By Mr. Met
Staff Writer NFL PRO ZACH
Update on the Wright and Dickey situation
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post Wright was not happy with the Mets first offer. Puma states that Wright is seeking a 7 year deal worth about 125 million dollars. Puma believes that the chances Wright are signed for an extension before the spring is now at 50-50. Although, there has been speculation on what that offer was. However, I cannot know for sure so I will not report it.
The situation with Dickey according the New York Post is this the Mets are said to have discussed with Dickey a 2 year extension worth about 10 million per year. Even if they do end up signing Dickey the Mets could still look to move him in a deal that would include a package of high end prospects and major league catching and outfield help. Essentially the Mets would want a king’s ransom.
Mets COO Jeff Wilpon today commented on the situation according to the team’s website stating that he was encouraged with the progress of both negotiations.
First on the Wright situation I know what rumors are being swirled around the web of what the Mets first offer was and quite frankly there is not much difference between that and what is reported David is looking for. Not getting into numbers here is that seems to be the case than I would expect the deal should be done soon. However, I suspect this not to be the case and I feel cheated as a fan to the fact that what Wright is asking for seems fair to me for his value on and off the field. Remember this is a man who literally BROKE HIS BACK trying to carry this franchise and I think it’s a disgrace that his extension is even an issue. If the Mets can get this done before the holiday’s it would go a long way in restoring some trust and loyalty in the fan base.
Now for Dickey I personally feel if the offer is what the Mets are rumored to be discussing, it is an insult to the man. Dickey just won an NL CY Young Award and the Mets are trying to offer him less money than what Mark Buerhle got just a year ago from the Miami Marlins. Personally I want to know what this garbage is from a team in a New York market. I feel like this is not just Wilpon at work here but Sandy Alderson himself who has stated on several occasions he does not believe in long term deals that command long term money. I think the fact that Alderson went on WFAN during the last few weeks of the MLB season and stated that the Mets need some major work along with a statement saying the Mets would try to have the Wright and Dickey situations resolved before the World Series ended and has yet to do anything besides sign a few minor leaguers show what kind of 3 ring circus he intends to run here in New York!
This Offseason: How I think the Mets can become competitive once again!
First I would like to say I am really excited to share this with other fans, as my friends can tell you I love to play GM for the New York Mets. In fact, I usually do something like this every year. For starters I would like to say I really tried to come up with a payroll for the Mets similar to last seasons, then I came across Ken Rosenthal’s article of Fox Sports.com and as he powerfully stated it is time for the Mets to reinvest. No matter the cost the Mets must become relevant and competitive again. However, I did try to stay realistic in that you cannot believe an aging slugger like Josh Hamilton with his problems would love to come play not only in New York but the ballpark that is Citi Field. With that being said I hope you guys enjoy and I encourage you to comment in the comment section and tweet me @MrMetNFLPROZACH.
Before we get into anything rosters, lineups, rotations, free agents, or trades the Mets must do 2 things:
1. Sign David Wright to the 7 year 125 million dollar extension he reportedly wants or give him whatever he wants because he is the face of the franchise and you cannot expect him to play another year out not knowing what will become of him in the offseason.
2. Sign RA Dickey to a 3 year extension which would take him beyond his 40th birthday I believe this is reasonable for both parties at a price of around 15 million a year. If you look at Dickey’s production since he’s become a Met he has been in one of the most productive starters in the league not to mention this year’s CY Young award.
Now I will take you through my plan Areas of the Roster: Pitching Rotation, Bullpen, Lineup, and the Bench.
· Obviously your number 1 starter or Ace as I refer too will be RA Dickey. Coming off his CY Young award he should provide another strong season.
· The Number 2 here will be Johan Santana; unfortunately he will not pitch like a 31.5 million dollar pitcher but who could. A year removed from surgery and a season where he looked both Santana like and fatigued he should provide a solid year for a number 2 starter and imagine if he can recapture the form he found midseason last year.
· Your number 3 starter will be Jon Niese, after another solid year Niese should once again look to progress and should become a very solid middle of the rotation arm for the Mets.
· Your Number 4 starter will be Matt Harvey and who can argue with the year he had last year as a rookie where he posted a 2.73 ERA with 70 k’s in 59.1 innings pitched with only a .200 batting average against.
· Your Number 5 starter at least to start the year will be Dillon Gee fully recovered from his unfortunate health problems of last year he should mature into a more than capable 5th starter.
Waiting in the wings:
1. Zach Wheeler the Mets top prospect who was just added to the 40 man roster earlier tonight will look to break into the big leagues. I see him following a path like Matt Harvey’s of last year, meaning he will probably be in the Majors sometime next summer.
