2013 AAOP:STOCKPILING ARMS FOR FUTURE NL EAST WAR
Entering the 2012 offseason, the Mets have two concerns. Their names are David Wright and RA Dickey. With the team’s future somewhat resting upon the futures of prospects Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler, much discussion has been given to whether the team’s two most popular players should be around for the long haul to see those future developments. The Mets have significant holes this offseason in the bullpen, outfield, and catcher, but most of the attention rests upon whether those two players get their contract extensions. So, this AAOP puts those two contract decisions to rest while setting the Mets up for likely successes in future seasons.
NOTE – I am usually big on brutally atrocious MSPaints in my AAOPs, but I’m low on time this year. Therefore, I have substituted likely copyrighted pictures. /sadface
PART I: LOCKING UP SOME LINEUP COGS
Move #1: Resign 3B David Wright to a 6-year, $120 million contract extension
ANALYSIS: Before anything else, I am getting the giant elephant out of the room. At a yearly rate of $20 million, I am locking up David Wright until he is 36 years old. Wright has been worth 47 fWAR throughout his career, and this is a sound contract extension in that it shows the Mets aren’t a pushover organization. Although they received harsh brush-back from letting Reyes escape to Miami, that was not the correct contract extension for this team to make. Wright brings legitimacy to the lineup, and his skill-set should not deteriorate within the next half-decade. Therefore, he stays. His contract extension will go 2014-2017 at $18 million, and 2018 and 2019 will sit at $24 million. This contract is similar to the one Ryan Zimmerman received, but at a higher AAV.
Move #2: Resign 1B Ike Davis to a 5-year, $28.5 million contract extension
ANALYSIS: In assessing the Mets’ future, they have no impact hitting prospects coming through the pipeline. Therefore, they should lock up the main pieces of their lineup before the situation gets more complicated. This starts with buying out Ike Davis’ arbitration years. Ike still had 32 home runs in 2012 despite losing time to Valley Fever, and just being horrible in the first half. That should only improve. Contract details – 2013 at $3 million, 2014 at $4 million, 2015 at $5.5 million, 2016 at $7 million, 2018 at $9 million, with a team option for 2019.
PART II: TRAIDS
ANALYSIS: RA Dickey has quickly become my favorite Met aside from David Wright, but his contract situation creates a slippery slope. He will be entering his age 39 and 40 seasons as an enigma. No one really knows if he will continue to be that dominating power knuckleballer, or a guy who "loses it" and throws a straight 80 miles per hour. Instead of investing $15 million per year on him, I think the Mets should take advantage of his Cy Young season and get another young stud pitcher. Kansas City is looking to revamp their starting rotation at the top, and Dickey is a perfect fit for them as their ace. Danny Duffy is a left-handed pitching prospect with a seriously powerful arm coming off Tommy John surgery. Since he is a lefty, Duffy could be a main rotation cog in the future by potentially breaking up the future Mets rotation with Matt Harvey and Zach Wheeler being righties. Before you think that Kansas City would NEVER surrender Danny Duffy in this situation, Dayton Moore is Kansas City’s GM. Thanks.
Donnie Joseph is one of those erratic left-handed relievers that has struck out 11.9 batters per nine innings in the minors. Already being dealt in the Jonathan Broxton deal, he is major league ready and is an extra arm to potentially try out in the bullpen next year. Jorge Bonifacio is a 20-year old international prospect who just finished his first full year in A ball, and looks like he has tons of potential. He would almost automatically become one of the Mets’ top 10 prospects, and is a long-term investment.
ANALYSIS: Franklin Gutierrez was on top of the world in 2009 with a 6.3 fWAR, and followed up that season with lesser offensive numbers but a Gold Glove award in 2010. Since then, it’s been a myriad of injuries that has kept him on the bench. The guy had a freakish stomach ailment, got a concussion from a pickoff attempt, pulled a groin –the works. He’s still only 29 years old and in the last year of his contract at $7 million (excluding an option year that likely will be declined at $7.5 million). In this trade, we give the Mariners a borderline starting pitching prospect in McHugh, who could potentially be in the back of their rotation or even bullpen in years to come, plus Zach Lutz. Some people may be disappointed in giving up on Lutz, but he’s an excellent hitting 26 year old who is always hurt. Also, the Mets are (hopefully) going to be blocking him for the next half-decade. As for Gutierrez, he may need a change of scenery after all these injuries. Luckily for the Mets, we desperately need a right-handed hitting center fielder. Gutierrez is a good risk at $4 million for his mix of excellent defense and speed/power combination at the plate.
