AAOP: A Whole Lotta Words

Hi everybody. I don't have the time (or competence) for funny JPEGs--it's not that I don't care about an Omir Santos baseball, I just want to get my ideas out into the world, aight?--but I like to write! About the Mets! And what they can do to improve!

So let's get started.


Tender: 2B Daniel Murphy, 1B Ike Davis, RHP Dillon Gee, RHP Bobby Parnell, OF/2B Eric Young, 1B Lucas Duda, SS Ruben Tejada, IF Justin Turner

Non-tender: RHP Scott Atchison, IF Omar Quintanilla, OF Mike Baxter


Trade IF Wilmer Flores, RHP Jacob DeGrom, and RHP Logan Verrett to OAK for LF Yoenis Cespedes and LHP Pedro Figueroa.

Whoops, spoiler alert. Anyway, like I (and everybody else) have said, the Mets need an OF who can hit. What do I, Sandy G. Alderson, do about it? Go and trade for the exciting, powerful, and soon-to-be expensive Yoenis Cespedes. He won't come cheap, so in return I banish send a trio of exciting prospects that fill holes in the Athletics' roster to the Enjoy the West Coast, fellas!

Why this trade makes sense for the Mets:

C'mon, it's Yoenis Cespedes! In two seasons in the majors, he's shown us that he is powerful (.208 ISO), can get on base (.342 wOBA), and is somewhat fast (23 SB). These numbers are deflated by the down season he had this past year, but I chalk that up to a combination of injuries and bad luck (.274 BABIP). Cespedes's great righty power should work well in the new Citi Field and his cannon of an arm will replace EYJ's weak arm quite nicely. Plus, Cespedes isn't hugely expensive for the next two years ($10.5M per). Pedro Figueroa is a fine reliever, and allows the Mets to have some lefty depth in the bullpen.

Why this trade makes sense for the A's:

Cespedes is a couple of years away from free agency, but when he does he figures to command a huge raise and/or get the Hell out of Oakland. Trading him now isn't essential for Billy Beane, but the A's do not lack for outfield depth (with Reddick and Crisp ably manning the other two spots). One of the A's' biggest holes is at second base, with neither Jemile Weeks nor Eric Sogard really panning out over the last few seasons. Wilmer Flores is one of the most impressive advanced IF prospects around, and should slot into the A's' lineup quite nicely. DeGrom is a solid pitching prospect, as is Logan Verrett, and the A's can never have enough pitching prospects...

Trade LHP Jon Niese, RHP Rafael Montero, 1B Lucas Duda, and SS Ruben Tejada to CHC for SS Starlin Castro and 1B Anthony Rizzo

Before you get out your anti-realistic pitchforks and torches, let me defend this crazy trade! The Cubs need a lot of things. One of those things is pitching. We have a lot of pitching. Furthermore, the Cubs have grown tired of Starlin Castro (and, to a lesser extent, Anthony Rizzo).

Why this trade makes sense for the Mets:

Do I really have to explain this? Castro is a frustrating prospect who just had a terrible season, but there's a good chance that a new environment gives him the ability to get his tools back in order. Rizzo is a prodigious power hitter whose somewhat underwhelming season shouldn't hide the fact that, while he may be no Goldschmidt, he's still a promising young player. There's a good bit of risk in these two players, but the upside could be huge.

Why this trade makes sense for the Cubs:

Surprisingly, it does! Jon Niese can be somewhat inconsistent, but he closed out the year in strong fashion, scoring an ERA under 3.20 in seven of his last nine starts. The Cubs need a top tier starter, and Niese could be a great addition to their staff. Duda and Tejada replace Rizzo and Castro, obviously. Tejada's probably worse than Castro, but Duda could be as good as Rizzo. I like Rizzo's odds, but Duda's a solid hitter too. Montero is also a great prospect whom the Cubs have to like. In truth, this may be an overpay, but I'm pretty bullish on Castro and Rizzo in the long-run.

Trade 1B Ike Davis and IF Justin Turner to MIL for OF Khris Davis

Bye, Ike!