2. I also think the Mets should re-sign Mike Pelfrey. Especially coming off Tommy John surgery and not being able to start the year I think the Mets can non tender him and he can be had on a reasonable 1 year 5 million dollar deal.
3. Chris Young should be re-signed if he can be had on a minor league deal. Young was solid for the Mets last year but was not very good at going deep into the game if he can be had on a minor league deal with an invite to camp it would be worth it for the Mets to bring him back. If not the Mets can then try for Jason Marquis on a similar if not identical type deal.
4. Jeremy Hefner he is on the roster and will probably be best served as the long man out of the pen, however, he can serve as a spot starter if the Mets ever get in a bind.
I think the rotation was obviously the strong point of last year’s team. It’s important for any team not just the Mets to have a few options after their top 5. Especially in the case with the Mets with the uncertainty with Santana and Gee and then the inexperience of Harvey and who knows how he responds to the increase workload of the major leagues. I know there has been talks of the Mets trying to move one of these starters for a bat or a catcher in particular Niese but I think if you look around the division you will realize that with the rotations of this division with the exception of Miami you will need a strong rotation to compete in the games let alone for a divisional crown or potential wild card berth. I think if all goes well perhaps Gee, Pelfrey, or Wheeler can also be an option to help out in the bullpen down the stretch if the Mets are competitive. Again this group was good last year so there is no need with the emergence of Harvey and as top prospect Wheeler aims for the big leagues for much of a change.
Unfortunately with the bullpen the main man being Frank Francisco is still locked up at a considerable amount of money for next year. With this considered you have to build your bullpen around him and hope for a bounce back year. That being said bullpens are often hit or miss from year to year and some of the young arms the Mets have should take up a few spots to maximize the roster and the pen.
· The Mets should look to sign a veteran lefty specialist to a 1 year major league deal; I think the Mets should look into either bringing back Tim Byrdak who was good in this role for the Mets these last two years. If not Byrdak I think the Mets should bring look to bring back Pedro Feliciano. Either guy should only command a 1 year deal as they are both injury prone and if they can be had for 1 or 2 million should be considered a bargain.
· The Mets should then look to bring in one arm that can have a potential impact at the end of the bullpen either closing games or setting up in the 8th or 7th innings. Three guys I like for this spot are Mike Gonzalez a lefty, Brian Fuentes also a lefty, or Juan Oviedo (formerly Leo Nunez of the Florida Marlins). I think whichever of Fuentes or Oviedo can be had for a 1 year deal for around 3-5 million should be signed with a preference for Oviedo who had a lot going on last year and is still only 30 years of age who I think can bounce back big this year. If not Gonzalez in my opinion can be had for slightly less money.
· I think the Mets should also sign Chad Qualls in addition to the options mentioned before. I think if you’re the Mets you can give Qualls a 1 year commitment to at around 2 million maybe 3 million dollars. Qualls is a journey man who has experienced both success and failure during his career. However, I think with the bullpen I am proposing to build he can have a good veteran presence in the middle innings not being asked to do too much and perhaps being a nice ear for the young arms in the pen for the Mets to have.
· I then think you have your long man and spot starter in Jeremy Hefner as he did a solid job in this role for the Mets last year.
· I think you should then have Rob Carson and Josh Edgin two young lefties battle for the second lefthander spot in the bullpen. I think this spot is important to take away appearances from either Byrdak or Feliciano to keep both guys fresh and off the D.L. as they both have had recent injury history. I also believe with Edgin and Carson both being hard throwers this will also provide Collins with a different option than the Byrdak/Feliciano combo as they are both crafty lefties so to speak.
· The last spot in the bullpen should go to the hard throwing Bobby Parnell, although, inconsistent Parnell has earned a spot in this pen with his past performances. With that being said it is time for him to step up.
· Guys to watch for later in the year: As mentioned before anyone of those starters who falls out of favor can help out in the bullpen. With that being said the Mets could use a couple of depth signings here in addition to guys like Jenry Mejia, Manny Acosta, and Elvin Ramirez.
