AAOP: Rama-lama-ding-dong 9.0 (low rent version)

This year my computer decided to poop the bed right at AAOP time so I’m writing this on my phone meaning it will be brief and sans Paintz. Not expecting to win, but still welcome the discourse on potential offseason moves.

The Mets have a lot of free agents, and a lot of money already tied up in some big AAV contracts, but they still have a pretty solid hitting core and Max Scherzer who is still very good. The farm is still a few years away from being a true asset, but two stud prospects (Alvarez and Baty) are ready to contribute. The goal is still to win now, but with shorter term additions that will transition the team back to below the CBT threshold by 2025.

Qualifying Offers: Jacob deGrom, Brandon Nimmo, Chris Bassit; all rejected. If money is no object I’m bringing Jake and Nimmo back, unfortunately for this exercise Jake takes the highest offer from another team. I had versions where I fit him in, but I wasn’t happy with the overall team quality. I don’t much care for C-Bass and think he’s going to be unwatchable with the new pitch clock rule. Also a bit highly priced for a #3 innings eater.

Non-tenders: Dom Smith

Declined options: Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker, Mychal Givens

Option picked up: Carlos Carrasco $14M, Daniel Vogelbach $1.5M

Extensions: Pete Alonso $160M/8 years, Jeff McNeil $60M/4 years plus club option. Gotta lock up core players long term. These guys with Lindor and Nimmo should all put up between 3-6 WAR regularly over the next few years.

Arbitration: Tomas Nido $1.6M, Luis Guillorme $1.5M, Drew Smith $1.2M, Joey Lucchesi $1.1M

Free Agent signings:

Brandon Nimmo $110/ 5 years - Nimmo just fills so many roles on this team, I think he learned how to stay healthy this year. He’ll continue to be a decent CF for a couple more years at least while I don’t see his brand of offense declining any time soon.

Edwin Diaz $102M/ 5 years - Easy enough, the Mets already signed this deal and I would too. He’s the best closer in baseball and young enough to keep it up for a few years.

Taijuan Walker $39M/ 3 years - Same as Tyler Anderson deal, good pitcher for the Mets, provides a decent amount of innings, and he’s a fun player to root for and good part of the clubhouse.

Jameson Taillon $39M/ 3 years - Another solid mid rotation arm to pair with Walker. Plus going back since they were prospects I always confused these two names. Now we can have two Tai’s on the team, fun!

Andrew Chafin $17M/ 2 years - Buck needs a good lefty in the pen.

Adam Ottavino $12M/ 2 years - He was really good last year, and can probably be convinced to take a little bit of a hometown discount.


Mets trade Carlos Carrasco, Mark Vientos, and Calvin Ziegler to Rockies for German Marquez, Randall Grichuk, and $6M

So German Marquez had a rough 5.00 ERA in 2022, but away from Coors Field it was a very good 3.43. He also is a near lock to pitch around 180 innings each year and is only 28, so he essentially replaces Bassitt’s production from 2022. He’s got a year $15.3M plus an option $16M on his backloaded extension, so the Rockies may be reluctant to trade him, but they were horrible with him last year and should be in rebuilding mode. If we take a portion of Grichuk’s salary ($10.3M - $6M from Colorado) as well they might be more open. In return they get a short term similarly priced replacement in Carrasco who they could potentially flip later on, and two top ten-ish prospects who are not of immediate use to the Mets. Vientos probably needs a little work to be productive in the majors, but he could be a monster in Colorado if they figure him out. Grichuk is not very good, but can be a short side platoon option who can cover CF if needed. Trade simulator has this as a moderate overpay for the Mets.

Mets trade Tomas Nido to Cardinals for Zack Thompson

The Cardinals have a promising Catching prospect in Ivan Herrera, but he lacks experience and their other option Andrew Knizner is not very good. Nido should help stabilize their catching situation with his Gold Glove caliber defense for next to nothing salary. Thompson was in the Cardinals bullpen as a rookie in 2022, but started in the minors. The lefty had a shiny 2.08 ERA in the majors, but way over performed his peripherals. I see him as somewhat similar to David Peterson. The Mets need young pitching depth. You might be asking why trade Nido and keep McCann? Well nobody is going to want McCann so to trade him you’d have to eat pretty much the whole contract anyway. I think he got pretty unlucky in 2022 so even a small rebound makes him a similar player to Nido. I say let McCann try to bounce back this year and then maybe try to trade him next year with only one year left on the contract. If I’m trading a catcher I want to get something of value back.

Mets trade David Peterson, Eduardo Escobar, and Ronny Mauricio to Red Sox for Rafael Devers, Chris Sale, and $12M

Devers is the legit power bat this team was lacking last year. I still want Baty on the opening day roster, but he’s going to have to play a decent amount of left field. Sale is a wild card, but helps offset the prospect capital to get Devers. It sounds like most of his injuries last year were flukey, and the two games he did pitch in his stuff still missed bats. Best case scenario would be that he replicates some semblance of deGrom’s 2022 where he builds up slowly over the year and is healthy enough to start some postseason games.

The Red Sox can’t seem to work out an extension with Devers, and some other team might sign Bogaerts away this offseason, after finishing last in 2022 it looks like they might need to just rebuild. Peterson still has 4 years of control, and Mauricio still has ridiculous tools, just maybe needs a change of scenery at this point to unlock his potential. Escobar is a good role player on a favorable contract, who they could also trade later on.

I think my plan takes a few risks, but also rebuilds the necessary depth this team needs to keep the playoff window open. I targeted shorter term acquisitions so in a few years Cohen has the option of resetting the CBT which has benefits for drafting and international signings. I traded away some prospects, but didn’t completely blow up the farm. I also tried not to deal too much from the minor league pitching depth because that is an area the Mets really need to start producing from again.

My 2023 Mets:

C - McCann $12.15M

1B - Alonso $20M

2B - McNeil $15M

3B - Devers $16.5M

SS - Lindor $34.1M

LF - Baty $.65M

CF - Nimmo $21M

RF - Marte $20.75M

DH - Alvarez $.65M


Vogelbach $1.5M

Guillorme $1.5M

Canha $10M

Grichuk $4.3M


Scherzer $43.3M

Sale $16.2M

Marquez $15.5

Walker $13M

Taillon $13M


Diaz $20.4M

Chafin $8.5M

Ottavino $6M

May $3M

Smith $1.2M

Lucchesi $1.15M

Curtis $.77M

Megill $.65M

Total $324.5M

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