If Sandy Alderson’s former protégée proved anything in 2012 it’s this: "You CAN go home again!" The Oakland A’s Designer-in Chief, Billy Beane, masterfully showed the baseball world that "MoneyBall" is alive & well, and living near the San Francisco Bay area. The NY Mets franchise however, cannot & SHOULD NOT be run like a small market team as much as the Wilpon Regime would like to fool us into thinking it can. Only a HYBRID between frugality and intelligent-spending can sustain the rabid Mets Nation and would be tolerated by this writer. The right "mix of players" is what is needed to reach "Nirvana". So without further ado I present my Grand Plan for the Flushing Faithful (submitted for your approval): Line-up: 1B- Ike Davis (sub - Zach Lutz) 2B- Dustin Pedroia (sub - Justin Turner) SS- Ruben Tejada 3B- David Wright LF- Mike Baxter CF- Jacoby Ellsbury RF- Giancarlo Stanton Starting Pitchers: Dickey Santana Harvey Gee Ricky Nolasco Releif Pitchers: F. Francisco B. Parnell J. Edgin R. Carson J. Hefner E. Ramirez I’ll give you a moment to soak this in….. I know it’s a bit much to decipher. This plan is practical & most of all doable… and here’s why: STEP ONE: Trade Jon Neise, Daniel Murphy, Jeurys Familia, & Kirk Neiuenhuis to the BOSTON REDSOX for Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Lavarnway Analysis: You have to give a little to get what you need. BOTH TEAMS are in need of a new approach in lieu of what each has endured the last two years. This trade fits the bill for both and gives each team what it needs to succeed. For the Red Sox: Neise is signed to a favorable contract which will make Boston bite at this proposal… giving them a young, affordable, Major- League tested lefty with plenty of upside for many years to come. As much as I love Daniel Murphy’s make-up, he really is an American League-type player. Murphy will offer Boston steady (if not spectacular) production at 2nd Base very similar to what they’ve gotten from Pedroia (you can look it up). Familia gives them a young power arm to assist their depleted bullpen & Newienhuis gives them a young lefty bat with a perfect swing for the friendly confines of Fenway Park with great upside to man Center or Right. For the METS: This trade offers the much needed LEADER (DUSTIN PEDROIA) that every Mets fan know has been missing for many years. He brings instant credibility (MVP, All Star, World Series Champ, et al...) but most of all: A VOCAL TEAM LEADER!!! (‘Nuff said) In Jacoby Ellsbury, the Mets get a defensive stalwart in center field and their much needed leadoff hitter/base stealer missing since You-Know –Who was not resigned. Ryan Lavarnway brings a young power-type bat behind the plate to supplement Josh Thole’s disappointingly anemic bat. Since, R.A. Dickey will be here for the foreseeable future, Thole is the proverbial "necessary evil" (Sorry Josh). STEP TWO: Trade Lucas Duda, Jordany Valdespin, Reese Havens, Colin McHugh for Giancarlo Stanton & Ricky NolascoAnalysis: The Marlins semi-decade trade-off has led to this feasible opportunity for the Mets that they must jump on. Stanton is that type of player: A Young, Powerful, Contact hitter with decent fielding skills. He’ll hit balls way out of Citifield for many years to come (a treat for the fans to see). In order for this to work Ricky Nolasco has to be included for 2013 only. His contract is up after this coming season. Lucas Duda would move to his natural position of 1st Base with Miami & Valdespin gives Miami options at either 2nd Base or the outfield as they re-tool. Both players are Major League ready & have decent hitting skills. Reese Havens & Colin McHugh give Miami high end prospects close to being ready. Now taking into consideration salary increases due to signing bonuses & adding a few low budget bench players the payroll as constituted with this plan would total $113,000,000 for the 2013 season only because we have to include Nolasco’s salary (11.5 mil), Santana (25 mil), & of course Bay (16 mil) all three will be gone next year freeing up a WHOPPING $52 million dollars!!! Santana & Nolasco will be replaced in 2014 with young, in expensive power armed pitchers waiting in the minors: (Zach Wheeler & Jenry Mejia) This roster will bring the fans back to Citifield, because people will pay to see Dickey, Santana, and Harvey strike batters out & give the team a legitimate chance to win. Gee & Nolasco round out a very solid rotation. They’ll pay to see Dustin Pedroia & Ruben Tejada play spectacular defense, get their uniforms dirty and turn that game saving double play! They’ll pay to see Giancarlo Stanton, Ike Davis & David Wright hit moon shots into the Big Apple in center. Look at the starting line-up & tell me it doesn’t give you a legitimate chance to win: CF Ellsbury - L 2B Pedroia - R 3B Wright - R 1B Davis - L RF Stanton - R LF Baxter – L SS Tejada – R C Thole - L These roster changes also set the Mets up for the 2014 season when minor leaguers Matt DenDecker & Wilmer Flores fulfill their promise. Outfielder Cory Vaughn is about a year away & speedster Darrell Ceciliani is getting some great experience in the Arizona Fall League. So Fear not Mets fans….. Nirvana is coming …. Get ready!!!!
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