There hasn't been much to talk about in Met land over the past few years.
It has been a trying stretch over the past five years. Good things are on the horizon, so let's not screw things up. This plan is to avoid a radical makeover, while improving the club from 2013's third place squad.
Sandy Alderson & Co. have been laying the groundwork for a contender. It has been a long road and the Harvey injury was brutal. The goal here is to extend our patience a little longer given the Harvey misfortune and the fact that a few more quality arms are almost ready to make an impact. This plan gets rid of some of what we know is not working and doesn't mortgage what the front office has been building. If things break right, we have a playoff team. If they don't, we are well positioned when Mr. Harvey returns. The good news is things should be more interesting at Citi in 2014 under this plan.
Arbitration eligable - Murphy, Davis, Parnell, Young, and Turner.
Ike Davis has been maddening. I may discount my entry right here, but hold on. Two seasons with poor starts really impacted the lineup. It is fair to say enough is enough. However, there are some guys out there who blossom around Ike's age. Chris Davis didn't show much and then turned into a HR monster. I'm not saying Ike will earn a nickname like Crush, but I think in light of where the franchise is, giving him one last shot isn't the worst move. The guy has a slick glove and has shown power. If he tanks again, three strikes and you are out. Let's hope for more of this though.
Parnell and Murphy are no brainers given their salaries and production.
I like Eric Young as a fourth outfielder - not a starter.
Turner is versatile and a good clubhouse guy.
Jordany Valdespin for our soda machine stocked for three years.
Dillon Gee and a minor leaguer not named Syndergaard or Montero for Mark Trumbo (LAA). Let's sell high on Gee. The Angels need some pitching and these guys match up well on paper. The Angels hold Trumbo in a higher regard than we do with Gee hence the minor league kicker. I thought about Niese for Trumbo straight up, but I think we get the short end of the stick on that one. Trumbo has the power we sorely lack and is relatively young and can move to first if Ike disappoints. Trumbo is a below average fielder, but we have Lagares in center to make up for it.
Lucas Duda and a minor leaguer not named Syndergaard or Montero for Asdrubal Cabera (CLE). Short was embarassing in 2013. The Indians have a hot-shot prospect coming up at SS. They could also use a power guy and have room at DH. That sounds like the perfect situation for the Dude to thrive.
Wilmer Flores for Michael Choice (OAK). A swap of touted prospects. The Mets don't really have any young OF studs coming up. Puello is interesting, but let's grab somone who is more of a sure thing. Flores could play second for the A's and fits their unconventional mold. They're fairly comparable in terms of hype and both came up around the same time.
Priority one replacing Harvey aceness, though, nearly impossible. Hiroki Kuroda fits the mold pretty well. Sure, he's old. However, the guy can handle NYC's bright lights and sounds like he's open to a short-term deal. Let's convince him to stay in NY on a team with some upside for one more go before he calls it a MLB career. When his deal expires, #33 will be ready to roll.
Sign Eric O'Flaherty. He's coming of Tommy John with something to prove. He's a lefty with some good potential and is very much a Sandy-type FA signing.
Grab Aaron Harang as an inning eater until Montero or Syndergaard get up to the show.
Sign John Buck to backup D'Arnaud. The two have a good relationship and Buck was great as a mentor. It would be nice to have him help out Travis in his first full year.Re-sign Latroy Hawkins. He's a good veteran presence for our young bullpen.
With an affordable base, let's sign some incentive-laden upside guys. Perhaps work something out with Johan given the fact we already have to send him some money for a buyout. Grady Sizemore could be this year's Marlon Byrd. Josh Johnson has something to prove and knows the division. Maybe we can sign Dice-K just for Keith.
All that leaves us with this for the opening day roster. Plus, we have Syndergaard, Puello, and Montero all on the way. The first two can slide into the back end of the rotation and Puello could come into the OF if Trumbo doesn't work out defensively.
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The three trades address our glaring weaknesses from 2013. D'Arnaud and Lagares should continue to progress. Ike may bounce back and we can hope for more of the same from the Captain and Murph. Our pitching remains strong and we have more talent on the way. Between arbitration eligible players and free agent signings, we have a respectable squad to fill out the roster. Here's hoping for a good recovery from Mr. Harvey.