PART III: SIGNING DUDES
Move #5: Non-tender OF Andres Torres and RHP Manny Acosta
ANALYSIS: Acosta is a no-brainer, as he has maxed out his ability as a Met with that fluke 2011 season. As for Torres, I deliberated against myself quite a bit here but decided to just let him go instead of resigning for a more reasonable amount. Torres has been much better against left-handed pitching in his career, which was my motivation for even considering. However, his lack of power and age turns me away from him. It is time to look elsewhere.
Move #6: Non-tender RHP Mike Pelfrey and resign to a 1-year, $2.5 million contract with innings-based incentives
ANALYSIS: The Mets need insurance for Johan Santana and Danny Duffy, and the possibility of Dillon Gee not returning to form, and Pelfrey is the perfect reclamation project in this situation. Pelfrey had Tommy John early into the 2012 season, which means he should be close to ready by Opening Day. We have pretty much accepted Pelf as a mid-rotation starter. That works out fine here. The rotation needs depth, and Pelfrey provides that.
Move #7: Sign OF Melky Cabrera to a 1-year, $7 million contract, with a mutual option for 2014 at $10 million
ANALYSIS: Okay, I had to give you one horrible MSPaint. This is an interesting move to make, but the possible media backlash pales in comparison to potential value that can be obtained here. The Mets need a bunch of outfielders and some pop, but shouldn’t overspend in free agency in money or years. This is a perfect fit, considering that Melky was in line for a $50-60 million contract and ridiculed himself to no end in an ugly HGH scandal. Therefore, he’s in our price range!
Anyway, we have no clue which Melky we are getting here. Did he commit himself to getting in shape after a terrible 2010 campaign with Atlanta, or is it all due to gains caused by performance enhancing drugs? No one knows, but I am willing to find out for one year instead of signing Shane Victorino for 3 years and $10 million a year.
Move #8: Sign C Yorvit Torrealba to a 1-year, $1 million contract
ANALYSIS: I like AJ Pierzynski, but he is going to get way too much money coming off a very good year at age 35. The Mets continue the stop-gap right-handed catcher platoon with Torrealba. He is coming off a year where he played for 3 teams, which should make him less expensive than a lot other right-handed options. Whether or not you like the guy, he is a better hitter than Josh Thole. That, and he’s been flirting with the Mets since the Minaya regime. $1 million could provide value, or he could be released if he struggles. Manny Pina and Anthony Recker are depth there.
Move #9: Sign RHP Mike Adams to a 2-year, $9 million contract, with a $6 million team option for 2015
ANALYSIS: Mike Adams has been one of the best middle relievers in baseball for quite some time. He still managed 0.9 fWAR last year despite pitching injured. He had surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome a few months ago, so this has lessened his value somewhat. That, and he’s never been a ninth inning pitcher, and we all know savezzzzzz = money in free agency. Adams provides a shutdown eight inning reliever that the Mets so desperately need at a reasonable rate.
Move #10: Sign RHP Scott Feldman to a 1-year, $3 million contract
ANALYSIS: Oh hello, Feldman. This is analogous to the Pelfrey move, in that the Mets need insurance for Santana and Duffy. Some may ballyhoo this move, but I like Scott Feldman as a mop-up guy, situational ROOGY, and spot starter where necessary. Feldman is a serviceable pitcher, and he had 2.3 fWAR in 2012 in 120 innings. This move echoes what the Mets did with Aaron Sele in 2006, and was ultimately successful at doing so even though Sele was over-the-hill at that point. Texas threw him all over the place in recent years and they probably would’ve kept him if not for his costly option. He would be served well by getting out of Arlington, and he still has age on his side. And before anyone says it, Jeremy Hefner is the second option in this role. I know his peripherals were good last year, but I think he throws way too much garbage over the plate to sustain future success (in my opinion).
