Every year, the AAOP contest is one of the highlights of the offseason (particularly when the Mets don’t do anything fun or good). This year, a group of writers wanted to get in on the action, and put together our own AAOPs. The judgement criteria are the same - and you can read them here - and you, the readers, get to vote on which writer put together the most well executed and entertaining plan. We’ll be publishing four staff AAOPs today, and putting out a poll tomorrow morning.
Note: I know there are parts of this that are really dumb. Have fun with it.
This is Brodie Van Wagenen’s first shot at not just a Mets offseason, but an offseason period. Dude is brand new to the front office game and wants to show us that he does things differently. He’s all about deception and not going for what people expect of him. You might say he’s practically undercover.
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to 2019 Jump Street.
The goal: infiltrate the dealers (aka make trades), find the supplier (of wins).
Phase One: The Giggs
Sign Yasmani Grandal to a three year, $39 million contract (12, 13, 14)
Extend Zack Wheeler for 5 years, $70 million (10, 11, 14, 16, 19)
Trade Steven Matz to Oakland for Ryan Buchter, Skye Bolt, and Dalton Sawyer
Sign R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon to minor league deals with invites to Spring Training
This is the giggs because it is exactly what the Mets should do, and that’s hilarious. When was the last time the Mets did exactly what they should do in an off-season? Grandal is the best catcher on the market, and they need reliability behind the plate. Plus, this allows them to non-tender Travis d’Arnaud, saving $3.7 million in the process. We will use that money later.
I wish there was a budget for extending deGrom, Syndergaard, and Wheeler this off-season but, the truth of the matter is, there’s time for all of that, minus Wheeler. As the most looming free agent, as well as the most cost-effective extension, he gets done this winter. Plus, a year is enough time for folks to forget that Brodie was deGrom’s agent, and that extension looks less shady.
The A’s need rotation help. The Mets need a left-handed relief pitcher. Toss in two low top-30 prospects for the A’s with some upside, and that you’ve got a deal going, baby. Plus, the rare all-lefty (well, Bolt is a switch-hitter [with an 80 name]) trade!
The Mets could use some additional starting pitching depth, especially after just flipping Matz for a team controlled left-handed reliever. Bring back the baes and see what they can do in Spring Training. Who knows, maybe one of them takes Vargy’s job.
Phase Two: Tripping Major Ballsack
Trade Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Jay Bruce, +$5 million for Corey Kluber
Why are the Indians reportedly looking to trade Kluber? I have no idea, but they are. Let’s take advantage of that! The Mets’ most touted outfield prospect helps rebuild their lagging outfield for the future, and Dunn (theoretically) is a top 100 prospect. Plus, the Indians have no one to play right field this year. Why not send a player there who has had success, and can also DH and fill in at 1B in a pinch? The $5 sweetens the deal, as they now clear Kluber’s salary and add 6 million to their coffers.
Phase Three: Over-falsity of Confidence
No need to upgrade the outfield
Between Michael Conforto, Juan Lagares, and Brandon Nimmo, you’ve got an above average defensive outfield with pop on the corners. When/if Yoenis Cespedes returns mid-season, shift Lagares to the bench and he’s your late-game CF/starter every 4th day or so. Plus, this is the over-falsity of confidence stage - Cespedes is gonna hit like it’s the second half of 2015! BEST MID-SEASON UPGRADE AVAILABLE, FUCK YES.
Phase Four: Fuck yeah, motherfucker
Sign Adam Ottavino to a three year, $39 million deal (13, 13, 13)
Sign Jesse Chavez to a one year, $7 million deal
How sad it is that the ability to sign 2 free agent relief pitchers elicits such joy? But that’s what it has been like to be a Mets fan for the past few years. Fuck yeah, relievers!
Ottavino is one of the elite relievers available this offseason, and he’s going to cost it. It’ll likely be a bad deal by year three, but when isn’t a reliever’s third year a bust?
Chavez is a good, not great, reliever who will provide some depth to the Mets’ ailing ‘pen.
Phase Five: Asleepyness
Trade Todd Frazier + 2 mil for Adrian Sampson
This is a boring move that clears some salary, gets another ok relief pitcher, and gives the Rangers a temporary replacement for Adrian Beltre.
Brodie needs to rest after that overhaul.
While I will admit that the bench is a little suspect, the depth elsewhere is clear. The bullpen is almost entirely remade, so you can throw all the 2018 chaff at the wall in Syracuse and see if anyone emerges. Also, Corey Oswalt and Chris Flexen are now behind the Baes in the depth chart, so (hopefully) we don’t need as many spot starts from those two. The Mets recent acquisition of Jordan Patterson makes the bench a little easier to swallow, as does the lack of Dom Smith (sorry Dom, you seem like a really good dude).
The starting lineup is young and cheap, with a lot of offensive upside. Sure, if Alonso is a bust and McNeil regresses into nothing, we’re fucked, but we may be fucked regardless. At least this way we aren’t fucked with parts so expensive they’ll hamper me next offseason when I do another AAOP.
Mets Starting Lineup:
1 - Brandon Nimmo, LF - pre-arb
2 - Jeff McNeil, 2B - pre-arb
3 - Michael Conforto, RF - $4.4
4 - Peter Alonso, 1B - pre-arb
5 - Wilmer Flores, 3B - $4.7
6 - Yasmani Grandal, C - $12
7 - Amed Rosario, SS - pre-arb
8 - Juan Lagares, CF - $9
$30.1 + pre arb guys
Mets Starting Rotation:
1 - Jacob deGrom - $12.9
2 - Corey Kluber - $15.2
3 - Noah Syndergaard - $5.9
4 - Zack Wheeler - $10
5 - Jason Vargas (I’m sorry - I really am) - $8
1 - Seth Lugo - pre-arb
2 - Robert Gsellman - pre-arb
3 - Anthony Swarzak - $8.5
4 - Adam Ottavino - $13
5 - Jesse Chavez - $7
6 - Adrian Sampson - pre-arb
7 - Ryan Buchter - $1.3
8 - Daniel Zamora - pre-arb
$29.8 + pre-arb
1 - T.J. Rivera - pre-arb
2 - Kevin Plawecki - $1.3
3 - Jordan Patterson - pre-arb
4 - Luis Guillorme - pre-arb
$1.3 + pre-arb
David Wright - $3.5
Yoenis Cespedes - $29
Sent money: $7
The Baes: $1.09
Pre arb - $6.54
Total: $160, 330, 000