AAOP: Better Late than Never

Didn't have time, don't have full information, and not interested in the prize. But I do have some comments.

I want the team to add, not subtract. I see no point in swapping out a player -- say Murphy of Ike/Duda -- for a similar player -- say Trumbo. I don't want to fill one hole by opening another.

It would have been nice if Wilmer Flores established himself late last season to the point where he could be traded for a corner outfield prospect with a similar offensive profile. It would be nice if Harvey didn't get hurt so we had a pitching surplus. But neither is true.

Flores should start the season in AAA, and be the first infielder up in case of injury/ineffectiveness. Den Dekker should be in the same situation for the outfield. We should trade either Ike or Duda, but I don't think we'll get much other than another project or a prospect.

That leaves free agents. We need a leadoff hitter, a clean-up hitter, a back-up catcher, and a placeholder starter until Syndergaard, Montero and/or DeGrom come up. We have two corner outfield spots open.

Leadoff: sign Choo or Elsbury. The back-up plan, if neither can be signed for a reasonable price/term, is to hope that either EY or Lagares can get their OBP up to .350, which in this pitching dominated era is probably pretty good. If Choo or Elsbury sign with the Mets, EY is the fourth outfielder/pinch hitter and Lagares bats 7th.

Clean-up: sign two geezers -- some combination of Byrd, Beltran, Granderson, Sizemore, etc. with the hope that despite decline and injury you'll get what Byrd provided last year. The back-up plan is lesser geezers batting 6th, with Ike or Duda plus Satin hitting clean-up. But I really think that given Ike/Duda's mental struggles, they'd be better off in the six hole. Perhaps Puello will be up for the other corner by the end of the year, but it will take a year in AAA to convince me.

Back-up Catcher: Recker is fine in that role, but what if D'Arnaud gets hurt again? I don't think the Mets could contend with Recker starting 100 games. I wouldn't mind having Buck back. Saltamacchia is another possibility.

Place holder starter: the Mets have rolled 7s and snake eyes with comebackers and geezers. I'd bring a couple in and hope for another big win, but I don't see the need for a top starter as a 5th starter. The real plan is to have Syndergaard, Montero and Degrom with the big club at some point this year. Perhaps their innings should be limited in the minors, perhaps with a six man rotation, and then brought up in order of performance.

Batting 8th: I'd give Tejada one more chance. He's shown he can do it -- and that he might not. Like Ike and Duda, another year seems warranted unless the Mets have the $ for yet ANOTHER free agent. But the two corner outfield spots have to be higher priorities. If Tejada could get a .350 OBP again, that's nothing to sneeze at these days.

Long Relief: this is a position the Mets should think about taking seriously, and stocking with a good pitcher who could go 2-5 innings twice each week and do a spot start every now and then. Darren Oliver in 2006. For one thing, it would allow the Mets to limit innings by pulling young pitchers earlier in games where they don't have it and they would prefer to pinch hit. Torres could be good in the role, based on his performance last year.

Ike or Duda? I don't know. That's why the pay Sandy the big bucks. Their career OPS+ is just about the same, around 115, with Ike providing more upside and more downside. Perhaps the question is who would bring more back in trade? I think that might be Duda -- less money, more projectable.

Finally, its time to say that Captain Kirk, Zach Lutz, and either Ike or Duda have had their shots and its time to move on to free up space on the 40. JVI should be traded to the 1970s Oakland Raiders.

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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