FanPost

AAOP: Face It, You're Going To Hate This

Hello, reader. Welcome to my AAOP.

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This is my first AAOP ever. If I understand the concept of this project correctly, I must pretend to be current New York Mets General Manager Richard Lynn "Sandy" Alderson, and go through what I would do this off-season to improve the New York Mets Baseball Club if I were him. Certainly a daunting topic that few have dared themselves to go through.

First off, I've got $120 million dollars to spend, according to Amazin' Avenue. This is an incredibly optimistic figure, because the Mets are owned by Fred Wilpon. However, upon thinking about it, I've gone through a scenario in which it could feasibly be possible for the Mets to have a budget of $120 million dollars this off-season.

(Warning: Slight dramatization)

In the Mets Front Office:

[Fred is standing in front of the room, in front of a projector, waiting for the rest of the major Front Office people and his son to arrive.

Sandy Alderson, John Ricco, Paul DePodesta, and J.P. Ricciardi walk in, and sit down around a big table. Jeff follows a minute later, wearing footsie pajamas, and takes a seat on a small bean bag chair shaped like an elephant in the corner of the room.]

Fred: Okay everyone, thanks for coming to the off-season budget meeting.

Jeff: Dad, is there going to be a test on this? I forgot my number 2 pencil.

Fred: What? No... It's a meeti - You know what, nevermind.

[Fred turns around to the screen where his presentation is supposed to be showing. The screen is entirely black. The powerpoint is not showing.]

Fred: Gosh, these damn things never work. All of this technology today and nobody knows how to use it. You know, things were so much easier back in my day. Yeah, things were so great back in my High School days - going to Dodger games at Ebbets, playing Baseball for my school... Hey guys, have I ever told you how I played with Sandy Kouf-

All: YES FRED WE KNOW

Fred: Okay, I was just making sure. Anyway, this thing is freaking broke.

Sandy: Fred, you're standing in front of the projector.

Fred: Yeah, and you're sitting over there. What does that have to do with anything?

Sandy: Fred, you're blocking the projector. The projector won't reflect onto the screen unless you get out of the way.

Fred: What? How can where I'm standing affect how a screen works? Anyway, whatever. I don't need the screen.

We have a lot of payments due this year. We also just lost our lucrative sponsorship with Pepsi. Long story short, we're cutting our payroll restrictions to $95 million.

All: WHAT!!

Fred: I know, I know. But it must be done.

Jeff: (Looking up from his children's book that he's reading upside down) Listen to my dad!

Sandy: This is ridiculous! Freaking World Series run and you cut budgets!

Paul DePodesta: How the hell do we sell this to the fans?

John Ricco: I quit.

[The room goes quiet, when all of a sudden...]

[/GLASS SHATTERS]

DePo: BY GAWD IT"S HIM

Ricco: WEIHFOFWEWFON

Ricciardi: YOU'VE DONE IT NOW!!!!

[Sandy Alderson rips off his shirt, and turns into STONE COLD SANDY ALDERSON. Sandy walks up to Fred, flips him off, and then delivers a Stone Cold stunner, as the other members of the FO holler and cheer him on. Then he walks over to Jeff, cowering in his corner, and delivers another stunner to Jeff:

STONE COLD SANDY: The Mets payroll for 2015 is going to be $120 million, and that's the bottom line, because STONE COLD SANDY said so!

/Scene

This is literally the only way that it could happen.

Anyway, on to making the team. So, you're going to hate this. You're going to hate these moves. If there's one thing I've learned about AAOP's, it's that you probably hate most of them. People have different opinions. So you're going to hate this, because these opinions aren't yours. I don't really care, though. I don't work for you.

Everyone knows the easy and sensible moves are sign Heyward, role with Pickles at second base, and get some relievers. However, creativity or whatever.

So let's get to these opinions that you'll hate.

Non-Tenders:

Eric Young Jr.

Anthony Recker

Jenrry Mejia

Buddy Carlyle

Carlos Torres

No shockers here, and Recker has already been outrighted. You can definitely make the case for keeping Mejia, and it's a legitimate one, but I just don't see it happening. It would be hard for the clubhouse to accept him back.

This gets the payroll commitment down to $91.8 million, which means we have $28.2 million dollars to play with. Let's get it.

The moves you will probably not hate that much:

Sign INF Ben Zobrist to a 3-year, $42 million dollar contract.

What, with $30 million dollars to play with, how can you not go after either Zobrist or Heyward? Like seriously, how can one person who does an AAOP this year not have at least one of those two moves in there?

Sign Joakim Soria to a 3-year, 21 million dollar contract.

The Mets need at least one great reliever besides Familia - and look at that, they've already expressed interest in Soria. So the Front Office clearly likes my ideas.

I know that the 3rd year is questionable for Soria. However, he's already getting a decent amount of attention on the free agent market, so the team that gives him that 3rd year with a real chance to win could be the one to win the bid.

Sign Jerry Blevins to a 1-year, $1.5 million dollar contract, with a $2 million dollar team option for a 2nd year.

This is a pretty obvious move, too.

A move you will hate a little more:

Sign Geovany Soto to a two-year, 4 millon dollar contract

Kevin Plawecki cannot be sitting on the bench 5 days a week. And if d'Arnaud goes down again, the Mets would once again be rolling with the unproven Plaw for possibly an extended period of time, with Johnny Monell as the best back-up available in a year that they plan to contend.

