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AAOP: The Amazin' Avenue Offseason Plan Contest, 2016-17

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What would you do if you were in charge of the Mets’ roster this offseason?

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We’ve found some great prizes, received plenty of great suggestions, and finalized the details of this year’s Amazin’ Avenue Offseason Plan Contest (AAOP). The wait is finally over.

Whether you need a quick refresher or are new to the AAOP, here's the deal: Pretend you're the general manager of the Mets, and work your way through the offseason. Write about it, post it, and you'll have a shot at a prize. For a rundown of last year's finalists, go here.

Here's how it works: All entries must be submitted via FanPost. We will select the five best of the bunch, and we'll present those finalists to the community for a vote. We will periodically bump some of the best plans to the front page, and stay tuned for AAOP coverage on our podcast, Amazin’ Avenue Audio.

Please note that if you haven't signed up for a username on the site, you'll need to do so more than 24 hours before the contest ends, as there is a 24-hour waiting period before a new user can post on the site.

The Mets have approximately $105 million already committed to 2017 payroll, including estimated raises for their arbitration-eligible players. For the purposes of the AAOP, we’re setting the maximum Opening Day payroll for 2017 at $140 million. Note that Jose Reyes will only count for roughly $500,000 against the Mets’ payroll; the Rockies will be paying most of his $22 million salary.

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 5:00 PM EST on Monday, November 21. No exceptions.
  3. There is no mandatory length, but you'll want to be as verbose as is necessary to elucidate the genius of your plan.
  4. Total 2017 payroll can't exceed $140 million, give or take a few bucks. Same goes for 2018 and beyond, so don't try to backload your deals to skirt the 2018 payroll restriction.
  5. Use these contract values for any arbitration-eligible players you wish to re-sign for 2017.
  6. Use spell-check 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.
  7. Try to make it look good. Add some images and some tables (feel free to use this grission-y HTML table-maker). MS Paint something. Strong writing, cogency, creativity, and thoughtfulness are of paramount importance, but aesthetics still count. We're not saying that a straight essay can't win, but we are encouraging you to spice it up a bit.
  8. Feasibility of plan execution is important. Don't propose a trade of Jay Bruce for Mike Trout. It's not going to happen.
  9. Whether 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.
  10. Free agent salaries should also be realistic. We're not going to quibble over a million dollars here or there (who would?), so if you want to sign Yoenis Cespedes to a contract and set his average annual salary at $25 million or $27 million, it doesn't much matter for the purpose of this exercise.
  11. For 2017 free agents, use this list. For future payroll obligations, use this spreadsheet.
  12. Previous AAOP winners ARE eligible to win this year’s contest. (This is a change from previous AAOPs, where prior winners were not eligible to win again.)

And now the prizes:

  1. First place: An Edgardo “Fonzie” Alfonzo Brooklyn Cyclones bobblehead and a Lucas Duda “Smash” Brooklyn Cyclones bobblehead.
  1. Second place: Two Amazin’ Avenue t-shirts in the size and design of your choice.
  2. Third place: A signed copy of Greg Prince’s Amazin’ Again about the 2015 Mets’ run to the World Series. Greg is the co-author of Faith And Fear In Flushing and is currently writing a new book about Mike Piazza called Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star due in March.

The Amazin' Avenue Offseason Plan contest begins now!

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