FanPost

AAOP: Late but great

Plan summary:

Build a sustainable winner through player development rather than FA signings; to do this, I have three overarching themes:

1. Minimize long term contract commitments and payroll commitments to maximize financial flexibility should unforeseen opportunities arise; in this plan, we have only one new contract commitment beyond 2015

2. Continue to build out pitching depth with an eye towards building a Cardinals-like assembly line of young starting pitchers; in my plan we hold onto all our existing prospects plus add Kyle Zimmer from KC and Cody Allen from CLE

3. Build a competitive team for 2014 that can realistically win 85 games with a realistic shot at winning 90-95 games in 2015 and beyond

Trades

1. Jon Niese and Ruben Tejada to CLE for Asdrubal Cabrera and Cody Allen: Strength-for-strength swap with the Mets dealing from their pitching depth into CLE’s SS depth For CLE: CLE loses Jimenez and Kazmir to FA and has Francisco Lindor coming up to play SS; Tejada holds the fort for a half season until Lindor is ready For NYM: Give up our most reliable returning starter but get a young ~2.5 WAR SS and a young reliever to complement Black and Parnell

2. Daniel Murphy to KC for Kyle Zimmer: Cash in while Murphy’s value is high to upgrade KC’s crappy 2B situation

For KC: KC thinks it is in win-now mode and their incumbent 2B Chris Getz hit .220/.288/.273 last year

For NYM: Zimmer adds to our stable of young arms and starts the season in Binghamton with a MLB ETA of mid 2015

3. Ike Davis to SEA for Dustin Ackley: Challenge trade of disappointing former top prospects For Seattle: Davis replaces Kendry Morales at DH and competes with Justin Smoak; middle infield is filled with hot prospects Brad Miller (SS) and Nick Franklin (2B) so no space for Ackley

For NYM: Ackley plays a credible 2B, has a career 9.2% walk rate and has shown no platoon splits; he’s also still only 25 so there is upside

Signings

1. RF Shin Soo Choo, 4yrs $85m ($21, $22, $22, $20): Starting RF and leadoff man; terrific OBP and decent defense but an expensive contract

2. LF David Murphy, 2yrs $8m ($3, $5), team option for yr 3 at $6m with $1m buyout: Do-it-all LF coming off a bad 2013 (though affected by 100pt decline in BABIP); second year of the deal and team option gives us upside if he bounces back to form but protects us if his 2013 numbers aren’t an aberration

3. Bronson Arroyo, 2yrs $16m ($8, $8): Fills the innings void left by the Niese departure; can reliably eat 180-200 innings each of the next two years at a league average clip

4. Jose Molina, 2yrs $6.5m ($3.5, $3): The best pitch framer in the game gets a multi-year deal to caddy for d’Arnaud and teach him the ropes; pencil him in for 40-50 starts per season (200 PAs)

5. Josh Johnson, 1yr $3.5m: High risk/ high reward signing with Harvey-like stuff if healthy; my bet is that he can pitch us through June when Syndergaard, Montero and others are ready

6. LaTroy Hawkins, 1yr, $2.25m: Give the man a raise and a spot in the back of the bullpen; seems like a good guy and provides some stability for our young releivers

7. Daisuke Matsuzaka, 1yr $750k: My hope is that Dice-K makes 15 starts for us and holds down the #5 spot at slightly better-than-replacement level until one of our youngsters is ready to go

The team:

C. d’Arnaud, Molina backup (est. WAR of 2.0, pegged to MLB average, but excludes pitch framing value-add)

1B. Platoon: Duda v RHP, Satin v LHP (est WAR of 2.5 based on increased production v. LHP using the strict platoon and Duda OBP)

2B. Ackley, Turner (est WAR of 1.0 based on rebound from Ackley)

SS. Cabrera, Turner (est WAR of 2.5 based on Cabrera power)

3B. Wright, Satin, Turner (est WAR of 5.0)

LF. Platoon: Murphy v RHP, Young Jr. v. LHP (est WAR of 2.5 based on Murphy bounce back and Young Jr. baserunning)

CF. Lagares, Young Jr. (est. WAR of 1.0 based on Lagares defense)

RF. Choo, Brown against tougher LHPs (est. WAR of 4.0 based on Choo OBP and scratch defense)

SP. 1. Arroyo, 2. Wheeler, 3. Gee, 4. Johnson, 5. Matsuzaka (est. WAR of 10.0 cumulative based on league average production from top 4 starters, replacement level #5, plus 2pt boost from pitch framing

Bullpen RHP: Torres (longman), Black, Allen, Familia

Bullpen LHP: Rice, Edgin

CL: Parnell (total est. bullpen WAR of 4.0 based on league average + boost from Molina and d’Arnaud pitch framing)

Depth of note:

SP. Jenrry Mejia, Jacob deGrom, Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard, Kyle Zimmer, Logan Verrett Comment: I expect this group to throw around 125-150 innings in 2014 at the big league level, but am hoping most of those innings happen after June 1st

RHP- Gonzalez German, Cory Mazzoni, Jeff Walters, Chasen Bradford

LHP- Jack Leatherstich, John Church, Darin Gorski, Adam Kolarek

Comment: All these guys will get innings (assuming they’re healthy), the hope is that we develop one back of the pen option (Walters?), a LOOGY (Leatherstich?), and a long-man (Mazzoni, Gorski?) from this group that can stick in 2015 and beyond

Non-tender: Quintanilla, Atchison, Valdespin (or outright release)

Comment: Bad, old, and a jerk

Total existing payroll Johan Santana, $5.5m buyout

David Wright, $20m

Bobby Parnell, $2.75m (est. in arb 2)

Dillon Gee, $1.5m (est. in arb 1)

Lucas Duda, $1.5m (est. in arb 1)

Justin Turner, $750k (est. In arb 1)

All others, pre-arb (cumulative ~$11m)

Sum of existing: $43m

Total 2014 additions:

Shin Soo Choo, $21m

David Murphy, $3m

Bronson Arroyo, $8m

Jose Molina, $3.5m

Josh Johnson, $3.5m

LaTroy Hawkins, $2.25m

Daisuke Matsuzaka, $750k

Sum of additions: $42m

Total 2014 estimate: $85m (34.5 WAR= 84.5 expected wins)

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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