Monday, May 9, 2011

Spending $60 Million

With $68.3 Mil plus probably $10-15 Mil in smaller contracts and arbitration the Mets have between $36.7-41.7 Mil to spend. The goal is to keep their payroll beneath $120 Mil. That couldn't be that hard. What would that look like?

Free Agent Targets:

Jose Reyes, SS (29) - Jose is already popular with Met fans. Likes where he's living and is the best player available to fill the vacancy at SS. Matt Cerrone has said before that beyond Reyes, who else would the Mets be able to go after? The key will be Length and salary. I'm not going to ask for a Home Team discount from Reyes for size but I'm going to hold my offer to 5 years. (5 Years, $70 Mil: $10M, $12M, $15M, $16M, $17M)

C.J. Wilson, SP (31) - Wilson may not be the most exciting name out their but he'd be gifted the benefit of Citi Field and be joining a rotation that would include Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey and Jonathan Niese. He's not going to need to be an Ace, just a #3 pitcher. With the weaker pitching class hitting free agency I know that his price will be inflated but pitching is NEEDED. (3 Years, $27 Mil: $9M, $9M, $9M)

Jonathan Papelbon, RP (31) - Mets will need a closer and are the only "Big Market" team who is likely to pay for one. Even so, I don't think the Mets throw K-Rod money at a closer again no matter what. Still, the Mets need to throw a good amount of money for a better closer like Jonathan. (3 Years, $30 Mil: $8M, $10M, $12M)

George Sherrill, RP (35) - Nothing fancy, but nothing fancy is necessary. The Mets need a lefty and Sherrill is probably the best lefty reliever available for 2012. He could probably slot in as a third setup man on the staff but I'll leave him in the ranks of the middle relievers. The question is how big a contract can you give an aging lefty reliever? (2 Years, $6 Mil: $3M, $3M)

Javier Lopez, RP (34) - Here is another big move. I'm looking at signing TWO lefty relievers. Why? Well, because the Mets have been handicapped for too long by not having enough lefties in their bullpen. Most teams have 2-3 lefties to spot through a game to make the matchups favor them. The Mets need to run Tim Byrdak out there for 3 batters because they only have the one lefty. (I know O'Connor is on the team now, but do you count him? I don't.) (3 Years, $7 Mil: $3M, $2M, $2M)

From The Minors:

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CL (L) - Captain Kirk is tearing up AAA and looking like he might replace Angel Pagan sooner than later. He's got SOME power and SOME speed but he's not Reyes or Davis. He looks like a 15 HR, 20 SB player who is a good fielder and solid all-around player. He projects as more of a corner OF with his speed but between he and Fernando Martinez both being fringe CF guys I think the OF defense won't suffer. Plus Angel moves back to the bench as the 4th OF guy.

Fernando Martinez, RF (L) - The forever prospect gets his legit shot at making the team. Because I'm the one writing this I'm going to say that he does succeed and in the spring both he and Nieuwenhuis push Angel Pagan into a reserve role. Fernando's power and production may not be the 30 HR range that I used to see... but... it could easily be above 20 and who knows how high from there.

Matt Harvey, SP (R) - Matt Harvey is still pitching in Port St. Lucie. Why am I projecting him into the starting rotation? With Mejia's injury and the extremely weak starting pitching market for 2012 Harvey has a shot to make the rotation next spring. It will be a fair competition between he, Cohoon and a few others to win the 5th spot in the rotation. Notice that I've cut ties with Mike Pelfrey before the season.

Mark Cohoon, SP (L) - Cohoon loses the battle with Harvey for a spot in the rotation but the finesse lefty is reliable enough to give a long relief job and a third lefty arm to the bullpen. Cohoon's style is well suited to long-relief as he should never be walking the ballpark and letting the game get out of hand (like Ollie Perez might. Cohoon could look to replace Dickey in 2013, though I give that nod to Jenrry Mejia.

Lineup: 8
1. Jose Reyes, SS (S)
2. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF (L)
3. David Wright, 3B (R)
4. Ike Davis, 1B (L)
5. Jason Bay, LF (R)
6. Fernando Martinez, RF (L)
7. Daniel Murphy, 2B (L)
8. Josh Thole, C (L)

Rotation: 5
1. Johan Santana, SP (L)
2. R.A. Dickey, SP (R)
3. C.J. Wilson, SP (L)
4. Jonathan Niese, SP (L)
5. Matt Harvey, SP (R)
Bullpen: 7
CL - Jonathan Papelbon, RP (R)
SU - Taylor Buchholz, RP (R)
SU - Pedro Beato, RP (R)
MR - Bobby Parnell, RP (R)
MR - Javier Lopez, RP (L) MR - George Sherrill, RP (L)
LR - Mark Cohoon, SP (L)

Bench: 5
Ronny Paulino, C (R)
Angel Pagan, OF (S)
Lucas Duda, OF/1B (L)
Justin Turner, IF (R)
Nick Evans, OF/1B/3B (R)

2012 Payroll: $113.7 Mil

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