FanPost

An Offseason Plan


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Here is a nine-point plan for patient fans who don’t want to just cheer for laundry. The fact that it is nine, rather than ten, shows I didn’t get hung up on a round number similar to 20 wins, 30 home runs, etc. It’s performance that counts.

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1) Realistically Target the Right Year To Contend

It isn’t 2013. It is 2014 if Wright and Dickey are retained, and 2016 or later if they are not. There is no sense trading away young talent to finish a distant third in 2013 at the expense of later years.

2) Be Willing To Overpay for Wright And Dickey

The way baseball’s labor contract is structured, players are underpaid during the first half of their career, and overpaid during the second half when they start to decline with age. So the money smart move is always to get rid of players when they will become overpaid. Except:

a) You’ll never have a star spend most of their career with the team.

b) Younger players will be de-motivated when they see that when the “reward” phase of their careers arrives, the Mets won’t reward them.

c) You are unlikely to ever have enough good players at once to win a championship, and

d) Panicking over c), you end up overpaying for the decline of someone else’s player, a player without built up goodwill with the home fans. As the Mets have done over and over.

3) Offer David Wright Jose Reyes Money, But Front Loaded

Anything less would be an insult. Six years beyond picking up the 2013 option for an additional $110 million: $25, $25, $20, $15, $15, $10. Why front load given the time value of money? Well in the era of QE, the time value of money isn’t what it used to be. And if DW is going to decline, better to not embarrass him by overpaying in the later years. Moreover, think of the team payroll as a conveyor belt. There is an opening to pay big money to two or three stars from 2014 to 2016, after Bay and Santana come off the books. Later, someone else the Mets want to keep might be moving into the reward phase, and overpaying older players might prevent this (ie Bay and Reyes).

4) Offer RA Dickey Big Bucks Shorter Term

I’d say $20 million in addition to the option year, with the promise of more to come if he stays healthy and pitches well. But RA seems to crave stability. All right, $32 million for two years (total of three), $20, $12. Still more stability wanted? How about three years $39 million, $20, $12, $7 for a total of four more years and seven total in a Mets uniform. And perhaps more after that.

5) Keep All The Young Pitching For Now

To do otherwise would be to sell low. The only players with real trade value right now are Dickey, Niese, and Harvey, and the Mets will need enough pitching to replace Santana in 2014. I’d bring back Pelfrey and put him in the rotation, in the hopes that he and Gee will turn into good trade chips. Trade Santana at the deadline to a contender in a Beltran-type deal if that works out. And keep developing. The time to cash in a chip or two is after some major league success, as they change from red to blue. The Mets didn’t trade Walt Terrell as a prospect or coming off an injury. He had a successful major league year, and THEN they traded him because they had more coming in behind.

6) Put Duda in Left Field, and Give David Wright Some Time in Right Field

Like the young pitchers who are injured/have not had major league success, Duda has yet to raise his trade value. He can only do that if he gets major league at bats, and that can only happen in left field. Whether he ends up being kept or traded, he needs to play.

The Mets prospect who is closest to being a good major league hitter is Wilmer Flores, but I’ll take the bloggers’ word for it when they say he isn’t quick enough for SS, and isn’t fast enough for OF. I want Ike to stay at IB, for defense and power. They’ll try him at 2B, and Murphy could be traded, but he is another decent bat so the Mets wouldn’t be getting much ahead. Flores best position might be 3B. DW is a great athlete who perhaps could do what Flores and Murphy could not – play OF. Best to get him work there to create an option, even though it would mean losing a Gold Glove, if you could get another plus bat in the line-up. If Pete Rose could move all over to win, so can DW.

7) Keep Thole

This guy was a solid singles machine. Not a great offensive player, but solid until he got injured. Then his offense took a nose-dive to putrid. But I wouldn’t give up on a young player after one bad season following an injury. And how many options are out there at catcher, and what would they cost? The Mets need to draft and develop players at this position, because the pickings are thin.

8) Cut Jason Bay Even if His Replacement is AAAA

At this point it is almost cruel to keep him on the team. He looks like his is in great shape physically, a stud, but after this year I’m prepared to throw in the towel. Maybe he can have a “last hurrah” year somewhere else, but not here – the place seems to curse him. Better to give a AAAA guy a shot. After reading Dickey’s book I don’t look at those guys the same way. Maybe you get lucky. If not, a year at the major league minimum, saved rather than spent, can make a big difference to a regular guy facing the rest of his life. Give a 99 percenter a break.

9) Spend $120 Million In 2014 – or $40 Million

If things to right with the young pitching, and if Wilmer Flores becomes what F-Mart and Blastings Thrillage did not, the Mets might be one or two players away from contention in 2014 – the way they weren’t (though they thought they were) in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. An extra $30 million could put them over the top.

But if Wright and Dickey are gone, the worst thing to do is try to make up for it by going out and overpaying for free agent players on the downside as a PR move. Again. We don’t need another Vince Coleman or Juan Samuel. Admit winning is another couple of years off, keep the young players, and keep drafting, with a salary low enough to keep out of bankruptcy and enough losses to draft high. <!--EndFragment-->

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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