AAOP: Magic Kingdom

Come with me, friends. Let us embark on a magical journey.



Specifically, we're going to Magic Kingdom!


Now if you have ever been to (or your kids have ever dragged you unwillingly to) Magic Kingdom, you know that the Magic Kingdom theme park has six sections: Main St. USA, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Adventureland, Liberty Square, and Frontierland.

Lucky for us, the entire 2018 New York Mets roster has also decided to go to Magic Kingdom today. Let's go say hi, shall we?

Stuck outside the entrance

AJ Ramos, Hansel Robles, and Rafael Montero


Oh no. Looks like these guys forgot to buy tickets to get into the park! Sorry guys, no tickets, no admittance.

Non-tender: AJ Ramos and Hansel Robles

The AJ Ramos trade was silly and should have never happened. There are many RH relievers on the market that we can get for cheaper than Ramos' $9.2M in arbitration.

"But Hansel Robles is cheap and he used to be good!" I know. I'll be honest. I'm just sick to death of watching him pitch and I can't do it anymore. I have faith that the guys we acquired in the deadline deals plus the pieces we already have in-house will make up for his absence.

Trade Rafael Montero to the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations.

Montero has no options left and I don't want him anywhere near the 25 man roster. So may as well get whatever you can get for him. The Orioles' pitching depth is a mess and if they took Ynoa for cash, I'm sure they'd be willing to take Montero too. And I'm also sure that the Wilpons will be more than happy to take a roll of 100 quarters wherever they can get it. Plus maybe this Considerations, Cash guy can pitch.

Alright enough of that. Let's go ride some rides!

Main Street, USA

Yoenis Cespedes, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Jerry Blevins, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores


As we walk into the park, we are immediately greeted by some familiar faces. These are the mainstays. These are the guys that we know reasonably well what we can expect from them and what their roles are on the team. They're just hanging out shopping for souvenirs. We'll leave them to it.

As we head closer to the castle and start to talk about what rides we want to go on first, we see another familiar face in the distance...


David Wright, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler

It's David Wright! He's up in the tallest room in the tallest tower of Cinderella's Castle!


"Sandy told me I can't come out until my back is better."

We wave from below and tell him how much we miss him as we enter the rest of Fantasyland.


Hey look! There's Steven Matz on the Dumbo ride. I guess they just put him on the kiddie ride hoping he wouldn't get hurt. FOR THE LOVE OF DICKEY, STEVEN KEEP YOUR ARMS INSIDE THE CAR AT ALL TIMES. ESPECIALLY THE LEFT ONE. Sheesh.

Next we decide to ride It's A Small World.


Now, It's A Small World is a polarizing ride. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people say it's a little past its prime. So, while we're arguing about whether it's worth the wait, it's no surprise that we find Matt Harvey waiting in line.


Love it or hate it, Magic Kingdom wouldn't be Magic Kingdom without It's A Small World. And the Mets wouldn't be the Mets without Matt Harvey. I believe in Matt and I think he deserves a chance to try to come back. Call me crazy, but that's why we're in Fantasyland.

To finish up our stay in Fantasyland, we head over to the newest ride there - and some would argue the most overhyped ride: The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.


Hey look, there's Zack Wheeler right in front! This coaster is fun and it is fast, but the line is long and you sometimes wonder if it is worth the wait. Here's hoping Zack Wheeler's stuff is worth the wait too. I think of all of our young starters, he is perhaps the one best suited to a bullpen role to start the year.

Alright. Now that we're done dreaming of what a healthy David Wright and pitching staff could be, let's leave Fantasyland and enter the future...


Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, Brandon Nimmo, Kevin Plawecki, Chasen Bradford, Phillip Evans

In Tomorrowland, we find all of the rookies - hoping to either earn their spot or earn more playing time next year.

We decide that we have a need for speed, so we head over to the Tomorrowland Speedway.


It looks like Amed Rosario has run out onto the track and is beating all of the race cars on foot. Neat.

Next, we get in line for one of the best rides in the whole park: Space Mountain!