Why this trade makes sense for the Mets:

At this point, the Mets either have to put their full trust in Ike Davis, or trade him for something of value. I obviously lean towards the latter option. In this case, I would exchange him for a similarly-named fourth outfielder from Milwaukee. In only 153 plate appearances last year, Khris Davis showed that he is a pretty good-hitting outfielder who can even bang out some power. Sure, it was a small sample size, but with Braun, Gomez, and Aoki manning the OF for the Brewers, there's no obvious spot for Davis. Sure, he's a LF by trade, but he's played some RF so I'd bring him over and stick him in right. That 160 wRC+ he amassed this year is sure to come down over a full season, but early returns are very positive.

Why this trade makes sense for the Brewers:

The Brewers' first basemen in 2013 were absolutely horrible. None of the men who played 1B for any significant period of time in Milwaukee last season had a fWAR above zero! Ike Davis isn't great, but he sure can't be worse than whom they trotted out there last year. Yuniesky Betancourt is never going to be the answer for the Brewers--Ike Davis, who had a very good season pretty recently, very well could be. The Brewers, who lack for good backups, could also probably make good use of Justin Turner--better than the Mets could, anyway.

Trade OF/2B Eric Young and LHP Scott Rice to DET for LHP Drew Smyly

Why this trade makes sense for the Mets:

Given the Niese/Castro trade, the Mets need a good lefty starting pitcher. Drew Smyly, who pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this year for the Tigers, has put up 1.8 and 1.9 fWAR in his last two seasons. He's a solid pitcher whose 2.31 FIP this past season (and 3.83 during the year he was a starter) portends good things for the future. The Tigers don't seem to know how to use him, so we'll take him!

Why this trade makes sense for the Tigers:

GM Dave Dombrowski is on record saying that the Tigers need speed in their lineup. Young, who of course led the NL in stolen bases this year, fills that need. He also gives the Tigers some options in the OF, where backup Don Kelly may be non-tendered, and at 2B, where they need to resign Omar Infante. Scott Rice replaces Smyly in the bullpen, though he's a tiny bit of a step down. Still, though, the Tigers fill a gaping hole and maintain a strong lefty in the bullpen. Everybody wins!


Sign LHP Jeff Francis for $3M / 2 years

Jeff Francis was surprisingly not horrible for the Rockies this year. He started 12 games, and pitched out of the bullpen for 11 more, all the while netting a 3.82 xFIP (his 15.6% HR/FB was way above his career norm of 10.6). The Mets can put him in the bullpen, while using him as a starter when needed. He's a dependable arm who may not be a potential ace anymore, but could be a very useful pitcher in a variety of roles.

Sign RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka for $1m / 1 year

Dice-K, while being somewhat unbearable to watch, was pretty decent in his last few starts for the Mets in 2013. Give him another shot next year, while making sure to have enough depth (Syndergaard, Francis, Familia, etc.) to spell him if need be.

Sign RHP LaTroy Hawkins for $2M / 1 year

Hawkins was, somehow, a good pitcher last year. Everybody seemed to like him, so bring him back for one year to keep mentoring the younger players (like Vic Black). /shrug

Sign OF Franklin Gutierrez for $1M / 1 year

Back in the day, Gutierrez was a premium defensive player who could also hit at about the league average. Both skills have tapered off over the years, but if his walk rate comes up and his K rate goes down--his figures in those categories last year were both his career worst--he could return to being a productive hitter. The fielding metrics don't like him as much anymore, but I'll chalk that up to SSS (I dunno if it's that, exactly, but how could he have had a 28.8 UZR/150 in 2011 and a -31.7 in 2012?). In any case, Gutierrez would be a good backup who could even play some RF once in a while to spell the younger Davis.

Sign IF Brendan Ryan for $1.5M / 1 year

Hey look, another (former) Mariner! Ryan is similar to Gutierrez, but in the infield. He's a great fielder who can play 2B, 3B, and SS. Okay, so his hitting is pretty bad, but the positives have still managed to outweigh the negatives for every season in his career except for the last one. The Mets can bring him in late in games, as well as give him some starts once in a while. He's a useful player who probably fits best as a backup.

I suck and don't know how to make a table, so here's the roster in JPEG format!





Total payroll: $69.9M

Steamer WAR: 27.4 (a bit of an underestimation on some players, like 0.1 for Khris Davis, 0.4 for Captain Fastball, 1.0 for Gee, and 1.1 for Wheeler)

And that's it. Okay, I could have gone into more detail about minor-league signings, but we're approaching the deadline and I can't write any more. I hope you enjoyed reading my AAOP, and agree that it would leave the Mets on a pretty solid path for future success!

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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