So, lets see here. We have a spending limit of $80MM. $25.05MM for Wright and Niese. Add all the arbitration eligible players we're interested in. Add all the Minor League contracts. Add the Santana and Bay hush money. That leaves us with...carry the one... Oh dear. We have a grand total of $6.42 to spend on our favorite free agents. Maybe we can convince Tim Lince- nope, the Giants just resigned him for $35MM for two years. Seriously?
It was this connundrum which brings me my trade.
Why it works for them: 1. They get a better pitcher. Hands down Niese is better than Davis. Plus they get a long term pitcher as opposed to Davis who has a team option for 2015 no team would take. 2. They are oversaturated with OF and are looking to unload one. 3. The Royals get back a better hitter and a player who will help their 2B problem. He's much better than Bonifacio who the Royals only got because they were desperate.
Why it works for the Mets: 1.It gives us a placeholder until Harvey comes back. I also plan on signing another pitcher to a one year deal but by 2015 we'll have more pitchers than what we know what to do with. 2. We get back a decent (well almost) hitter and a very good fielder in Lorenzo Cain. He isn't as good a hitter as Murphy, but Steamer projects his war to be better than Murphy's next year because of his defense and he's getting paid a lot less. 3. It opens up a place for Wilmer Flores. 4. It clears up $6.35MM so we can spend more on free agents.
You might ask, "Aren't you sacrificing a big part of the rotation for slightly better production from position players?" To which I answer, "Obviously." But it's not as bad as you might think. The Mets were ranked eighth in ERA in 2013, ninth in SO/9 and tenth in WHIP. Of course, Matt Harvey had a huge role in that, but even without him the Mets fared ok.
|Mets W/O Harvey||791.1||814||249||352||626||4.00||1.343||7.1|
With all this extra money, now we can have some fun. I'd tender contracts to Ike Davis, Bobby Parnell, Scott Atchinson, Dillon Gee, Eric Young, Ruben Tejada, and Lucas Duda. Explanation: Parnell, Gee, EY: Duh. Davis: I need to give him one last chance. If he doesn't shape up this year, I have contingency plans for my contingency plans and definitely wont get tendered a contract in 2015. Atchinson: Brisbee called him baseball's most underrated reliever before this season. Im hoping he just had a down year. Tejada: Will stay on as my backup infielder.If he can prove himself, maybe we can find a place for him or trade him in the future. Duda: He's currently my backup outfielder but really there so that if Davis breaks down again he can take over as the left side of a platoon with Satin. This article here says that Curtis Granderson will get a 3 year $45MM contract this offseason. I'd take that action. I'll backload it a bit - $12MM in 2014 and $16.5MM for each 2015 and 2016. He would be a great addition. He has a lot of power and is coming off a year in which he missed most of the season which brings his price down significantly. It will also annoy Yankee fans to no end if he does well for the Mets. I'll sign Jhonny Peralta to a three year, $24MM contract. I'll backload this one, too. $5MM in 2014 and $9.5MM in each 2015 and 2016. Another Biogenesis guy. With him we'd have three in the system. (though if I had my way I'd make sure something nasty happens to Valdespin, preferably involving leeches.) There is one sure-fire way to have a great bullpen dynasty - have Mariano Rivera. But seeing as he's no longer available (actually he is, he's on the free agents list), We'll have to make do with guesswork and a lot of prayer. I want to stick with pieces we already have, and add one reliever. Former Met Joe Smith. I want to give him $10MM over two years, $4MM in 2014 and $6MM in 2015.As I mentioned earlier, there's a starter who I also want to add. Or more accurately, keep. In addition to the $5.5MM we're giving Johan Santana to not pitch for us, I'd give him $2MM for 2014 to pitch for us.
As for all the backloaded contracts, I have a lovely chart here to explain how we will pay for them in 2015: So we actually have $3.5MM coming of the books after the 2014 season.
|Player||2014 Salary||2015 Salary|
All that's left now is the Minor League contracts. Let's go through each department and fill them in as necessary.
|Josh Satin||Backup 1B/Possible platoon mate to Davis||$.5MM|
|Ruben Tejada||Backup IF||$1MM|
|Eric Young||Backup OF||$1.9MM|
|Anthony Recker||Backup C||$.5MM|
|Lucas Duda||Backup OF/Backup Platoon mate to Satin||$1.8MM|
|Joe Smith||Set Up Man||$4MM|
|Vic Black||7th Inning Guy||$.5MM|
|Scott Rice||Lefty Specialist||$.5MM|
|Josh Edgin||Middle Reliever||$.5MM|
|Scott Atchinson||Middle Reliever||$1.3MM|
|Carlos Torres||Long Man||$.5MM|
That all adds up to $75.2MM. Add the $3MM that's going to Jason Bay for some reason and we come out with $78.2MM. I'm too stressed out to elaborate any more.