baseball gods productions

Thoughts about baseball, from the perspective of sports psychology and the role of sports in society. It includes team and player analysis, predictions, and what I think needs to be changed in Major League Baseball. Brought to you from the heart of baseball, Brooklyn, by baseball gods productions.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Off-Season Strategy for the Mets (Slightly Revised)

I don't know about you, but I have already given up on the possibility of the Mets making the playoffs, expanded or not, in 2012. I'm okay with this, as it should prevent Sandy Alderson from having to sign overpriced players to make it seem like they are going for it this year.

The Mets' goals this off-season seem to include:

  • Getting one or two late-inning relievers for one or two years each, and spending no more than $10 million on them in 2012. 
  • Resigning Jose Reyes if they can keep it to 5 years or fewer, and $85 million total or less.
  • Signing one or two cheap back-of-the-rotation starters for incentive-laden one year deals (see Chris Young and Chris Capuano in 2011). 
  • Holding onto most if not all of their top prospects.
I'm okay with this approach. I would like for Alderson to say the team is rebuilding, rather than talking around it the way he usually does.

Here are some of my thoughts so far:

  • If the Mets don't resign Reyes--which is very likely at this point because I think the Marlins are very serious about him--they should sign Yoenis Cespedes (and maybe Jorge Soler, too, to give Cespedes someone to mentor in Spring Training) to give the fans someone to show up for. This guy looks like the most entertaining player outside Reyes (and Andrew McCutcheon).
  • For starters, Jason Marquis would be fine. Might bring some family and friends out to Citi Field. And why not Tim Wakefield and his super-slow knuckleball to make R. A. Dickey's hard knuckler look even faster. But the guy I'd really like to see is Dontrelle Willis. That guy was born to be a Met. If they can get him for an incentive-based one year deal, this would be one move I would love to see. He can even pinch-hit!
  • Consider bringing Jason Isringhausen back as one of the two late-inning guys, assuming he is willing to accept a one-year contract for up to $4 million.
  • Sign Takashi Saito or Jon Rauch as the other late-inning guy, for a similar contract as Isringhausen. There is no need to get a top-of-the-line closer for a rebuilding team.
  • Trade Mike Pelfrey and/or Angel Pagan for the best prospects possible, or a decent reliever or 4th outfielder-type. Non-tender both if they aren't traded.
  • Sign Endy Chavez for some feel-good memories and perhaps a well-timed bunt or two.

I would keep Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner, and now is not the time to trade David Wright. Wright (AKA Mr. Met) is more valuable to the Mets than to anyone else, and I would really like for him to still be here when the Mets get competitive again in 2014 or so. As one of several top offensive producers, he is fine. The problem is when he feels he needs to carry the team. He's not that good, period.

If the Mets follow my plan, I think they would win 75-81 games in 2012, depending a great deal on how Jason Bay and Johan Santana do. I know fans are really down on both of them, and can't wait until their contracts can be bought out, but really, why can't they have bounce-back years? I have a lot of respect for both of them, class-acts all the way (except maybe on the golf course).

At the trade deadline, assuming that they are out of the playoff race already, I would listen to offers for all of the over-30 guys (except Dickey), and consider any trade that brings back legitimate prospects.

As I said, I'm okay with a real rebuilding process that focuses on player development and prospect-collecting. I totally agree with Alderson when he says that the team needs to develop a top-notch work ethic from the Rookie Leagues to the Major League team. Let's use 2012 to create a winning attitude at all levels of the system, and get rid of the guys that don't fit that mold.

Let's Go Mets!

© Judy Kamilhor 2011