AAOP - Providing For The Future While Reliving Some Of The Past

I have been an avid follower of AA for awhile but have never had time to put up an AAOP until this year. So here goes:

The Trades: Providing For The Future

"The future depends on what you do today."
Mahatma Gandhi

SP Jon Niese and RP Jeurys Familia to Arizona for SS Chris Owings and SP Andrew Chaffin

Why this makes sense for the Dbacks - I hear through the baseball rumor grapevine that they would rather trade Gregorius and keep Owings. I would also rather have Owings. So I have to give them something that they cant refuse. They are getting a proven, top of the line starter who can help be a leader for their rotation now. I am also throwing in a young, hard-throwing bullpen piece who could even compete for their closer job.
Why this makes sense for the Mets - We need a young shortstop and giving up Niese is hard to do, but he is replaceable. The scouting report I read on Owings is that he is a plus defender with the ability to hit 10-15 homers and steal 20 bases. He was the PCL MVP last year while hitting .330 with 12 homeruns, 31 doubles, and 20 stolen bases (although everyone in the PCL seems to have these numbers). The main downside has been his strikeout rate, about 25% through his minor league career, however it did improve to less than 20% last year. He even got into a few games with the Dbacks in September and performed rather well, getting 16 hits in 55 at bats including 5 doubles and stealing a couple of bases. He will only be 22 on opening day and it seems as if he is getting better with age. Andrew Chaffin is a power, left-handed starter who pitched most of 2013 in AA, compiling a 10-7 record with a solid 2.85 era. We need some left-handed starters in our relief system as most of our almost-ready major league arms are rightys.

2B Daniel Murphy and 1B Ike Davis to Colorado for SP Drew Pomeranz and OF Kyle Parker
Why this makes sense for the Rockies - They just got 2 starters to plug in to the holes on the right side of the infield. There is talk of them moving Cuddyer to 1st base but now they can platoon Ike/ Cuddyer at 1st if Ike struggles against left-handers again. He will probably hit 35 homers at Coors Field but I am fine with that as I am convinced he will never do anything beneficial for us in New York. Its tough to get rid of Murphy, but we have to find a spot for Wilmer, who is younger and cheaper. This instantly upgrades the Rockies offense to one of the best, if not the best, in the National League.
Why this makes sense for the Mets - Pomeranz needs a change of scenery. It wasn't too long ago that he was regarded as one of the best young starters but it never panned out in Colorado. I really think that Coors Field got to his head and once he gets to CitiField, I am hoping he can regain his lost confidence and get back to a halfway decent starter. He's still only 25 on opening day next year and not arbitration eligible until 2016. Hopefully the change of scenery and Dan Warthen can revive him. Kyle Parker is a power-hitting corner outfielder who compiled a .288 average with 23 homers and 74 rbis in AA last year. Sickels graded him as a B prospect and says he "is a steady power bat", something we desperately need in our farm system. I put him in the Vegas outfield next year with Puello and den Dekker.

Free Agent Signings - Reliving The Past

"It's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then."
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

SP Jason Vargas - 2 years, 18 million
My first ex-Met free agent signing is Vargas. He has quietly been putting up consistently good numbers for the past few years for a crappy Mariner team. He will still be only 31 on opening day next year and has averaged over 190 innings per year the last 4 years, which is exactly what we need - an innings-eater. The change back to the National League should help his statistics. While he might not put up the numbers that Niese would have, they should be pretty darn close.

RF Marlon Byrd - 2 years, 12 million (7.5 million 2014, 4.5 million 2015)
My other ex-Met free agent signing. I would love to get him for only 1 year but with his big year last year, he is going to get at least a 2 year contract. I am actually going to front load the contact, giving him 7.5 this year and 4.5 in 2015. My thought is by 2015, if our outfield prospects pan out, he should be relegated to pinch-hitting, mentoring duties. I think he would like to come back to the Mets, especially if he sees we have a chance at the playoffs next year. I'm not expecting a repeat of last year, but even 75% of last years production would be nice to have. Plus he is a great defender and a good guy to have in the clubhouse.

