It’s that time of year again! The offseason is upon us, and as is tradition here at Amazin’ Avenue, we turn to our community to do something that’s always a lot of fun: the Amazin’ Avenue Offseason Plan Contest—commonly referred to as the AAOP. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s our finalist post from last season’s contest, just so you can familiarize yourself with the format and how things work.
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.
Rules and Guidelines
- Submit your entry as a FanPost. The title must begin with “AAOP:” (no quotes) so that the judges can easily find your entry.
- The deadline for submission is Sunday, November 19 at 5:00 PM EST. No exceptions.
- There are no specific formatting requirements. Entries will be evaluated on readability, creativity, and realism by a panel of Amazin’ Avenue staff writers.
- For this year’s contest, 2024 payroll cannot exceed $350 million. Critically, this MUST INCLUDE the carried salaries of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, and James McCann. The $350M payroll threshold applies to all future years as well as 2024 (so you cannot grotesquely backload a bunch of contracts). Without getting into arguments about what the Mets should or will spend, this will allow participants enough flexibility to do some interesting things with their AAOPs.
- You have the power to make qualifying offers to any eligible player.
- Use this link for arbitration salaries (from MLBTR’s estimates). For current and future payroll obligations, contract details, and option status, see this spreadsheet. Alternatively, Spotrac and Roster Resource have more detailed information on all players.
- League minimum salary for the 2024 season is $740,000. The value of the qualifying offer this offseason is $20.325M.
- For a list of available free agents, use MLBTR. To get a rough idea of what contracts players are expected to receive, see FanGraphs.
- Make sure your roster is legal. That means 26 players, at least 13 of whom must be position players.
- Your AAOP begins at the start of the Mets’ offseason, so you are free to ignore any decisions the Mets have already made since the season ended.
- Make your submission as readable as possible. Use spell-check, proofread your post, and try to make it sound good. If we have to slog through reading your plan, we probably won’t like it too much.
- Same goes for making your post look good. Sprinkle in some images, tables, and of course some Paintz (MS Paint for the uninitiated). Fun aesthetics are a great way to make your plan stand out and keep the judges interested while reading it.
- Make your plan as realistic as possible. Whether the Mets might realistically execute your plan isn’t important, but the moves do need to be at least somewhat justifiable.
New this Year
Before anything else, note that the details below are ENTIRELY OPTIONAL. If you want to do an AAOP without deeper levels of detail, that’s totally valid and your submission will not be penalized in any way. The below is meant to purely be a fun add-on for those of us who are way, way to into this (like myself).
If you’re still interested, we prepared this spreadsheet (the same linked shared previously with salary obligations) that consolidates all player information on contracts, option status, and luxury tax numbers (2024 Player List tab) and provides a roster template for you to use if you choose (2024 Roster Template tab). An example roster - one with basically no additions or subtractions - is provided in the 2024 Roster (Example) tab. This will hopefully provide a starting point to get into some of the more detailed elements of roster construction, such as:
- What will the luxury tax number for the Mets be? Recall that the luxury tax for each player is not based on their 2024 salary but instead on the average annual value of the contract.
- Who can actually be optioned down for depth on the 40-man roster? The Mets have a number of players who are out of options, meaning you might have to make some tough calls on who is included on the back of your roster or passed through waivers.
- Are there any prospects you want to protect from the Rule 5 draft? A number of players in the Mets’ minor league system will be Rule 5 eligible this offseason and must be added to the 40-man roster to avoid another team potentially selecting them. Finding the roster spots to protect the players you deem most valuable - or those you deem most likely to be taken by another org - can put a further squeeze on your roster construction decisions.
All of this can get complicated, and again is ENTIRELY OPTIONAL. But, if you want to take a stab at the deeper elements of roster construction, this will hopefully provide an avenue to step in in a more guided way. Feel free to leave questions in the comments as well, which we’ll try our best to address as we’re able.
- First place: choice of one Mets-related t-shirt from BreakingT
- Second place: signed copy of Piazza by Greg Prince
- Third place: signed copy of Yells for Ourselves by Matthew Callan
All entries are subject to the official rules, found here.