he first year of the Cohen regime didn’t go as planned, or certainly hoped. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day. In real life, transactions can’t be planned out like this since other teams and players are making their own decisions separately. One mark of a quality FO is the ability to adapt as the market shifts. Also, we can do the best we can to acquire depth, but the most consistent organizations build depth from within. This goes well beyond the scope of this exercise though it’s something the Mets must get better at. So, let’s have some fun along with some truly terrible mspaintz:
*That won’t be a typo. Given the "Wait ‘till next year" history of the Mets I could have gone further.
Wow. Well, it’s really a great honor and I’ve prepared a nice plan to please Cohen and the fans. I’ll focus on a few key areas the team needs to improve in:
- Fielding and defensive flexibility
- Overall depth
- - - Top line pitching for both the rotation and bullpen.
To start, we’ll clear the way for moves to come and do some general groundwork.
The Mets offer qualifying offers to OF Michael Conforto and SP Noah Syndergaard. Conforto declines but Thor bets on himself to build value for a bigger deal, accepting the offer for $18.4 million. No other offers are made.
Now, the Mets clear space by releasing Brandon Drury, Jose Peraza, Robert Gsellman, Jose Martinez, Robert Stock, and Corey Oswalt.
Now, TEH MOVES:
Lets start with... a starter. The starting rotation is on shaky ground and losing Stroman as a free agent opens a hole. Thusly, the Mets sign Kevin Gausman for $117.5 million over five years.
There are a number of good options here, from the likes of Scherzer on down. That tier is priced too high to fit into the budget cap, and it's not a bad thing to look for guys a bit younger for whom a longer term deal is reasonable. Of the next tier, our own departing Stroman is a fine option though the starter with the highest upside is Gausman. I'm comfortable with his career arc which demonstrates better underlying rates to back up the improving results. Though the team will end up with a better fielding squad than it enters the winter with, Gausman isn't as dependent on fielding and has a moderately better projection than anyone else in this group.
Speaking of fielding, there are few better at third than Matt Chapman of the
Oalkand A's New York Mets. He can hit too! Though he may strike out a bit much the power is real and combined with elite fielding, relative youth and two years of control remaining, it's an enticing package. In exchange for the good Chap and Tony Kemp the Mets send Ronny Mauricio. Yeah, the price hurts but there's no trading among smart peers without matching value. In Tony Kemp the Mets add a versatile, 2+ WAR OF to plug the remaining corner OF spot.
One wonders how he hits with a vacuum arm but it will help him clear the way for the newest Met, Starling Marte, who agrees to ply his trade here for 3 years at $48 million total. He also beings a glove to match the bat, becoming the first proper CF to patrol the Citi OF for the home team in many moons.
To round things out, we turn back to the trading block and rid Minnesota of Taylor Rogers, Mitch Garver and Gilberto Celestino in exchange for Mark Vientos, Tomas Nido, Miguel Castro and Shervyen Newton. I really agonized over trading Vientos. In the end the package acquired was persuasive enough, given the dead weight on the payroll and the youth and control gained over free agents. Rogers is a young stud reliever from the left side who immediately becomes the primary set up guy with the ability to close out games. Garver offers a significant upgrade over Nido offensively and as a total package, reducing the risk should McCann have another crappy season and has filled in at first base and even left field in the past. Celestino is young (23!), and a capable utility infielder at multiple positions with enough ability to fill in as a starter and hold his own.
More bullpen reinforcement comes in the form of ex-Cardinal Giovanny Gallegos, for the cost of J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith. Gallegos isn't terribly young at 30 but has two years of team control remaining in which he should be a dependable arm. St Looie disappointed a bit on the back of a weak offense, so they would see Davis as a solid bat to deepen the lineup and would be willing to bet on the upside of a Smith rebound. Both were good soldiers in their time here but no longer have a place on the more rounded roster.
Further rounding out the 'pen is veteran Joe Kelly, signed for two years at $9 million. The newly minted ex-Dodger has a history of solid relief work and plentiful playoff experience courtesy of his old team. Though entering his age 34 year, he still throws bullets.
Finally, the Mets feel good enough about Aaron Loup and Jonathan Villar to invite him back to the party for the next two years and will even give Loup $7 million and Villar $8 million back for their respective troubles! Loup won't repeat his 2021 or come close to it but reliable lefty arms don't grow on trees. Villar meanwhile rounds out a solid bench and adds veteran experience in the locker room.
MEET THE METS:
A stiff toll was paid by losing Mauricio and Vientos, but the 26 man roster above is deeper, better fielding and more versatile than the current roster. Filling the rotation as so leaves Megill, Peterson, Yamamoto, et al in AAA.
*I have an actual video of the opening crawl I couldn't get to post as a playable embedded file. It can be viewed here: