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Amazin' Avenue Offseason Plan Contest (AAOP!)

The deadline for AAOP entries is today at 5pm EDT.

This could be a watershed offseason for the Mets as they straddle the line between realistically competing in the near-term and retooling for a medium-term period of sustained competitiveness. I suppose there's also some middle ground, where they might make a few deft maneuvers to buttress the 2012 team without torpedoing the seasons to come.

We'll spend plenty of time rosterbating over the next few months, but the tradition at Amazin' Avenue is to open the floor to the community to see what sort of moves you can envision for the Mets this offseason. This is the Amazin' Avenue Offseason Plan Contest (AAOP).

Here's how it works: All entries must be submitted via FanPost. We will select the five best of the bunch, and then we'll present those finalists to the community for a vote. We will also be periodically bumping some of the best plans to the front page.

Check out our post the other day about the Mets' 2012 payroll situation, as the Mets already have around $80 million committed for next season with a project Opening Day payroll of $110 million.

As for the rules and guidelines, they are as follows.

  1. The title of your FanPost must begin with "AAOP:" (no quotes). You can follow that with whatever title you want, but it must begin with "AAOP:" so we can easily distinguish it from non-contest FanPosts. If you do not follow this rule your entry will be excluded from consideration. It's a very simple rule so try not to screw it up.
  2. The deadline for FanPost submission is 5pm ET on Tuesday, 11/1/2011. No exceptions.
  3. There is no mandatory length, but obviously you'll want to be as verbose as is necessary to elucidate the genius of your plan.
  4. Total 2012 payroll can't exceed $110 million, give or take a few bucks. Same goes for 2013 and beyond, so don't try to backload your deals to skirt the 2012 payroll restriction.
  5. Use spellcheck and proofread for grammar, punctuation, and usage errors. If you can't be bothered with making your entry readable then we can't be bothered with actually reading it.
  6. Try to make it look good. Add some images and some tables. MS Paint something. Strong writing, cogency, and perspicacity are of paramount importance, but aesthetics still count. I'm not saying that a straight essay can't win, but I am encouraging you to spice it up a bit.
  7. Feasibility of plan execution is important. Don't propose a trade of Bobby Parnell and Ruben Tejada for Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey. It's not going to happen.
  8. Whether or not the Mets might realistically execute your plan doesn't matter as long as the plan itself can be considered realistic given the current free agent and trade markets.
  9. If you have already written an offseason plan in the FanPosts, feel free to clean it up (or not) and repost it (Rule #1 above still applies).
  10. Free agent salaries should be realistic. We're not going to quibble over a million dollars here or there (who would?), so if you want to set Jose Reyes's annual salary at $17 million or $20 million it doesn't much matter for the purpose of this exercise.

We don't have much swag to give away right now so the prizes will be Amazon gift cards instead.

First place: $65 Gift Card
Second place: $25 Gift Card
Third place: $15 Gift Card

The top five entries will be posted on Monday, November 7, with community voting to conclude on Friday, November 11.

All entrants are subject to the official rules, found here.

The Amazin' Avenue Offseason Plan contest begins... NOW!

Originally published 10/20/11 @ 12pm EDT.