It's been a long, long 6 years for us Mets fans. There have been some bright spots in a mostly dark and shadowy world. Whether it's the Jason Bay signing, losing Reyes to our division rivals, Tony Bernazard, blowing the leads, etc. (this list could go on forever).
Now it's time for Sandy Alderson to show what he's really made of. The young pitchers are ready and Jason Bay is gone, so it's time to start making some moves to get the fans excited for the upcoming season. We as fans deserve a winner, so hopefully Mr. Alderson will put that product on the field come 2014. So, let's begin:
#1: Mets Resign David Wright to 7 year 128 Million Dollar Deal
This is really a no brainer here. David is our cornerstone and face of the franchise. When people think of the New York Mets, the first person that pops into their heads these days is David Wright. David had a strong season batting .306 with 21 home runs and 93 RBIs. While that isn't perhaps MVP worthy, it still is a great season, and coupled with Gold Glove defense, makes for one of the best players last season in the National League.The Mets can't afford to lose his production on the field, his leadership in the clubhouse and marketability in the media. He's our Chipper Jones, and needs to be here for as long as he's playing in the MLB.
#2 Mets Trade RA Dickey and Zach Lutz to the Oakland Athletics for Josh Reddick and Tommy Milone
I know I know. RA Dickey was THE MAN this past season. Every game was magical that he pitched. It was awesome to watch him baffle hitters with his knuckleball. However, the man is 38 years old, and though he is a knuckler, he throws harder than most to the point where scouts and executives outside and inside the Mets Organization are skeptical he can keep up this type of pitching well into his 40's. So, after a year in which he may very well win the CY Young, this is the perfect time to see what you can get for the man.
The Oakland A's are an interesting team. They have a great young core, and an abundance of outfielders, especially with the acquisition of Chris Young from Arizona. With that move, they have Cespedes, Young, Reddick, Crisp and Seth Smith on the MLB roster, with Colin Cowgill and Michael Taylor (among others) waiting in the minors. The main area where the Mets NEED to improve on 2012 is in the Outfield. So, there is a definite match here. Let's break each player down and show how they fit into this deal:
RA Dickey is an Ace pitcher at this point of his career. He's a 20 game winner and Cy Young candidate. However, he's also 38 years old, and there are many questions about his durability. The Mets are still a year or two (hopefully) away from competing, so RA isn't being used to his full potential. The Oakland Athletics lack a true veteran ace pitcher that can help mentor young pitchers such as Jarrod Parker and AJ Griffin, as well as the prospects that are going to be coming up in the next few season, and be a piece that potentially puts them over the top.
Lutz is an interesting player. He is known to have a strong bat and a decent glove, and could project to be a very solid player for a number of years. However, his two positions are occupied by the Mets' two strongest players, Ike Davis and David Wright. So, he is expendable. The A's are always looking for power and OBP, and Lutz can definitely supply both going forward for the small market Athletics.
Reddick was an integral piece to the A's run to the AL West Title last season. However, now with the plethora of MLB caliber outfielders, he could be expendable. Reddick would give the Mets a few things they lacked. First, he would be that other big bat that the Mets sorely lack in the middle of their lineup. He hit 32 homers last season, and had 85 RBI. He would have been tied for first in home runs and third in RBi's. Secondly, he just won a gold glove, and would give the Mets a solid RF for many years down the road. Thirdly, he would supply some feistiness that we lack on the roster as well. With Kirk Nieuwenhuis potentially patrolling CF in 2013, a polished RF would go a long way to helping Captain Kirk adjust to his full time role.
Milone is another key member of the Oakland A's 2012 team. He was one of their better pitchers, and really pitched well in his playoff start against Detroit. Milone would give the Mets another young, proven LHP to go with Niese, and help compliment Harvey, Wheeler and potentially Dillon Gee down the road. Getting him would also stick it to Washington, as he would be able to pitch against them potentially multiple times a season. He would also be able to replace RA in the rotation for 2013 and beyond (not production most likely)
With This trade, we would be approximately at $96 million for our payroll. However, there are still a few moves to be made.
#3 Sign JP Howell (2 years, $3million)
Howell had a strong bounce back year in 2012. After missing most of 2011, Howell pitched to a 3.04 ERA and 42 SO in 55 games for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Mets are in need of another lefty in the bullpen that can compliment Josh Edgin, and he would do just that. His splits against right handed hitters hasn't been great throughout his career, but he can get them out.
#4 Sign Bobby Jenks (Minor League Deal)
Jenks could be a very interesting addition to the 2013 Mets. He was released in July after a very disappointing couple of seasons up in Boston. He also has had problems with the law and is overweight. However, the Mets bullpen has been so putrid over the past few season, that a move like this is needed. Jenks has the potential to find what he was missing up in Boston, and give the Mets a strong late inning fireballer. And if he can't, the minor league deal allows him to be released after spring training.
#5 Trade Colin McHugh and Jefry Marte to the Boston Red Sox for Jarrod Saltalamacchia
Jarrod Saltalamacchia is exactly what the Mets need in a catcher. He won't be too expensive, but can supply some power and solid defense behind the plate to a team that lacked production from their backstops in 2012. Salty is still young, only 27 Years old, and hit 25 homers last season. With Salty as our everyday catcher, and Thole as our backup, we could be set at the catching position for the next 5 years.
McHugh would be the main piece in the deal. He could give the Sox a solid back end of the rotation pitcher that could be even more with hard work and the right coaching.
Marte is an interesting prospect. He has been stuck in A ball, but is only 21, and is considered a potential strong bat in the lineup for years to come. He could end up helping the Sox in 2015 or so, and fufill needs they may have at a corner position. He also has a little speed, which always is a plus.
#5 Sign Nyjer Morgan (1 year, $1 million)
Nyjer Morgan (Tony Plush) was god awful in 2012. After helping to lead the Brew Crew to an amazing 2011 that saw them lose to the eventual World Champion Cardinals in the NLCS, Morgan was no where to be found in 2012. He batted .239 and had a .302 OBP, and was benched for most of the year after a terrible start. He was non-tendered, and is now a free agent. The Mets could really use a player like this on their bench. He could provide us with speed and good defense in CF or at one of the corners, and would provide the Mets with even more feistiness. Tony Plush, the other personality of Morgan, would thrive in New York and give the fans his own show to watch throughout the year. He would also provide the Mets with a potential starting fielder or a platoon with Captain Kirk. If not, he'd be a very solid 4th Outfielder for us.
So with all these moves, we would be up to a 25 man roster for the 2013 season. It would look a bit like this;
C- Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Salty)
1B- Ike Davis
2B- Daniel Murphy
3B- David Wright
SS- Rueben Tejada
LF- Lucas Duda
CF- Kirk Nieuwenhuis/ Nyjer Morgan
RF- Josh Reddick
Potential Batting Lineup-
3. David Wright
4. Ike Davis
5. Josh Reddick
Jordany "The Man" Valdespin
Jermey Hefner/Robert Carson
This team would have the potential to compete next season. WIth Wheeler waiting in the wings, and the young potential on this roster, the next few seasons would be very exciting. I could definitely see this team competing for the wild card in the NL, which would add some excitement to the season. The total payroll would be $101,715,113, which if the $110 million payroll is actually used, would still leave some room for additions during the season and keep the roster flexible.
No matter what happens though Just remember one thing: