Greetings fellow Mets fans.
So, 2016. That was a thing, right? I mean, we played 3 corner outfielders half the year, 4/5ths of our young pitching staff missed significant time, our 20 million dollar ¾ of our infield lost significant time to back and neck injuries, our two top young position players took huge steps back, our once gold glove winning CF decided to see if his thumb could bend the other way (spoiler: it did, but it probably shouldn’t have), and our closer did something truly awful that I’ve decided not to make a joke about. Somehow we also made the playoffs? If we can make it that far through all that I guarantee* we can win the World Series if we follow these 9 easy steps.
*note: guarantee is not valid in lower 48 states, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico or anywhere except in MLB 2017: The Show
Here’s what we’ve got to start with:
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
So without any further delay, let’s take it away.
Step 1: Bring these dudes back (and hope they don’t get hurt)
Lucas Duda - $6.7m
Addison Reed - $10.6m
Matt Harvey - $5.2m
Jeurys Familia - $8.7m
Zach Wheeler - $1.0m
Travis D’Arnaud - $1.7m
Wilmer Flores - $1.9m
Jacob DeGrom $4.5m
Josh Edgin $0.8m
Non-tendering Rene Rivera may not be the most popular move, particularly with certain Norse gods, but I just can’t see myself giving him 2.2 million to be an average defensive catcher with a below average bat.
Step 2: Housekeeping
I’m going to need to cut a few guys off our 40 man roster to make the moves I want to make so I might as well do it now.
Cut Justin Ruggiano and Rafael Montero
Ruggiano was fine in the all of 8 games he played before getting hurt (have I mentioned that we had some injuries last year?), but the guy was on the scrap heap when we got him, and he’ll probably still be there if we need him again. Montero is a more somber cut, I once had some high hopes for him, but ever since he stepped into that strange contraption DeGrom created labeled "talent absorber" he’s been awful. Maybe you can resign him to a minor league deal, but I’m not heartbroken if he goes elsewhere.
Step 3: He’s got the power, you know the name.
Sign Yoenis Cespedes - 5 years/$125m; $25m/year(To keep myself honest, I took values for players I wanted to sign off MLB trade rumors projections where possible and decided not to backload at all.)
Yoenis Cespedes has to come back. He has been the secret sauce the last two years that has almost single handedly brought us to the playoffs. I shudder to think how this offense would look without him and hope I don’t need to in 2017.
Step 4: You can’t spell "bullpenvis" with out Blevins
Sign Jerry Blevins – 2 years / $8m; 4m/year
Mets could use a lefty reliever who can get out lefties. Jerry Blevins is a lefty reliever who gets out lefties. He’s done it for us for a while now, and I’d like to see him do it a while longer
Step 5: Lets fix a crowded outfield the only way we know how…Add more outfielders!
Sign Ian Desmond – 4 years / $60m; $15m/year
In 2015 I was terrified the Mets were going to waste money on making an offer to this guy, going into this year I was laughing about how awful he was and telling everyone how smart I am for not wanting him. Now I’d like him to shut up, take my money, and play center field for the mets in 2016. I had decided this would be my big move even before I saw how reasonable the anticipated deal for him was on MLB trade rumors.
Step 6: Send Granderson home
Trade Granderson to White Sox for RHP Zach Putnam and LHP Brian Clark
Granderson has been a pleasant surprise to me throughout his time as a Met. I didn’t want him in the first place, I thought his power was a mirage of Yankee Stadium, I thought he was going to decline quickly, and I thought there would be no way to wipe the stink of pinstripes off of him. Even though he has surpassed my expectations, I have wanted to deal him every year, and I think this time it should definitely happen. I think considering the fact he only has 1 year left on his deal, he’d be valuable to a team like the white sox, who may want to take one last whack at it and could use a corner outfielder with power. It also gives a great guy a chance to play for his home team. In return we get a solid righty reliever coming off an elbow surgery, but no ligament damage, with a few years of control left, and a lefty reliever prospect who is close to ready but nothing to write home about.
Step 7: Obligatory Jay Bruce trade goes here
Trade Jay Bruce to the Mariners for 3B Joe Rizzo and C Steven Baron
Maybe I’m the lunatic here, but I feel like a lot of people are underrating Jay Bruce’s trade value a bit. We’re talking about a 30 year old with proven ability to hit 30+ HRs and knock in around 100 RBIs pretty consistently who isn’t being paid that much and doesn’t have a long term contract to worry about. I think a team who thinks they might be able to compete this year but doesn’t want to or have the means to spend big for power will be a great fit, and I think we can get a reasonable high upside return if we’re willing to go for a guy in the lower minors. That’s just the type of trade I made here. Though I could see similar deals possible with the Blue Jays or the Orioles, I think the take here makes good sense. Mets could use a third base prospect with upside and a defensive minded backup catcher since I cut Rivera, and this hits the mark on both.
Step 8: Welcome to the Dark Webb
Draft Tyler Webb in the rule 5 draft
Sure, the Mets already have some lot of options to fill the role of a second/third lefty out of the pen, but if the Yankees are just going to leave this guy out there I’m going to take him and see what I have. Worst comes to worst we end up just giving him back or trading him elsewhere, but he’s got a reputation of having very good control and has been pretty successful in the upper minors the last few seasons. Plus did I mention we’re sniping off the Yankees?
Step 9: Reyday!
Fire Ray Ramirez
Ray Ramirez has been the Mets head trainer since 2004 and has a history is misdiagnosing and downplaying injuries ever since. I don’t mean to blame him directly for the injuries, of course injuries happen in sports, but it really has become a morbid for myself and many of us that every time the Mets list someone as "day to day" we won’t see them for a month, and more often than not we turn out to be right. Going into the 2015 opening day the man was booed on the field. Who has ever heard of a trainer getting booed? Luckily I have the perfect replacement.
I hear he has magic fingers…
So after all that maneuvering here is where we end up:
Add all that together plus Jon Niese’s buyout and you’re sitting at $139.8M, which I think means that I get a $200,000 bonus check. I’ll take it. You also have plenty of depth at most positions, with Gsellman, Lugo, Gilmartin and Ynoa ready to start if the injury bug bites again, Verrett, Goeddel, Smoker and Clark for bullpen options, Baron if a catcher bites it, Rivera, Reynolds, Cecchini in case of infield woes. Also there are outfielders maybe. Ty Kelly still exists, so that’s something. Either way, don't worry about it, the good Doctor’s got us covered.