.
Take into consideration RHP-Matt Harvey and LHP-Mark Cohoon being added into the rotation mix in 2013 and he's an attractive, expendable asset. While I distastefully draw comparisons to the Philthies on this but for lack of a better example, I truly and foolishly hoped for Cole Hamels ace-type production but am resigned to profiling him as more of a pitcher on the Joe Blanton plane of middling ilk. Also keep in mind that the exclusion of Jenrry Mejia in the 2013 rotation and the prospects a peak value Pelfrey could yield in a deal hold a relevance to my following argument.
WHO WANTS HIM: Sorting and assessing the return values would trump the concerns of counting the suitors IMHO.
PRIORITY #3: Acquire ACE LHP-Francisco Liriano before my fantasy MLB draft in 7 days
I've never gone into a season without Johan Santana spearheading my fantasy rotation and I'll be damned if I don't have a bonafide Mets ace following suit in 2011. But getting back to the depressing reality, our "Super Saiyan" southpawed ace Johan Santana is recovering from a frighteningly humanizing injury that has no good track record of return to speak of. Mark Prior, Chien Ming Wang and John Maine all have succumb to the dreadful "capsule tear" injury. Many seasons have passed to no avail and certainly no return to prior glories.
To insure against the calamity of life without the ace in the division of endless opposing aces, securing a Francisco Liriano level talent to headline the rotation must be viewed as nothing short of an absolute necessity. The market is razor thin for Ace level pitching talent as young as Liriano and for good reason. I truly believe he is on the market and being shopped around by the Twins organization for the same reason that I'm imploring a trade of Jason Bay. Joe Mauer inked himself in an eternity of financial security by "settling" for the low balling, home town discount of $184MM over 8 dreadful years. The Twins budget will burst at the seams if they even entertain the idea of fielding Liriano's rumored astoundingly reasonable offer of 4yr/$39MM.
While Omar pulled a heist for the ages in the Santana deal, the price will undoubtedly be upwards of both our best prospects in RHP-Jenrry Mejia and positionally defunct slugger Wilmer Flores. While the kids have certainly endeared themselves whether they know it or not as the second coming of Christ and his posse, their losses in transaction would hopefully be offset by the returns of a Pelfrey deal.
PRIORITY #4: Chuck n' duck on a trade of RHP-R.A. Dickey to capitalize on his current age 36 peak value anomoly.
Yes he's a knuckle ball wizard and "Anomoly" could indeed be his middle name but we all know he's way too humble a human being to be anything other than our very own Robert Alan Dickey. Regardless of how awesome he is and how foolish MLB regulars look against his mix of 80 MPH knucklers, his royal ulnar collateral ligamentlessness of awesomeness can only defy the cookie monster of baseball numbers called the Sabermetric trend for so long. It takes every ounce of strength a man can muster to essentially shot put a baseball off his finger tips at a ridiculous velocity of 80+MPH regularly.
While successful career knuckle ball hurlers see productivity well into their 40's, I've only 1 man in my youthful generation to model Dickey's knuckle ball life post age 36. That man is Tim Wakefield who has an entirely different repetoire of what some could imply as inferior knuckle balls compared to Dickey's high velocity knuckling arsenal. However Dickey will not always be able to touch 80+MPH with his stuff and according to Wakefield's 7 years following his age 35 season, he's compiled on average: an 11-10 record annually, 1.313 WHIP, 4.53 ERA, 2.3 WAR. A far cry from Dickey's 2010 season where he fashioned a career year posting banner stats across the board: 3.4 WAR, 2.48 K/BB, 1.187 WHIP, 2.84 ERA and an unjust 11-9 record.
While he has endeared himself as far beyond the initial knuckling novelty, he is aging and he is aging quickly in baseball years. While there is absolutely no denying that I will roast on merely suggesting this notion alone for a 2nd time. I must admit capitalizing on a players value at age 36 does not get this attractive very often and its worth taking into consideration if rebuilding goes into full effect with 2013-2014 as the target timetable to start the seige of the NL East.
WHO WANTS HIM: Its no secret that everyone envies the Dicknotoad