With the offseason underway and the Mets in the very early stages of the Brodie Van Wagenen era, we’re ready to begin this year’s edition of the Amazin’ Avenue Offseason Plan contest—best know as the AAOP. If you’re not familiar, the basic concept is that you pretend to be the general manager of the Mets and craft a plan for the offseason in a FanPost on this site. We’ll read through the entries, choose finalists, and present them to the community, which will vote on the winners.
Here’s how it works: All entries must be submitted via FanPost. We will select the five best of the bunch for the aforementioned vote. For the purposes of this year’s AAOP, we’re setting the maximum Opening Day payroll for 2019 at $160 million. You are to count 25 percent of David Wright’s salary for 2019—$3.75 million—against the team’s payroll. Yoenis Cespedes’s full salary counts against our cap.
Please note that if you haven’t signed up for a username on the site, you’ll need to do so more than 24 hours before the contest ends, as there is a 24-hour waiting period before a new user can post on the site.
As for the rules and guidelines, they are as follows.
- The title of your FanPost must begin with “AAOP:” (no quotes). You can follow that with whatever title you want, but it must begin with “AAOP:” so we can easily distinguish it from non-contest FanPosts. If you do not follow this rule your entry will be excluded from consideration. It’s a very simple rule so try not to screw it up.
- The deadline for FanPost submission is 5:00 PM EST on Friday, November 16. No exceptions.
- There is no mandatory length, but you’ll want to be as verbose as is necessary to elucidate the genius of your plan.
- Total 2019 payroll can’t exceed $160 million, give or take a few bucks. Same goes for 2020 and beyond, so don’t try to backload your deals to skirt the 2019 payroll restriction.
- Use these contract values for any arbitration-eligible players you wish to re-sign for 2018.
- Use spell-check and proofread for grammar, punctuation, and usage errors. If you can’t be bothered with making your entry readable then we can’t be bothered with actually reading it.
- Try to make it look good. Add some images and some tables. MS Paint something. Strong writing, cogency, creativity, and thoughtfulness are of paramount importance, but aesthetics still count. We’re not saying that a straight essay can’t win, but we are encouraging you to spice it up a bit.
- Feasibility of plan execution is important. Don’t propose a trade of Jay Bruce for Mike Trout. It’s not going to happen.
- Whether the Mets might realistically execute your plan doesn’t matter as long as the plan itself can be considered realistic given the current free agent and trade markets.
- Free agent salaries should also be realistic. We’re not going to quibble over a million dollars here or there—who would?—so if you want to sign Wilson Ramos to a contract and set his average annual salary at $12 million or $14 million, it doesn’t much matter for the purpose of this exercise. If a free agent is on this list at FanGraphs, use it as a guideline for making things realistic contract-wise.
- For 2018-19 free agents, use this list from MLB Trade Rumors. For future payroll obligations, use this spreadsheet from Cot’s Contracts.
And now, the prizes:
First place: Shea Stadium 18” x 24” blueprint (unframed)
Second place: Bartolo Colon’s first home run 18” x 24” print
Third place: Noah Syndergaard Funko
All entries are subject to the official rules, found here.