I am not talking today about a plan for peace in the Middle East, or missile shields in Eurasia, or a way to fix the trade deficit.
No, the plan I will be revealing over the next few days is much more expansive…much more improbable…but just as important!
The plan I propose today is a roadmap for victory in the MLB. Today I take up the cause of my recently hapless New York Mets…the Amazin’s have stumbled through a rough year…and I as their not so bearded Moses, plan to lead them out. I just need Omar Minaya and the Wilpon family to read my blog.
The Mets plan in the upcoming year to have a payroll of roughly $140 million dollars. That will actually be about $10 million less than this past year, but should be more than enough to make a National League team competitive.
First, let’s take a look at some of the players that will probably be missing from next years Metsy’s!
Carlos Delgado – the Mets powerful 1st baseman missed most of the 2009 campaign with a hip injury. He is a free agent now and could re-sign with the Mets. I don’t know if Minaya thinks Delgado is worth the risk. – Minus $12 million
Brian Schneider – the Mets brought Schneider in the hopes they would be getting a premier defensive backstop. Instead they got an oft-injured, light hitting, just average defensive catcher. I can guarantee that the Mets will not miss his game. It wasn’t all a loss though because the trade that brought Schneider to town, eventually brought Jeff Francouer as well. – Minus $5 million
Tim Redding – the hope was that Redding would make a serviceable 5th man in the rotation. That hope…did not pan out. While Redding was the Mets BEST pitcher over the last 3-4 weeks of the season, he was horrendous over the first 5 months and I don’t think his work at the end of the season salvaged his chances with the Mets (Though he may have pitched himself into a contract with another team). – Minus $2 million
Billy Wagner – Billy was traded just before the end of the season but none the less the money owed our favorite volatile lefty comes off the books. Personally, I would love to see Billy come back and sign on to be K-Rod’s new set up man. – Minus $10.5 million
Alex Cora – Brought on to be the Mets club house chemistry guy, Alex was asked to do much more once the season got underway. Injuries thrust Alex into an everyday role… and it was not good. Cora excels as a part time player and club house chemistry guy… the Mets may bring him back in the hopes he can settle into that role this year. However at around $2 million a year, the price may be prohibitive. Personally, I would just proceed with Anderson Hernandez who is much cheaper and offers a similar skill set, minus the clubhouse stuff. – Minus $2 million
Gary Sheffield – Sheff was supposed to be a super-sub, but like Cora he ended up having to play a lot more than we originally thought. That’s not necessarily a problem, as Sheff played really well when he could… the problem was that Sheff is 40+ years old… and his body couldn’t handle the wear and tear. He won’t be back. – Minus $400 grand.
The Mets also owe arbitration raises to Angel Pagan, Jeff Francoeur, Cory Sullivan, Jeremy Reed, John Maine, Pedro Feliciano, and Sean Green. Along with that Redding, Maine, and Nelson Figueroa could all be non-tendered (which we have already done for Redding).
I expect the Mets to come to terms with each of these guys for at least the next year. I think Francoeur will likely see a three year deal, and Feliciano will likely be signed for another two years. Maine was hurt most of 2009 but showed he was back at the end of the season and the Mets will likely bring him back for at least a 2010 test run. Sean Green may end up being non-tendered (and released) but I think that would be a mistake. Green had some trouble early on in the season but the stuff was there, and he has been a dominant reliever in the past. I think the Mets should bring Green back on a 1-2 year deal for about $500-600 grand a season. Lastly, the three OF, Pagan, Reed, and Sullivan. The Mets go into the off season with a gap in LF, meaning they will be looking to sign another LF, I think that means that one of these three guys will be non-tendered. Again, I think it’s a mistake. As the 2009 season proved you cannot rely on complete health through a full season and all three OF proved they were valuable in 2009. At the least I would resign all three and try and move one of them in a trade between now and the start of the 2010 season. If one must be non-tendered, I would say goodbye to Jeremy Reed. He is a solid defensive OF but I think that in 2009 Pagan and Sullivan both proved to be as good defensively and better offensively. I would bring back Sullivan for a year at $600-700 grand, and I would try and sign Pagan to a deal through his arbitration years to backup our starters in the OF. I would also re-sign Figueroa.
Francoeur – 3 years $12 million
Feliciano – 2 years $4 million
Maine – 1 year $3 million
Green – 2 years $1.2 million
Pagan – 3 years $2.5 million
Sullivan – 1 year $650K
Reed – non-tendered
Figueroa – 1 year $500K
And lastly on the list of guys for next year is JJ Putz. The Mets have an option Putz for 2010 that would cost them $8 Million, but conventional wisdom says the Mets won’t pay that for a just back from injury set-up man. There is a scenario where the Mets do pick up the option and then trade Putz to a team needing a closer, but Putz recent injury history puts that in question. More likely the Mets exercise their $1 Million buyout, and Mr. Putz becomes a free agent.
So the team looks kind of like this…
Let’s look at who will probably be around next year first.
C – ?
1st – ?
2nd – Luis Castillo
SS – Jose Reyes
3rd – David Wright
LF - ?
CF – Carlos Beltran
RF – Jeff Francoeur
C – Omir Santos
OF – Angel Pagan
OF – Cory Sullivan?
IF – Anderson Hernandez?
IF – Daniel Murphy?
SP – Johan Santana
SP – Oliver Perez
SP – John Maine
SP – ?
This Rotation order may be quite different in 2010, but this was the order going into 2009.
CL – Francisco Rodriguez (aka K-Rod)
RP – Pedro Feliciano
RP – ?
RP – Brian Stokes
RP – Bobby Parnell
RP – Sean Green
LRP – Nelson Figueroa
So we have holes to fill at Catcher, 1st base, Left Field, and in the starting rotation and bullpen.
So now we know what we will and won’t have… tomorrow we will discuss options for filling those holes and money!