Soto is about as good as a back-up catcher can get. He's a good defensive catcher with a not-terrible offensive game either, with a career walk rate of 11.0% and ISO of .188. He could probably start somewhere, but the market for catchers this year is rather weak. A lot of people claimed the Mets should sign Soto last year, and the team reaped the impact of not doing so for several months. That cannot happen again. The Mets must sign a solid back-up catcher, and Soto is my guy.

***

Okay, so let's check the payroll right now:

$114.3 Million

Welp. Like a teenager who just got his first paycheck, we've already blown most of the $28.2 million we were given. We have only $5.8 million left, and we haven't even found a platoon partner for Juan Lagares yet. It's going to be hard to find a particularly valuable center fielder for under $6 million dollars. So it's time to be creative

The move you will absolutely abhor:

Trade Dilson Herrera and Matthew Bowman to the Diamondbacks for Ender Inciarte

The Diamondbacks are in desperate need of a second baseman. They have the pairing of Chris Owings and Aaron Hill. Chris Ownings was almost a full 2 wins below replacement level last year, and Aaron Hill is about as bad. They also might want to find a full-time job for Yasmany Tomas. After all, they gave him $70 million dollars, and right field was the position he was least dreadful at, by UZR/150. So there's that.

For the Mets, Inciarte is a fantastic platoon partner for Lagares. He crushed righties last year to the tune of a 123 wRC+, and he can play any outfield position at gold glove caliber. So the Mets don't want to bench Lagares completely. Here's your platoon partner for him, you don't lose anything on defense, and he has good speed.

Is it a lot to give up for a platoon player? Of course it is. I hate giving up Dilson as much as anyone else here. But remember, this would be the strong side of a platoon, and he's a player who in his first two seasons has been worth 3 fWAR. Those don't come cheap

Is he the perfect player? No. But who is? Heyward probably, but the Mets aren't getting him, and I only had $6 million to work with. With how much risk Span, Fowler, Parra, etc. carry, I'm not sure this is much worse of a move.

As for Bowman, the Mets still have plenty of 5th starter depth without Bowman: Verrett, Montero, Ynoa, and some people still want Gilmartin to be stretched out as a starter, too. And of course Wheeler is (hopefully) only out until June or July, anyway. And to increase that 5th starter depth, we can even do this:

Sign Chris Capuano to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training

He's a specimen. Just ask Keith.

However, we are posed with a bit of a problem now. The Mets now have a lack of back-up infield options, having only Ruben Tejada as the primary backup infielder with Matt Reynolds as the only insurance. We do have Zobrist, however now having traded Dilson, our insurance plan for Wright gets iffy for his days off, or if god forbid something happens to him. We only have Zobrist and Flores capable of playing third base, meaning that Tejada would have to start at shortstop with Matt Reynolds as the primary infield back-up if that were to happen. Reynolds could be a fine backup, but not exactly the type of guy you'd want to have as your first line of defense in a year where you're going seriously for a ring.

Something must be done.

Sign Kelly Johnson 2-year, $6 million dollar contract.

That was a big build-up for a rather small move, but it's an important one I think. He can play first and third base as well as second base, and he can hit left handers.

Only, this does present one more problem. We now have 26 players, and we must cut someb-

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Oh, well that settles things perfectly. Nevermind!

But unfortunately I have to be serious, which means:

Trade Michael Cuddyer to anywhere to get anything and eat as much money as necessary

Anything, anywhere, I don't care. Kelly Johnson can spell Duda at first against lefties. He's hit lefties to a 104 wRC+ over his career. And frankly, Duda will probably only sit against the tough lefties anyway after showing general competence to weaker ones in 2015. So it's not even a huge role anymore.

Even if you want to bring up to possibility of Conforto failing against lefties, or Granderson's struggles against lefties, Zobrist and Johnson can both play in the outfield as well. Both can probably fake it about as well as Cuddyer could at this point. In fact, I'm not even sure about Cuddyer's outfield abilities anymore, anyway.

Take all of that into account, and Cuddyer's role on this team is useless.

Two more moves because it's the right thing to do:

Re-Sign Bobby Parnell and Vic Black to minor league contracts with invites to Spring Training.

Parnell probably deserves another chance after the Mets rushed him back from rehab, and Black probably does as well.

Now let's look at our team:

Vs Right-Handers:

Order #

Player

Position

1

Curtis Granderson

RF

2

David Wright

3B

3

Ben Zobrist

2B

4

Lucas Duda

1B

5

Travis d'Arnaud

C

6

Michael Conforto

LF

7

Wilmer Flores

SS

8

Ender Inciarte

CF

BN

Ruben Tejada

MI

BN

Juan Lagares

CF

BN

Kelly Johnson

IF

BN

Geovany Soto

C

BN

Kirk Nieuwenhuis

OF

Vs Left-Handers

Order #

Player

Position

1

Curtis Granderson

RF

2

David Wright

3B

3

Ben Zobrist

2B

4

Michael Conforto

LF

5

Travis d'Arnaud

C

6

Wilmer Flores

SS

7

Juan Lagares

CF

8

Kelly Johnson/(Duda)

1B

BN

Ruben Tejada

MI

BN

Juan Lagares

CF

BN

Duda

IF

BN

Soto

C

BN

Nieuwenhuis

OF

Pitching:

Pitcher

Role

Jacob deGrom

SP

Matt Harvey

SP

Noah Syndergaard

SP

Steven Matz

SP

Jon Niese

SP

Jeurys Familia

RP

Joakim Soria

RP

Addison Reed

RP

Hansel Robles

RP

Jerry Blevins

RP

Erik Goeddel

RP

Sean Gilmartin

RP


That's all I got.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process.