AAOP: Uncorking Another Bottle Of Champagne


Man .... remember 2015? I bet you do. Sure was fun, wasn’t it?

The 2016 season was not as fun. The New York Mets went 87-75 this past season, losing the NL East crown and found itself bounced at the end of those damn San Francisco Giants. There were good plays, there were bad plays, and there was a boatload of injuries.

So without further ado, here are my suggestions for the New York Mets to help win the World Series and hoist the trophy that alluded us 13 months prior.

Current Obligations

David Wright - $20.0m
Neil Walker - $17.2m
Curtis Granderson - $16.0m
Jay Bruce - $13.0m
Asdrubal Cabrera - $8.2m
Juan Lagares - $4.5m
Jon Niese - $0.5m
Jose Reyes -$0.5m

ARB Guys

Harvey, Wheeler, deGrom …. I come to the baseball gods on bended knee begging for health in 2017. Rene Rivera makes it because Noah Syndergaard likes him and I have zero interest in angering a Norse deity.

Lucas Duda – $6.7MM
Addison Reed – $10.6MM
Matt Harvey – $5.2MM
Jeurys Familia – $8.7MM
Zack Wheeler – $1.0MM
Travis d’Arnaud – $1.7MM
Wilmer Flores – $1.9MM
Rene Rivera -- $2.2MM
Jacob deGrom – $4.5MM

The Boys Are Back In Town


Yoenis Cespedes - Five-year, $123.0m: The best hitter on the market returns home. The Mets have avoided giving out these big monster contracts, but now, they have no true choice. Cespedes gives New York the best chance to win and despite missing a handful of games, he still smacked 31 bombs and finished with 3.2 fWAR. His walk rate improved and I still think he’s a good left fielder defensively. More importantly, Cespedes likes being a Met....I think. We convince him to take a smidge less in year one and keep Cespedes in Gotham. 2017 - $19.5mm, 2018- $24.5mm, 2019 - $26.5mm, 2020 - $26.5mm, 2021 - $26.0mm.

Jerry Blevins - Two-year, $8.0m: He pitched well and we need bullpen depth, so I don’t see why not. 52 strikeouts in 42 innings last year, did well against lefties and righties last season, and again, he seemed to enjoy his time with the Mets. Facing uncertainty with Familia, I’ll sign Blevins and attempt to load up behind Reed and Familia 2017 - $3.5mm, 2018 - $4.5mm

Fernando Salas - One-year, $3.0mm: Another buddy back in town. Salas had a good 17 innings in New York: 0 walks, 19 strikeouts. Before his bad half season in Anaheim, he was a solid relief option. I’m bringing him back for one more run in New York, just to see if we can recreate that over 30-40 innings or so. 2017 - $3.0mm

Free Agency - Money, Money, Money, Monnnnnneyyyyy


Addison Reed - Two-year, $22.5m extension: I really didn’t have much to spend on in free agency, so I went the other way and extended a good arm for the foreseeable future. Reed has been one of the team’s best bullpen options over the last two seasons, finishing with 1.97 FIP and serving as the bridge to Jeurys Familia. His K-rate has picked up since joining the Mets and he’s entering his age-28 season. To hedge, I’m giving him an opt-out for the 2019 season, allowing him to hit the market again at age 30. 2017 - $10.0m, 2018 - $10.5m, 2019 - $12.0m (player option)

Sean Rodriguez - Two-year, $9.0m: I want the bench to be as versatile as possible and we need someone who can hit up on some lefties. Enter Sean Rodriguez. Over the last three seasons, Rodriguez has an 112 wRC+ against lefties and could play, well, everywhere. Ideally, he plays some left, right and some third, giving the Mets some more depth. 2017 - $4.5m, 2018- $4.5m

Move Michael Conforto to first base: The Mets already said they were considering centerfield and first base for Conforto, so I’m just taking it one step further. I consider Conforto a long-term piece, and I would like to think the Mets do, too. Getting him on the field - and lefties, too - will allow him to regain his 2015 status when he looked like a young star for New York. Also, I wanted the right field spot for a traid.

Minor league free agents: Cory Rasmus, Ross Detwiler, Jaff Decker, Jorge De La Rosa and Bobby Wilson: No real pattern here, I’m just adding some pitchers because pitching depth. De La Rosa would probably be the first man up from this group for some starts if anything happened.

Trades - You say goodbye, I say hello.


Amed Rosario, Desmond Lindsay and Merandy Gonzalez to Chicago for Adam Eaton

If the Mets are rebuilding, I want either David Robinson or Adam Eaton. After landing one in trade, I’m going for Eaton.

