October 09, 2007

Turning the Mets Upside Down

This is going to be THE critical off-season for the Mets' under Omar Minaya's short stay as General Manager, one that will determine where the franchise is poised towards for the next few years. Willie is the manager for the forseeable future, nothing I can say will change that, so rather than continuing to debate his obvious short-comings and merits, we are instead going to move forward towards, hopefully, a more successful 2008 season, the last in our beloved (and loathed) Shea Stadium (and namesake). However, that doesn't mean that we can't suggest somebroad, sweeping and potentially controversial changes to the team and the staff for this off-season. Without further ado, here is what we propose: (with apologies to John Delcos, as this was written yesterday and only posted today.)

1.) Once Joe Torre is fired by the Yankees, bring him in as Willie's bench coach. He wants to stay in New York, and he's got a tight relationship with Willie, one of his "pupils," so this might work, and what a positive PR stroke to shove it back at Boss Steinbrenner. Torre could be a positive influence on Willie, and although they are both more laid-back in nature, having Torre around should strengthen some of the areas where Randolph is supposedly already strong, and allow him a cool-hand who has been through the fire for the past 12 seasons and help him not just keep control of the often-fractured clubhouse but also potentially entice some of Torre's soon-to-be former players over from the "dark side."

2.) Sign Aaron Rowand, NOT Andruw Jones! Move Beltran to right, and add this sparkplug to a lineup that needs Rowand's type of hustle. Hmmm, what other outfielder played for both the Mets and Phils, was a dirty-uniform type full of piss and vinegar? Can you say LENNY DYKSTRA? We seem to need better chemistry on this team (read - GAMERS) and perhaps having him at the top of the order allows Reyes to move down in the order and add an entirely new dimension to the line-up. He would also cost a lot less than Jones, and is at least coming off of a career year, rather than a career-hurting year. He'd cost around the price of Gary Matthews, Jr., somewhere around 10 mil per for about 3 years. His signing allows us to move on to ...

3.) Trade Lastings Milledge, Aaron Heilman, Philip Humber, Mike Carp and Kevin Mulvey, plus a HUGE bag of cash, to the Twins for Johan Santana and a prospect (any decent prospect). Santana would be situated atop the rotation for the next 7-8 years, complimenting Maine and Perez to make up a hell of a base. Add Pedro, and we have a great rotation. This allows us to...

4.) Decline bringing back Tom Glavine, saving around $11 mil or so, and move O-Hern into long relief. There won't be a lot of middle relievers on the market, and with the proposed departure of Heilman, this could allow both O-Hern and Pelfrey to move into middle relief, spelling the fifth starter or Pedro, if he has to take any extra days off.

5.) With an entirely new front office, the Pirates will probably be loathe to trade any of their few existing, talented players, but a deal MIGHT be possible if we were to eat a large contract of theirs, say someone like Jack Wilson, who could be a role player for us in the event we don't re-sign Luis Castillo and with the retirement of Jeff Conine about to be formalized. Package Wilson with pitcher Tom Gorzelanny in exchange for cash, Jon Niese, A-Hern, Adam Bostick and Jose Coronado. We can also eat another Pirates' contract if need be.

6.) Since the Tigers are going to exercise their option on I-Rod, we can slap the Yanks' again, and reunite Torre with Jorge Posada and re-sign the top back-up catcher in the bigs, Ramon Castro. This combo should keep us going until Mr. Pena is ready to step up to the majors. PLD wont' come back, although this would be my first choice, and Mr. Piazza seems relegated to the A.L., so Posada makes a lot of sense, especially coming off of another great season!

7.) As we discussed back in July, we recommend bringing back Moises Alou, re-signing Endy Chavez, and leaving Carlos Gomez in AAA for seasoning. Imagine an outfield of Beltran, Rowand and Alou, with Chavez and Anderson backing them up - not bad at all! Gomez needs a full year of seasoning, as we forget how young he still is and there is no substitution for playing regularly at a high level. Gomez will be the eventual replacement for Alou, in 2009, which would leave us with 3 fantastic fielders and a LOT of speed out there.

8.) Fernando Martinez MUST spend the entire season (if healthy) at first base. He is a potential hitting star, still SO young, and there is a dearth of good first-sackers out there right now. Delgado is not going anywhere next season, as the Mets' won't be able to easily unload his contract, and he will have something to prove, which usually works out well for both sides (except, of course when it doesn't...). His hitting will get him to the majors- if we can make him into an adequate first baseman, imagine THAT infield for the next 7-10 years with Wright, Reyes and Gotay/Castillo (at least for next season). Martinez could possibly be ready by mid-2009, if he stays healthy and keeps progressing as he has.

9.) With a solid rotation, a set starting line-up and support in the clubhouse for Willie, that leaves the bench and bullpen. The bench is nearly set, with Wilson, Castro, Anderson, Chavez and Gotay, and there is no one better at Omar than finding bench support. As far as the bullpen, the first thing change has to be the subtraction of Mr. Mota. Add O-Hern and Pelfrey to Wagner, Feliciano, Smith and Schoeneweis, and you are one arm away from a much more reliable pen. With the money saved from not resigning Glavine, there should be one arm out there for Omar to pry away from a non-contending team. Bullpen help is tricky, and again, without knowing who might be available, it's hard for us to even speculate about who it could be.

10.) The team lacked fire last season - and the additions of Posada, Santana and Rowand would certainly spark this team on their way to the World Series. Wright should be more consistent; Reyes shouldn't disappear in crunch-time again; Perez and Maine are just coming into their own; Pedro will be a more top-flight Pedro this season, good for another 15 wins or so; Beltran, in spite of the fickleness of our fans, is a true gamer and with a stronger line-up, wouldn't have to feel as though he had to play regardless of how hurt he might have been; and finally, Smith and Feliciano, with a lighter workload in the first half and increased inning production from the starters, won't burn out so quickly in the season. There's no reason why this team can't win it all next season - as long as they don't get in their own way!

Let us know what YOU think the Mets should do next season! It's a LONG time until pitchers and catchers report- I am counting the days until Spring Training! Back tomorrow!



Anonymous said...

so what you are saying is that we should turn our team into the yankees?

Anonymous said...

i love rowand and would be extatic to see him in a mets uniform but torre im not so hot for

David Rubin & Jonathan Elfenbein said...

NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!! Adding Torre as a bench coach and Posada as a catcher is in NO WAY turning us into the Yankees- come on! Torre can be useful in this role, and Posada is the best Free Agent catcher out there. Can't see how Santana, Rowand and Gorzelanny equates us with the Yankees! One player, one bench coach...and a whole lot of media sympathy! Not the worst thing to have in a town of Yankees' lovers!

Anonymous said...

i like some of your ideas since as usual, they favor the mets. i say no to torre and posada and you can bet, and i mean BET that neither of those two will be on the mets payroll next year. it would be a public relations nightmare for both of those men and while it would be a good way for us to stick it to the yankees, i dont think torre or posada will fall prey to such highjinks. i absolutely agree on rowand and think your trade for santana would be all right but i would think twice about mulvey. i dont even know what the twins will even consider taking for santana and i hope the mets can make the best offer although i would think that many other teams would be able to creat a package better than ours. but we can hope. also not sure why the pirates would give us gorzelanny in particular especially for those you suggest. he'd be a great addition. instead of moving f-mart to first, since i think he is supposed to be a super outfield prospect, how about after delgado, for 2009, we go after texeira? he's a free agent at the same time as the end of delgado's contract and the braves arent gonna be able to afford that contract. the mets would love to have him AND take him away from atlanta to boot.