Daniel Barnaby – Thoughts On A Season


In light of Sandy Alderson’s recent statements saying he’d like to add a veteran or two this off season and that they should have some financial flexibility to do so but also that there isn’t a ton of payroll room available I’d like to offer an early off season plan before we delve into the hot stove next month.

First, I’d like to say that in general I don’t think there is a free agent that I’d give a monster deal to this season for several reasons.  1 – I don’t want to block left field with Brandon Nimmo on the cusp and Michael Conferto looking like a fast mover, plus the outfield FA market is pretty bare this off season with Melky being the best LF option.  2 – With so many good to great young players on the payroll we need to start thinking about paying them for their prime years and saving money for their contract extensions.  

Before we get into acquisitions I would bring in right center field like Sandy has been talking about the last few days.  This will help both David Wright and Curtis Granderson in particular and would further tighten up our outfield defense.    

Next I would trade/non-tender EY Jr and Ruben Tejada and release/ trade Scott Rice and Stain from the 40 man for starters.  Saves a few million and creates more space on the 40 man.  To clear payroll and to cash in while he’s at his most valuable you also trade Murphy for the best package of prospects you can.

We have the following starters locked in…

RF - Granderson will be in his 2nd year in the NL with the fences moved in some in RF.  I think he will hit about 240/350 with 25HR and 30 doubles which would be solid.

CF - Lagares is obviously a fixture in CF and I think he could be our leadoff hitter as well. I project him hitting 280/340 30SB 10 HR and 35 doubles

LF – This is obviously one of the big holes.  I think you let MDD, Kirk, Campbell all get lots or reps in spring training.  You also give Nimmo a serious audition here.   If Nimmo absolutely rakes you can consider starting the season with him here.  If he only plays well and doesn’t dominate you platoon either  MDD or Kirk with Campbell and you still probably have better LF offense and you can bring up Nimmo as soon as he gets hot for an extended stretch.  This position will certainly have the largest mix of players on the field so I’m not going to try and predict a cumulative batting line for it.  

1B – Duda is our guy at first.  I suspect Campbell will get a start here and there against elite lefties but I think Duda will hit 260/250 with 30+ HRs and 100 RBI.  

2B – If Herrera has a good camp here’s your starter, if he doesn’t have a good camp you can put Flores here in the meantime.  Assuming Herrera breaks camp opening day (With Flores being our super sub) I predict 260-275/330 with 10 HR/5 triples/35 doubles and, while I’m sure there will be some teething defensively, much better defense overall than Murph.

SS – BIG FA acquisition!  This is where you spend the money saved by moving Murph.  No crazy ideas of getting HanRam.  They guy I want is JJ Hardy.  Great defensive SS and average to above average bat.  Sign him for 10-12 mil a year for 3 years.  He and Wright will make a very solid left side of the infield and he will be one of the 3 veterans hitters on the team to mentor the young guys 260/330 15 HR 30 doubles

3B – We all know the captain is here and with an improved lineup and a healthy shoulder I’m projecting him at 300/370/480-520 with 25 HR and his usual 35-40 doubles.  The slugging and HRs might seem a little high but I’m betting he’ll get more pitches to hit with a better overall lineup and that he’ll be one of the biggest benefactors of right field being moved in.

C – I think d’Arnaud will have a big year next year.  I hope he works on passed balls and throwing to second this off season but I don’t want him to change anything with his swing.  I’m projecting him at 275 20 HR 30 doubles

Bench would be Flores, Cambell, Recker and whichever of Kirk/MDD doesn’t get the starting gig in LF.  There’s room for one more here but I’d leave it open for competitions sake, may the best performance at camp win.  


Trade Gee for the best prospects you can get.  One of Gee /Niese and Colon has to go and I chose Gee because Niese is left handed and Colon, while old has been an effective pitcher who is a workhorse, unlike Gee, and a great mentor and example for the you staff to look up to.

You have Harvey, Wheeler, DeGrom, Niese and Colon as an opening day rotation.