Here’s how the pen will look at least to start the year:
Closer – Frank Francisco
Set up- Oviedo/Fuentes/Gonzalez
RHP- Chad Qualls
RHP- Bobby Parnell
Long Man- Jeremy Hefner
The Everyday lineup:
I think this post is long enough so without too much to say I think the starting infield should stay intact. So:
· 1st Base – Ike Davis
· 2nd Base- Daniel Murphy
· 3rd Base David Wright
· SS- Ruben Tejada
Catcher, however, is a different story I think Thole in the Jerry Manuel years proved he can be a good part time bat off the bench and the recent years has proven that his defense will always be a work in progress but he has gotten better with working with a pitching staff. His value for me is a very capable backup catcher. But then what about the starter at this spot:
· I really would have liked to come up with a list of 2 maybe 3 guys for this spot but I think for balance in this lineup and what other things this lineup lacks I think the right guy for the job is Jarrod Saltalamacchia. He has recently been rumored to be available with the recent signing by the Sox of former Braves catcher David Ross. I think he can be had for a package based around mid-level prospects, maybe based around Collin McHugh. Other guys I can see being involved in this deal maybe Zach Lutz and perhaps catching prospect Kevin Plawecki. I do not see the Mets needing to include a guy like a Cesar Puello, Juan Lagares, or even a Den Decker type. With that being said I believe the Mets have the horses to get this deal done and they should as adding 25 homers and a switch hitter to the catchers spot in the lineup could go a long way for this team.
· Justin Upton is a similar situation for the Mets I feel. He provides the same type of balance to the order that Saltalamacchia provides at the catchers spot but in right field for the Mets. He’s a right handed power bat for the Mets who could serve for protection for Wright and Davis in the order. I know the Diamondbacks say they want a big league shortstop for Upton and I do not think or will I ever advocate the Mets trading Ruben Tejada for Upton because it just creates another whole in the lineup. I will also not advocate the Mets ever considering playing Wilmer Flores at shortstop. However, I think his bat and he being a shortstop should be intriguing for the Diamondbacks to bite with package that would also include Lucas Duda and possibly Jeurys Familia and Reese Havens. I have floated this trade on twitter and have gotten mostly are you crazy type reviews from other met bloggers and fans. However, I propose to you this the Diamondbacks are giving up what their equivalent is to David Wright and Upton is still young under a good contract for what he provides to this lineup which is power, a stable outfielder, and a right handed bat that could help protect both Wright and Davis isn’t he worth it? I think he certainly is and that’s why he is the centerpiece of my offseason plan.
· For Leftfield I think the Mets should use some sort of platoon of Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter, and resign Scott Hairston. Hairston’s market will develop later in the offseason so it is hard to tell what it will take to re-sign him. But it’s like I always say this is New York not Oakland or Kanas City this team can’t compete unless they re-sign their own productive players. So Hairston plays against the lefties and Kirk and Baxter play against the righties until somebody catches fire in which case that guy gets the bulk of the at bats.
· For Centerfield I propose two options with this in mind the Mets lack a leadoff hitter and need speed at the top of the order with Daniel Murphy being the idol two whole hitter you would like this guy to be either a switch hitter or a right handed batter. Two guys come to mind:
1. Angel Pagan- he is a switch hitter with speed familiar with the ballpark and the team which is both good and bad. It was rumored management did not think Pagan was a winning ball player well now he has a championship ring after the Mets sent him packing last offseason to San Francisco which is probably the worst move of the Alderson era given he has not made many moves at all. What will it take to sign Pagan my guess is a 2 year deal worth around 20-25 million dollars.
2. The second option would be to bring in BJ Upton the brother of Justin Upton not only would this be a good move for what the lineup lacks on paper but for the talked about clubhouse chemistry of the team as he would be playing with his brother and another player from their area in David Wright. Ultimately winning is the most important thing for the clubhouse and I think Upton is the best option for this as well especially since he can probably be had for the same deal as Pagan.
So here is your lineup:
CF- Pagan/ BJ Upton S/R
2b- Murphy L
3b- Wright R
1b- Davis L
RF- Justin Upton R
C- Saltalamacchia S
LF- Kirk/Hairston/Baxter L/R/L
SS- Tejada R
C- Thole L
OF- Kirk/Hairston/Baxter L/R/L
OF- Kirk/ Hairston/Baxter L/R/L
If- Turner R
Utility man – Valdespin L
We have already discussed Thole and the rest of the left field platoon will fill out the rest of the outfield spots on the bench. I think the other two bench options are also on the roster in Jordany Valdespin who can play the outfield and the middle infield and Justin Turner who can play the whole infield. Valdespin being a lefty and Turner being a righty also provides good balance for the bench. I say go with what you have here because I do not see a lot of good looking free agents for the bench on the market and if this team competes you can acquire one cheap at the deadline so why load up now!
In my opinion this team can compete for the divisional crown and wild card. I think it can be solid in every area and more importantly is realistically achievable if management decides to invest in its on field product.