AAOP: Going for the Glory

The Mets are a playoff team. Let's get that out of the way. The team has, even in its most torturing moments, been a playoff team each of the last two seasons. With the $140 million cap that AA has provided, it's time to see what the Mets can do in order to not only make the playoffs, but attempt to win the World Series.

Guaranteed Contracts

David Wright = $20 million

Neil Walker = $17.2 million

Curtis Granderson = $15 million

Jay Bruce = $13 million

Asdrubal Cabrera = $8.25 million

Juan Lagares = $4.5 million

Jose Reyes = $500K

This amount equals just under $78.5 million. Now onto arbitration players, in which the Mets will retain everyone except Rene Rivera and Josh Edgin, saving approximately $3 million.

Arbitration Values (per MLB Trade Rumors)

Lucas Duda (5.137) - $6.725MM
Addison Reed (5.001) - $10.6MM
Matt Harvey (4.072) - $5.2MM
Jeurys Familia (4.030) - $8.7MM
Zack Wheeler (3.098) - $1.0MM
Travis d'Arnaud (3.044) - $1.7MM
Wilmer Flores (3.003) - $1.9MM
Jacob deGrom (2.139) - $4.5MM

With these values tacked on, this makes the roster worth about $119 million. Other players that can't be forgotten are minimum-salary players, including Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, Kevin Plawecki, Steven Matz, Hansel Robles and Robert Gsellman. That adds another $3.5 million to round out the roster to just under $123 million.


Here comes the really fun part. As everyone knows, Jay Bruce has been on the trade block, and with good reason. The outfielder struggled throughout much of his Mets tenure after the trade deadline, save the final few games of the season. I'm proposing moving Bruce for some bullpen help in a deal with the Baltimore Orioles.

Orioles receive: Jay Bruce

Mets receive: Mychal Givens, Tanner Scott

Givens has been a solid pitcher during the last two seasons in Baltimore. He throws a fastball that touches over 96 miles per hour, as well as a slider and changeup that hovers in the high-80s. He converted 13 holds last season and struck out nearly 12 batters per nine innings. In a way, the young flamethrower reminds me of Hansel Robles, and adds a talented power arm into the bullpen fold. As for Scott, he likely wouldn't be with the Mets for another couple of years, but the young southpaw throws 100 miles per hour ... and that can't be taught. The Mets could be adding a future dominant bullpen arm in a deal like this, and save a lot of money.

Additionally, the Mets can use another lefty to shore up the bullpen. The San Diego Padres had one of the best lefty bullpen arms in the major leagues this past season -- a player who has truly come into his own. The Mets will send a couple talented prospects away in order to help their goal to win now.

Padres receive: Gavin Cecchini, Josh Smoker

Mets receive: Brad Hand

Hand is coming off the best season of his career, pitching in 82 games, a career-low 2.92 ERA and a career-high 111 strikeouts. Among more advanced stats, Hand had a 3.07 FIP, 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings and a 1.8 WAR. Hand's arbitration value is $1.4 million.

After these two trades, the Mets will subtract $11 million total from their payroll so that it will be worth a total of $111,575,000.

Free Agency

With 23 players currently on the roster, I have two spots to play with. I'm going to use my remaining money to bring back two Mets from this previous season: Jerry Blevins and Yoenis Cespedes. Why would it be anyone else? Cespedes is coming off a Silver Slugger award and has thrived playing in the Big Apple, continuously leading the Mets offensively. He will get paid handsomely, and I believe it's in the Mets' best interests to retain their undisputed top hitter. I'm going to offer Cespedes a 5-year/$130 million with escalating salaries (24/24/26/28/28). As for Blevins, I'll offer him a 2-year/$8 million contract, earning $4 million each year.

Roster Breakdown

Here are the players starting at each position, barring injuries:

Catcher = Travis d'Arnaud

First Base = Lucas Duda

Second Base = Neil Walker

Shortstop = Asdrubal Cabrera

Third Base = David Wright

Left Field = Yoenis Cespedes

Center Field = Brandon Nimmo

Right Field = Curtis Granderson

Bench players:

Kevin Plawecki, Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores, Jose Reyes

Starting pitcher rotation, barring injuries:

Noah Syndergaard

Jacob deGrom

Matt Harvey

Steven Matz

Robert Gsellman

Bullpen rotation:

Zack Wheeler, Jerry Blevins, Brad Hand, Mychal Givens, Hansel Robles, Addison Reed, Jeurys Familia

That's the 25-man roster. Some notable omissions include Seth Lugo, T.J. Rivera, Matt Reynolds and Rafael Montero, but I went with my gut with who I think will be on this team's opening day roster. Given the Mets' injury issues this past season (and every season), these four players, as well as several others, could see time in the big leagues at some point during the season. The final roster payroll for the 2017 season equals $139,575,000, staying just under the $140 million ceiling. Thank you all for reading my entry. Let's go Mets!

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