LF Nate McLouth - 2 years, 9 million
Here is another guy who has quietly been putting up solid numbers for the past few years in the American League. He is a plus defender in left, hits for average, has speed, and, most importantly, can bat lead-off. He will be able to set the table for our run producers.

RP J.P. Howell - 2 years, 6 million
Our new LOOGY. Great numbers the last couple of years, and has the ability to get right-handed batters out as well. He and Edgin will be the left-handers in the pen

RP LaTroy Hawkins - 1 year, 3.5 million
Looked awesome for us last year. Somebody may offer more money but I'm hoping that doesn't happen and he is back as our main setup man next year

I would like to sign Daisuke Matsuzaka and Aaron Harang to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training to compete with Pomeranz, Mejia, Montero, Syndergaard, and deGrom for the 4th and 5th spots in the rotation. My thoughts are that Mejia and Pomeranz will win those jobs and the others will make up our Vegas rotation, which gives us some depth in case of injury or poor performance. I will tender contracts to Justin Turner and Eric Young, Jr to be bench pieces. I will also tender a contract to Ruben Tejada and send him to Vegas to play every day. If there is a long term injury to either middle infielder, Tejada can come up and replace him. Centeno and Recker can fight for the backup catcher job in spring training. I have Centeno making the team but I think you could flip a coin on that one. I like Centenos defense better behind the plate.

The 2014 New York Mets Roster

"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."
Martin Luther King Jr.

Player // 2014 salary // age on opening day 2014
1B Lucas Duda // 1.8 million // 28
1B Josh Satin // .5 million // 29
2B Wilmer Flores // .5 million // 22
SS Chris Owings // .5 million // 22
3B David Wright // 20 million // 31
Util Justin Turner // .8 million // 29
C Travis d' Arnaud // .5 million // 25
C Juan Centeno // .5 million // 24
LF Nate McLouth // 4.5 million // 32
CF Juan Lagares // .5 million // 25
RF Marlon Byrd // 7.5 million // 36
OF Eric Young, Jr // 1.9 million // 28
OF Andrew Brown // .5 million // 29
SP Dillon Gee // 3.4 million // 27
SP Zach Wheeler // .5 million // 23
SP Jason Vargas // 9 million // 31
SP Drew Pomeranz // .5 million // 25
SP Jenrry Mejia // .5 million // 24
RP Bobby Parnell // 3.2 million // 29
RP Latroy Hawkins // 3.5 million // 41
RP Vic Black // .5 million // 25
RP Gonzalez German // .5 million // 26
RP Carlos Torres // .5 million // 31
RP Josh Edgin // .5 million // 27
RP J.P. Howell // 3 million // 30

Total Salary = 65.6 million
Adding in the Johan/Bay money (8.5 million) and the 1 million I am going to pay Ruben Tejada to be insurance in Las Vegas, I am still well under the cap. I think the Wilpons would be proud.

"A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned"
Benjamin Franklin

Lineup against right-handers
Nate McLouth LF
Juan Lagares CF
David Wright 3B
Lucas Duda 1B
Marlon Byrd RF
Travis d'Arnaud C
Wilmer Flores 2B
Chris Owings SS

Lineup against left-handers
Eric Young, Jr LF
Josh Satin 1B
David Wright 3B
Marlon Byrd RF
Travis d'Arnaud C
Wilmer Flores 2B
Juan Lagares CF
Chris Owings SS

In summary, I think I have constructed a solid, young, inexpensive roster that has a chance to compete for a wild-card spot. This team is very young, and is not burdened by any big contracts. In 2015, we should see the return of Harvey as well as the addition of Syndergaard to our rotation. Also, hopefully at least 1 of our Vegas outfield (Puello, den Dekker, and Kyle Parker) is ready to join the Mets and push Byrd or McLouth to the bench. If needed, we can spend money on free agents in the future. However, our minor league system is also well-stocked with young talent and the future is finally bright for the Mets.

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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