Everyone loves this ride. Everyone wants to ride this ride.


Hey, how did Dominic Smith beat us here? He must have had Fast Pass. He looks a little nervous. Like he may not be quite ready for the ride yet. But I think he'll have fun. I think we'll have fun too. Everyone loves Space Mountain, even though it's a rollercoaster ride almost completely in the dark, so you may not know exactly where the path is leading, but we should be patient and enjoy the ride.

Phew. I think we need a break from intense rides. Let's head over to the Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor.


I am not at all surprised to find Brandon Nimmo here - star of the show, smiling and laughing along with everyone else. I think he deserves a shot to show that he can handle an expanded role (as part of a platoon in CF) this year.

Next we decide to enjoy Stitch's Great Escape, which is a fun little ride.


Is that...Kevin Plawecki? Well, I guess it's no surprise that he's making his own Great Escape from being cut from the roster. He has had a few chances in the big leagues and hasn't capitalized so far, but there were encouraging signs at the end of last year that his bat is starting to come around and he may yet live up to his prospect hype. Taking a look at the catching market and how many other holes we have to fill, I think that rolling into the season with the TdA/Plawecki tandem is probably the best way to go.

To round out our stay in Tomorrowland, let's head over to a Disney classic: The Carousel of Progress. The Carousel of Progress is not an exciting ride, but it's an important one. It teaches us about the ever-evolving technology that has passed through our lives and allowed society to get to where it is today. Similarly, the Mets have an ever-evolving series of 25th and 26th men on the roster that play their roles on the team.


This year, those players are Phillip Evans and Chasen Bradford. In the likely event that David Wright is not healthy heading into the year, of all the young guys we have, I think Phillip Evans has the best chance of making the roster as a backup IF. He's this year's Eric Campbell. I think Chasen Bradford showed us enough last year that he will beat out Paul Sewald, Jacob Rhame, Jamie Callahan, and others for that last bullpen spot.

So. Are you guys ready for a little adventure?


Asdrubal Cabrera, Juan Lagares, Jeruys Familia, Michael Conforto, Seth Lugo

These are guys that are on the team, but there is some level of uncertainty if they will stay healthy or live up to their past performance, so they're going on the adventure with us.

A pirate's life is a life for me!


Over at Pirates of the Caribbean, we find Asdrubal Cabrera, Juan Lagares, and Jeruys Familia - all dressed the part. These three men are hoping to bounce back and earn the treasure they are making. I believe Juan can provide value to this team as a platoon partner with Brandon Nimmo in CF. I also think that Asdrubal Cabrera provides value being able to play both 2B and 3B (and SS in a pinch) and can share that role with Wilmer Flores, who also provides backup for Dom Smith at 1B. I think Familia showed at the end of last season that he's healthy and ready to go. Let's hope it stays that way because we desperately need it to be successful.


Meanwhile, over at the Jungle Cruise, Michael Conforto and Seth Lugo are trying to avoid the jaws of the hippos. We all know what Conforto can do once he is back. It's just a question of rehabbing that shoulder and making it strong again. I hope it has no lingering effects on his swing/bat speed. I also think Seth Lugo can be a solid contributor as a long man/swing man out of the pen next year if his UCL can stay as flexy as that hippo's jaw without breaking.

Before we get to the really fun part (the new acquisitions hanging out over in Frontierland), let's see what Sandy and Mickey (Callaway, not Mouse) are up to over in Liberty Square...

Liberty Square

The FO and coaching staff


We find them getting some inspiration over at the Hall of Presidents - trying to figure out exactly what their leadership style should be.

"Hey Sandy, let's go ride the Haunted Mansion. It's the only real ride in this section of the park anyway."

"Good idea."

Cool. We'll follow along with them.

Wait a minute...



Well shit, that was a scary ride.

Anyway, after our heart rates get back to normal, let's see what the brand new New York Mets are up to in Frontierland.


Todd Frazier, Howie Kendrick, Mike Minor, Bryan Shaw, Jhoulys Chacin

Ah, the new frontier. These are the free agent signings I think can help the Mets be competitive in 2018.

