I’m not going to bury the lede. Here are your Opening Day 2014 Mets:
Line-up (with rounded 2014 Steamer projections):
|De Aza (LF)||270||330||405|
|Daniel Murphy (2B)||280||325||415|
|David Murphy (RF)||270||340||430|
Duda, Satin, Carroll, Buck, den Dekker, Brown
Rotation (2014 Steamer ERA and FIP):
Parnell, Hawkins, Jones, Black, Edgin, Rice
How did we get here?
Davis, Turner, Leather Rocket for Cuddyer
You’re selling low on Davis, but just a year removed from 32 bombs, he still has value, and the Rox could take a flyer on him to figure it out in Denver and replace Helton. They save some dough and the Mets get a slugging RF/1B who is opposite-handed to Duda, and hey, David likes him. Leathersich sweetens the pot; Turner throws the pot-pie.
Flores, Mazzoni, Tejada, Cecchini, Tapia, Familia, Valdespin to the White Sox for DeAza, Ramirez, Jones and $2M
De Aza capably fills two holes: lead-off and LF. Ramirez improves over Tejada on offense, defense and durability. Nate Jones had 2 WAR from the pen last year, and his peripherals point to better things to come.
Sox could use a long term solution at 3rd. It takes Tejada, Flores, 2 good prospects and 3 lottery tickets to get the trio from Chicago. If you don’t think they bite, plug and play another prospect as you see fit; I think this thing gets done without Montero or Thor.
Eric Young Jr and Allan Dykstra to the Reds for Neftali Soto
De Aza makes EY expendable, and while I don’t like letting him go, he’s too expensive for a 4th outfielder on this team. Soto, AAA 1B with power, is blocked by Votto in Cincy, and they might desire OF depth once they lose Choo. If Cuddyer isn’t resigned, Soto would vie with Duda for 1B in 2015.
Roberto "F.C." Hernandez (1/$4M)
I wanted Arroyo or Hughes here, but ran out of money. Fausto Hernandez was serviceable in ‘13 and for me is the guy at this price point.
Aaron Harang (Minor league deal)
Torres, DeGrom, Harang, Montero and Thor are your AAA depth.
LaTroy Hawkins (1/$2M)
Loved his leadership this past year.
Jamey Carroll (1/$1M)
A better SS than Turner, he can also cover 2B and 3B.
David Murphy (1/$5M)
Steamer sees David Murphy bouncing back, and he’s your RF. If he stinks, Duda can push him for playing time, moving Cuddyer to RF. Against lefties, Satin can start at 1B, with Cuddyer in RF.
John Buck (1/$1M)
Comes back to do the job he was supposed to do last year: guide D’Arnaud.
IN: De Aza ($4.5), Cuddyer ($10M), Ramirez ($9M), Hernandez($4M), Murphy ($5M) Jones, Carroll ($1M), Hawkins ($2M), Buck ($1M) = $36.5M
OUT: Davis ($4M), Turner ($1M), Flores, Mazzoni, Tejada ($1M), Cecchini, Tapia, Familia, =$6M
Pros: Meatier line-up. Good bench and depth. Keep Thor and Montero, 2 guys who can act as mid-season acquisitions and help with a playoff push and beyond. No Al-"Bay"-tross contracts added.
Cons: Cuddyer, Ramirez, De Aza; individually: yawn. My use of punctuation was more exciting. This group won’t sell jerseys. Wright is a special player, maybe Wheeler too -- but outside of them, there is very little star power here. If Harvey was healthy, I think this team fights for 90 wins. Without, this looks like an 82-85 win team.
Existing commitments = $33.5M
Arbitration = $14M
Pre-Arb (11 guys x $.5M) = $5.5M
Additions = $36.5M
Subtractions = $6M
Total = $83.5M