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Mets 2018-2019 Offseason: A second chance to get things right

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 20: New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen answers questions during a press conference before the game between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on May 20, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 20: New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen answers questions during a press conference before the game between the New York Mets and the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on May 20, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 24: Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates his teams 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Two of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 24: Craig Kimbrel #46 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates his teams 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Two of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Mets sign FA P Craig Kimbrel to a 2-year $40 million contract.

Now this one’s a little bit more complicated. Since the Red Sox extended the $17.9 million qualifying offer to Kimbrel, they would gain a compensation draft pick if he signs elsewhere. If the Mets signed Kimbrel, they would most likely lose $500 thousand in international bonus cash by exceeding the luxury tax threshold. They would have only had to part with a draft pick past the fourth round. This would allow the Mets to keep their first 3 draft picks, all of whom are ranked inside the top 40 in their draft class.

As for future salary, Kimbrel would only be under contract for one more season. For the rest of the payroll, Metsblog.com weighed in on the Yoenis Cespedes insurance:

"As far as the Mets, they will be getting roughly 70 percent of the $29 million owed this season to Yoenis Cespedes (out for the season after recently having ankle surgery) back via the insurance policy they have on him."

This would bring Cespedes’ 2019 salary down to around $8.7 million for the 2019 season. Although Kimbrel was initially seeking a 6-year $100 million contract, he ultimately settled for a 3-year deal worth $45 million with the Chicago Cubs.

Kimbrel has been the best closer in baseball this decade and last season became the fastest pitcher to record 300 saves. A Kimbrel/Familia/Melancon trio would have formed a 3-headed closing monster that emulates many other winning teams. The Mets would’ve had the ability to shorten their games to 6 innings; with their starting staff, this bullpen would have made the staff 12-13 deep and arguably the best in the majors. The Mets currently have the 3rd highest bullpen ERA (5.36) and the 6th highest opponent batting average (.266) in the National League.

Mets sign LHP Tony Sipp to a 2-year $2.5 million contract.

We are going to construct this deal the same way the Washington Nationals constructed theirs. Sipp signed with the Nationals on a 2-year deal. Sipp will earn $1 million in year one; year two has a $2.5 million mutual agreement with a $250 thousand buyout option. This deal is creative and we are going to offer this to Tony Sipp. After losing Jerry Blevins in free agency, signing Sipp would give the Mets a true left-handed specialist.

Sipp held left-handed batters to a .191 average while giving up only 4 2Bs and 1 HR during 76 plate appearances. Sipp, 35, held opponents to an astonishing .200 batting average and averaged 9.8 K/9 in 2018.

Sipp would fit nicely in a struggling Mets bullpen and would have been more productive than signing fellow left-handers Justin Wilson, Hector Santiago, and Ryan O’Rourke, all of whom have combined for 17.2 IP this season.

Now that we have our new acquisitions, how does the roster and payroll shake out to begin the new 2019 season?

New 2019 Lineup

  1. 2B Jeff McNeil, L
  2. CF Adam Jones, R
  3. RF Michael Conforto, L
  4. 1B Pete Alonso, R
  5.  C Wilson Ramos, R
  6. 3B Todd Frazier, R
  7. LF Brandon Nimmo, L
  8. P
  9. Amed Rosario, S

Bench

  1. CF Juan Lagares, R
  2. C Tomas Nido, R
  3. SS Adeiny Hechavarria, R
  4. UTIL Marwin Gonzalez, S
  5. IF/OF Dominic Smith, L

Starting Rotation

  1. RHP Jacob deGom
  2. RHP Noah Syndergaard
  3. RHP Zack Wheeler
  4. LHP Steven Matz
  5. RHP Tanner Roark

Bullpen

LHP Daniel Zamora

RHP Seth Lugo

RHP Robert Gsellman

LHP Tony Sipp

RHP Mark Melancon

RHP Jeurys Familia

*LHP Craig Kimbrel

*(Closer)

2019 Current Payroll:  $159,586,428.00 

*2019 New Payroll: ~$193,256,000

Next. Three Mets position players to shop for relief help

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How many games do you think the Mets would have won with this roster? What would you have done differently?

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