Eaton doesn’t have an elite profile, but he does a ton for the Mets. His addition to Cespedes in left and Lagares in centerfield gives me three above average defenders at their position (+22 DRS, 23.1 UZR in RF). He can steal some bases(three straight seasons with double-digit steals), something this team lacks. He’s in his prime, entering his age-28 season. And finally, he’s on a marvelous contract, locked up until his age-32 season. At a hefty price, Eaton gives me another long-term piece for the Mets offense.

As for the White Sox, you add two high upside bats. The first one is closer in Rosario, who is a global top ten prospect. The second is Lindsay, who continues to deal with the injury bug, but remains a tantalizing centerfield prospect. Gonzalez adds to Chicago’s pitching depth in the system. All of this with Sale, Quintana, and Robertson still available for trade, too. It’s not a complete blow up deal with Rosario coming up soon and two guys who can provide upside in the system.

Jay Bruce to Toronto for Patrick Murphy and Chavez Young

Jay Bruce was bad as a Met, but I don’t think Jay Bruce has zero trade value. The Giants were one of the teams interested in Bruce at last offseason’s deadline, and I think he’d still be a good fit there. He’s not a right fielder, much better suited for left field. He’s not the Greek God of Walks, but he had a walk rate of nine percent after the trade and hovered between seven and 10 percent for much of his career.

The Blue Jays already expressed interest in Bruce, so let's just iron this out. The Mets get two lottery tickets. Murphy is 21, nabbed with "starter upside" but is coming off multiple injuries. Young was a 39th round pick in 2016.

Brandon Nimmo to Oakland for Liam Hendriks

The Mets need another bullpen piece and tried to move Nimmo during the regular season. Let’s try this again. I like Liam Hendriks. Two really good seasons in a row as a relief pitcher. His ERA jumped, but the peripherals remained largely the same. Had success against lefties last year and righties the year before. At $1 million, the Mets add another stable relief option.

Oakland does it because the outfield is barren after the Reddick and Crisp trades. Nimmo fits as a bat in their order and could emerge as a decent hitter who can dabble at two outfield positions.

Lucas Duda to Seattle for Boog Powell and Nick Wells

With Conforto moving to first base, I’m moving Duda for prospects. The Mets get two guys here, one close, the other far way. Powell was suspended this past season, but I like the profile. A fourth outfielder who can hit and play all three spots. He’ll start in Vegas and be an option if we experience some injuries. As for Wells, 20 years old, feel for a slider. Just let nature do its thing and get him to Dan Warthen.

As for the Mariners, they have the big pieces in Cano, Seager, and Cruz. I actually like Leonys Martin, too. However, first base is a bit of a tire fire and while they added Dan Vogelbach, Duda could fix that position right away. At the very worst, he provides an interesting platoon partner with Dae-Ho Lee, with the upside of 30-35 home-runs. Also, the addition of Duda allows the Mariners to replenish their rotation and bullpen.

And the end result:

Starting Offense Salary Bench Players Salary
Travis d’Arnaud $1.7m Curtis Granderson $15.0m
Michael Conforto $0.5m Josh Rodriguez $4.5m
Neil Walker $17.2m Rene Rivera $2.2m
David Wright $20.0m Wilmer Flores $1.9m
Asdrubal Cabrera $8.2m Jose Reyes $0.5m
Yoenis Cespedes $19.5m Total $101.7mm
Juan Lagares $4.5m
Adam Eaton $6.0m

Starting Rotation Salary Bullpen Prices
Noah Syndergaard $0.5m Seth Lugo $0.5m
Jacob deGrom $4.5m Hansel Robles $0.5m
Stephen Matz $0.5m Fernando Salas $3.0m
Matt Harvey $5.2m Jerry Blevins $3.5m
Robert Gsellman $0.5m Liam Hendriks $1.0m

Addison Reed $10.0m

Jeurys Familia $8.7m

Total $ 38.4m

Add those two numbers together, then add Jon Niese's buyout price and the 2017 New York Mets have a payroll of 140.6m before considering Familia's suspension. Mets have a backup for each spot, too. Lugo, De La Rosa, and Ynoa could snag a couple starts if someone goes down with an injury. Smoker and Ynoa for the bullpen, Cecchini, and Rivera for infield depth, Powell, and Decker for worst case scenario, you'll probably trade for one before using these guys outfield depth.

I think this team could win the World Series. And if you disagree....


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