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Mets Offseason Second Chance: Building a better roster with hindsight

jkamilhor
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 28: Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Mets reacts after getting hit on a foul tip in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on April 28, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 28: Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Mets reacts after getting hit on a foul tip in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on April 28, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
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With hindsight as the Assistant General Manager, a perfect offseason for the New York Mets would have looked a lot differently. Let’s explore the moves they should have made with the knowledge we now have.

After 63 games, the 2019 New York Mets are below .500 and closer to fourth place than to second. Brodie Van Wagenen made some decent moves and some questionable ones, and our job is to look back and get a do-over on the offseason.

Let’s start with the big trade with Seattle. Edwin Diaz is great and will continue to be great, in spite of one recent blow-up. The deal to acquire Diaz along with Robinson Cano and some money to pay off part of Cano’s sky-high salary, not so much.

What if the Mets did not make this trade, and instead kept Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, and Gerson Bautista?

Mets keep: (all contract information from Cot’s Contracts)

  • Bruce 2019 ($14.5m) 2020 ($14.5m)
  • Swarzak 2019 ($8m)
  • Kelenic, Dunn, Bautista

Mets don’t add:

  • Cano 2019 ($19m), 2020 ($20.25m), 2021 ($20.25m), 2022 ($20.25m), 2023 ($20.25)
  • Diaz 2019 ($607,425) 2020 (arbitration), 2021 (arbitration), 2022 (arbitration)

And how about if the Mets did not bring back Jeurys Familia? That would look pretty good right now, given Familia’s terrible performance so far.

My suggestion for filling out the pitching staff now: sign Adam Ottavino, from Park Slope, Brooklyn, and the master of a ridiculous slider that defies time and space.

He spent some time this offseason in his secret Harlem lair rebuilding himself using techniques he learned at Driveline Academy the year before, according to Matt Foley in this New York Times article.

Ottavino signed with the New York Yankees in January for $27 million over three years. He may have never signed with the Mets since he grew up a die-hard Yankee fan, but in our version of 2019, let’s say he did.

And instead of signing Justin Wilson and Luis Avilan, who have been injured and contributed little when healthy, what if the Mets signed Greg Holland and made the following trade:

Mets send Noah Syndergaard and Robert Gsellman to the San Diego Padres for Chris Paddack and Kirby Yates.

To replace Syndergaard, sign Patrick Corbin.

Mets Add:

  • Ottavino 2019 ($9m), 2020 ($9m), and 2021 ($9m)
  • Greg Holland 2019 ($3.25m)
  • Yates
  • Paddack
  • Corbin 2019 ($12.5m), 2020 ($19m), 2021 ($24m), 2022 ($23m), 2023 ($24m), 2024 ($35m)

Mets Don’t add:

  • Jeurys Familia 2019 ($8m), 2020 ($11m), and 2021 ($11m)
  • Wilson 2019 ($5m), 2020 ($5m)
  • Avilan 2019 ($1.6m)

Mets Subtract:

  • Noah Syndergaard 2019 ($6m)
  • Robert Gsellman

Under the above scenario, the Mets pitching staff would be:

Position Players

Instead of adding Cano, Keon Broxton, and Jed “Loch Ness Monster” Lowrie, how about Mets adding DJ LeMahieu and Jose Iglesias, and moving Amed Rosario to center field as I suggested elsewhere.

Let’s non-tender Travis d’Arnaud. And do a trade/salary dump sending Todd Frazier, Juan Lagares, and $10m to some team for someone.

Mets Add:

  • D. J. Lemahieu 2019 ($12m), 2020 ($12)
  • Jose Iglesias 2019 ($2.5m)

Mets Don’t Add:

Mets Subtract:

  • Todd Frazier 2019 ($9.5m-$5m=$4.5m)
  • Juan Lagares 2019 ($9.5m-$5m=$4.5m)
  • Travis d’Arnaud 2019 ($3.515m)

The position players would be:

I would still sign Carlos Gomez, Adeiny Hechavarria, Rajai Davis, and Gregor Blanco for depth, and kept Tim Tebow in Double-A Binghamton.

Meet your new and improved 2019 New York Mets

  1. Jeff McNeil 3B
  2. DJ LeMahieu 2B
  3. Michael Conforto LF
  4. Pete Alonso 1B
  5. Jay Bruce RF
  6. Wilson Ramos C
  7. Jose Iglesias SS
  8. Amed Rosario CF
  9. Jacob deGrom P

Bench: J. D. Davis, Luis Guillorme, Tomas Nido, Dom Smith, Brandon Nimmo

Rotation: deGrom, Corbin, Paddack, Matz, Wheeler

Bullpen: Ottavino, G. Holland, Kirby Yates, Seth Lugo, Anthony Swarzak, Jason Vargas, Daniel Zamora

Conclusion

Our mission was to redo the 2019 offseason with 20-20 hindsight, and without spending much more than the team actually spent. With this revamped roster, they add about $62m and subtract around $60m.

This is second-guessing of the most extreme kind, but lots of writers and fans proposed some of these moves before the offseason got going.

Next. Who is the Mets' center fielder of the future?

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One thing for sure, this Faux-Mets team would beat the stuffing out of the actual one.

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