Move #11: Sign LHP Randy Choate to a 2-year, $3.5 million contract
ANALYSIS: You need to be able to get lefties out in a big spot, and I’m not sure Josh Edgin can take care of this job. Again, I petition the Mets to sign Randy Choate. I have asked for this in previous AAOPs, and I go back to this thought again. Lefties had a sub-.500 OPS against him last year, and he has been one of the best LOOGYs in baseball for quite a while. $1.5 million in 2012, $2 million in 2013.
ANALYSIS: The main cornerstones of my minor league deals here are Balester and Stetter. Balester struggled in the big leagues in 2012 for Detroit but had success in AAA as a swingman. He provides depth in case of injury, or as a mop-up man in the bullpen. Mitch Stetter is a former Brewer who is a perfectly acceptable LOOGY option if the Mets need help there.
And as for Pedro, it’s going to get a slight chuckle but why not? The guy was an absolute beast for us for years, and he’s had a two full years off of beautiful, exquisite Yankee glavotage. He deserves to spend some time in Vegas and try to get back to the big leagues – may I recommend a candlelight dinner for two with Jerry Manuel at Café Martorano in the Rio while you’re there?
Adrian Cardenas is an interesting name, as he spent 2012 struggling with the Cubs but has had potential for quite a while. He is one of the first names I would consider for a call-up in case of injury. Brendan Harris is another interesting name, as he was decent with the Twins a few years back but has never made it back to the majors. Trevor Crowe’s time to make the big leagues probably has passed, but he plays all three outfield positions and isn’t a terrible emergency option. Manny Pina is a 25-year old right-handed catcher and potential backup. Pina has very little power but he has very good plate discipline and he has been considered an excellent defensive catcher. He is worth stashing in AAA Las Vegas, with the possibility of a promotion. Bye, Nickeas.
INTRODUCING YOUR 2013 NEW YORK METS
C-Josh Thole $1.2m
1B-Ike Davis $3.0m
2B-Daniel Murphy $3.0m
SS-Ruben Tejada $500k
3B-David Wright $16m
LF-Melky Cabrera $7m
CF-Franklin Gutierrez $4m
RF-Kirk Nieuwenhuis $500k
LINEUP - Tejada (R), Murphy (L), Wright (R), Davis (L), Cabrera (S), Gutierrez (R), Nieuwenhuis (L), Thole (R)
2B/SS Jordany Valdespin $500k
1B/OF Lucas Duda $500k
C Yorvit Torrealba $1m
IF Justin Turner $500k
OF Mike Baxter $500k
MINOR LEAGUE DEPTH
IF Josh Satin, IF/OF Adrian Cardenas, IF Brendan Harris, C Anthony Recker, C Manny Pina, OF Matt den Dekker, OF Trevor Crowe
SP1-Johan Santana $25.5m
SP2-Jon Niese $3m
SP3-Matt Harvey $500k
SP4-Danny Duffy $500k
SP5-Dillon Gee $500k
EXTRA ROTATION OPTIONS
Mike Pelfrey $2.5m
RHP Frank Francisco $6.5m
RHP Mike Adams $4.5m
RHP Bobby Parnell $1.5m
RHP Scott Feldman $3m
LHP Randy Choate $1.5m
LHP Josh Edgin $500k
LHP Donnie Joseph $500k
OTHER MINOR LEAGUE BULLPEN OPTIONS
Jennry Mejia and Jeurys Familia (both start season in AAA, with chance of mid-year promotions), Greg Burke, Jeremy Hefner, Collin Balester, Mitch Stetter, Elvin Ramirez and Robert Carson as post-DFA options
Jason Bay $6.0m
TOTAL TEAM PAYROLL:
BATTERS - $38.2 million
PITCHERS - $50.5 million
BUYOUTS - $6 million
TOTAL PAYROLL - $94.7 million
So, my AAOP is over. What do you think, Sandy?