I tried to minimize the big swingy surprise trade stuff, as those sorts of things tend not to actually happen. (Marlins notwithstanding) Also went with an assumption of minimal contract backloading; I'm not a fan of situations like we now have with Santana, for instance. And I'm not going to use the full $110M, aiming at $105M instead.
1) Resign David Wright - 7 years, $134M extension (2014-20)
Obviously. Going the extension route allows us to keep the 2013 salary where it is without having to backload the deal.
PAYROLL: Stays at $81M
2) Resign R.A. Dickey - 3 Years, $42M (2013-15), vesting player option for a fourth year at $10M based on 2015 innings/performance.
Plan A is to win in 2014, and so a lot of people are saying to get rid of Dickey... but really, is he going to turn into a bad pitcher all of a sudden after this year? It is of course possible, but it's hard to see him becoming flat out bad. I figure the more likely floor is that he becomes a mildly-worse-than Mark Buehrle for 2014-15, and while $14M feels like a lot for that it's actually what Buehrle is getting. And we should be able to afford it with the low cost of the rest of the rotation.
3) Bullpen Depth
We need some. Francisco, Parnell, Acosta, Edgin, Carson, Hefner, Mejia, E. Ramirez. Not a lot of comfort there, and not much to find in the minors either. The focus has been on the outfield, but let us not forget 2012 so quickly - the bullpen can really matter.
3A: Shell out for Matt Lindstrom - 2 years, $8M (2013-14)
Unfortunately, reality dictates that even only moderately-proven relievers cost a good chunk of money, but we need to get at least one of them. We'll (hopefully) want to keep him around for the '14 push and it's probably doubtful he signs a one year deal anyway.
3B: Take a flier on Dana Eveland - 1 year, $750K
He's not really a LHB specialist per se, but it'd be nice to have a third lefty arm in the mix in case Edgin or Carson get hurt / are bad. Let's not get stuck with a one-lefty pen again.
3C: Take a flier on Joey Devine - 1 year, $750K
Not sure about the cost here... I might be underestimating, but the guy has spent 3+ of the last four years recovering from two Tommy Johns. On the other hand, he was awfully good before surgery and solid -good between them. Might as well try for a steal and see if we can't extend him mid-season if things are looking good.
4) Sign both Johnny Gomes and Scott Hariston - 2 years, $6M each
And set up a double platoon situation in the outfield. (Hairston mostly platooning with Neiuwenhuis, but sometimes Duda) There don't seem to be any decent available (and in the Mets' salary range) right-handed outfield bats that don't have big splits, at least assuming that Ludwick resigns with the Reds, which is hard to see not happening. It is okay if Gomes winds up costing $4M/yr, though I'd avoid going to $5M unless it's in some sort of incentive form. Going two years since they're both asking for multiple years... if we do get the chance to land a big outfield name before 2014 it won't be the end of the world to be paying a couple mil too much on a bench player for a year.
5) Trade Dillon Gee to Toronto for JP Arencibia
6) Bring back Mike Pelfrey - 1 year, $3M
We need to get that catcher somehow, and while Toronto doesn't need anything at the top of the rotation anymore, Arencibia is now a spare piece and I don't think they'd mind having a solid number five starter with Happ moving into a long reliever role. On the Mets end, this means that Hefner, McHugh, Familia and Mejia get to fight for the fifth starter slot out of spring training, and then as the season goes on Pelfrey and then Wheeler become options to step in for underperforming or injured starters. The Pelfrey contract is more or less a made up number - but from the Boras perspective, a one year deal may do better for maximizing Pelf's value for 2014, rather than seeking a midddling multi year deal right now.
7) Find some minor league free agents who can stand at shortstop and be non-awful should Tejada get hurt
The Mets were not only already somewhat lacking here, but they're at risk of losing most of their AAA/AA shortstops to minor league free agency. Resign one or two of them, and maybe talk to guys like Alfredo Amezaga. We would rather avoid having to use Valdespin at SS for any extended period of time. Gonna go league min here.
1) Ruben Tejada
3) David Wright
4) Ike Davis
5) Daniel Murphy / Johnny Gomes
7) Kirk Neiuwenhuis / Lucas Duda
8) Josh Thole / JP Arencibia
- Jordany Valdespin (or maybe Amezaga if he has a good spring)
1) R.A. Dickey
3) Jon Niese
4) Matt Harvey
5) (Jeremy Hefner) / Mike Pelfrey / Zach Wheeler
2) Matt Lindstrom
4) Josh Edgin
6) Joey Devine
7) Colin McHugh / Jenrry Mejia