I think some of them are hanging out at one of the best rides in the park.


Aw yeah. Splash Mountain. They're here because these are the moves the Mets need to make to make a splash this offseason. (I understand if you decide not to rec this just for that.)

Sign Todd Frazier to a 3 year/$33M contract ($10M, $11M, $12M).

Now, if we were still in Fantasyland, I'd be putting a one year filler at 3B to go after Machado next year. But, the more I thought about the idea of Todd Frazier, the more I warmed to it. He can provide some much needed Veteran Presents. And I think his greatest value to the Mets is his ability to play 1B in addition to 3B. This provides insurance in case Dominic Smith is not the player we hope he will be. Todd Frazier is a decent bat and plays good defense at 3B and I think he would be a solid signing for us.

Sign Howie Kendrick to a 2 year/$12M contract ($6M, $6M).

The thing I like most about Howie Kendrick is his positional flexibility. He has logged a lot of innings in his career both at 2B and in the outfield. So not only can he fill our 5th OF spot and play there while Conforto is out to start the season, he can also share time in the infield with Asdrubal Cabrera and Wilmer Flores. He put up nice numbers last year and I think he would be a good choice for us.

Sign Jhoulys Chacin to a 2 year/$15M contract ($6M, $8M).

I like Lance Lynn, but I think he is out of our price range if we want to address all of our other holes. What are we really looking for? An innings eater. Aside from Lynn, I think Chacin is the one that actually best fits that description. He logged 180 innings last year and that's exactly what we need in our rotation. His numbers aren't quite as good as some of the more expensive SPs on the market, but they are still solid and he managed to win 13 games on a bad team last season. It's the Bartolo Colon model. For the price, I think it's great value.

Now, to finish things off, let's add some thunder to that bullpen.


Thunder Mountain: fast and explosive. Hopefully just like these guys will be in the 2018 Mets bullpen.

Sign Mike Minor to a 3 year/$21M contract ($7M, $7M, $7M).

Mike Minor is coming off an excellent season and our bullpen needs another lefty to compliment Jerry Blevins. I also like his ability to potentially pitch more than one inning in the later innings in a close game. Think of it as someone pitching with Hansel Robles' role, but way better than Hansel Robles. I also like that he could potentially be stretched out to start if we absolutely needed it. We already have Wheeler and Lugo in the pen to start the year and Gsellman waiting in the wings in the minors, but if 2017 taught us anything, it's that the worst case scenario may very well happen, so having this option in an emergency could prove useful. But if the worst case scenario does not come to pass, he would be treated as a back-end of the bullpen guy and not a swing man.

Sign Bryan Shaw to a 3 year/$21M contract ($7M, $7M, $7M).

This is the guy to replace Ramos with better numbers than Ramos and a cheaper AAV than Ramos. His numbers aren't quite as sparkly as a few other right-handed relievers on the market, but he has been consistently good for many years now and avoided injury. That's the type of thing we need on the Mets. I worry about some of the other relievers on the market who profile like Shaw, but are suddenly having career years. A lot of them would also be seeking multi-year deals, but I feel more confident in giving that type of deal to someone who has the track record Shaw has. (And based on the articles that have come out very recently, it seems the Mets agree. I don't know whether that gives my plan more credibility or less credibility, lol. But I promise I was thinking about this before those articles surfaced!)

Well, there you have it. Magic Kingdom. Your 2018 New York Mets. Here's the breakdown.

Position Players




Total 2018 Payroll = $145.1M

Notable (if you want to call it that) depth: Paul Sewald, Jacob Rhame, Jamie Callahan, Drew Smith, Robert Gsellman, Chris Flexen, Gavin Cecchini, Matt Reynolds

I hope you enjoyed your day at Magic Kingdom. I think this was a fitting theme because no matter how you slice it - given the holes that this team has and the limited budget we have to fill them - it's going to take just a little imagination and belief in magic for the Mets to contend next year.

But you know. Ya Gotta Believe and all that jazz. Now let's have the fireworks send us out.


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