Thor is in the wings if someone goes down as is Matz.  Midseason, I’d like to trade one of Niese or Colon and bring up whichever prospect Thor/Matz is pitching best.  2016’s rotation should be Harvey, Wheeler, DeGrom, Thor, Matz which would be insane.  

In the pen, it’s an open completion for Closer between Parnell, Mejia and Familia this spring training though I expect them all to be locks for the pen.  Also through on Torres, Black and Montero  (Torres and Montero being swingmen)

Looking forward to hearing yours and everyone else’s thoughts



Steve from Norfolk said...

Looks good to me, although I have a couple of other possibilities in mind.

I'd like to see if we could get Michael Cuddyer on a 2 yr contract. We could play him in right, maybe some in in LF, use him for the lefties we don't want Duda to face, and he can fill in for the Captain - he needs to cut back to 120-130 games and whoever is managing needs to enforce it no matter how hard he argues to play. I love his spirit, but he needs to make sure that shoulder gets enough rest during the season or he may be facing numbers like this year's for the rest of his career. I keep thinking of Scott Rolen, and it scares me. Nothing against Soup, and he still needs to be in the mix for lefties especially, but Cuddyer gives us those extra HR's Alderson wants, he's used to playing with Wright (and he's somebody that Wright may listen to about taking care of himself, and he's an excellent veteran bat and example for the younger players.

I know you want Hardy for SS, but I think Flores has earned a crack at the starting SS position. We need someone in there for a long time, and we might as well start now. Cuddyer can fill the OF gap until Nimmo or Conforto comes up, although one of them is going to end up as trade bait - unless we do something with Grandy. Lagares is going to retire as our CF, God willing.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Cuddyer would be a perfect fit for the Mets next season.

Coming off an injury riddled season, Cuddyer could potentially have to settle for a 1 year deal or a 2 year low $ per yr contract.

He can man RF next year with Grandy in LF. Then in 2016 Nimmo comes up and takes over with Cuddy becoming a massive right handed threat from the bench.

Reese Kaplan said...

I agree with Tom in that while Flores may be flawed (and TC returned him to the 8-hole again today), he would surely turn in a better record than that of Ruben Tejada. As a bat, he's probably going to give you Hardy's numbers but without the plus defense. I'll take it in these times of budget austerity and put my eggs into the OF arena.

While Daniel brings up a good point about not blocking Nimmo or Conforto, that's a nice problem to have a'la 9 starting pitchers for 5 slots. It give your chips to trade in the future (such as getting out from under Curtis Granderson).

On Saturday I'm outlining a strategy on how to pay for an elite power hitter.

thunder12k said...

I think Cuddyer is the only free agent acquisition needed. He's not going to cost a ton of money either. 2 years sounds very fair to me.

I would give Wilmer the SS duties with Tejada serving as the backup MIF.

Keep Murphy or Trade Murphy? I go back and forth on this almost every day but either way, I think we are in good shape here. As much as I want them to keep him to really try and make a run next year, I don't see any reason to sign him long term so you might as well trade him in the offseason.

I'm very much looking forward to the 2015 season. I have high hopes for the direction I think this team is heading in, despite their laughable/frustrating ownership team. Most importantly, I'm looking forward to taking my son to his first of many Mets games soon.

Thomas Brennan said...

Keep the young pitchers healthy (and in Marvey's case, get him healthy) and its gonna get exciting for the Mets soon, no other way to see it.

Steve from Norfolk said...


I'm already waiting for this winter to be over, and it hasn't started yet. Next year is going to be an exciting one. I think it's laughable that our team is going in the right direction in spite of ownership, instead of with ownership's help. But, the direction is the important thing. Maybe this discrimination lawsuit will get the new Commissioner to take steps to keep Jeffy from taking over this team!

Daniel Barnaby said...

I actual though of cuddyer as an option an I really like him for this team. I could live with Flores starting at SS but is really want to sell high on Murph them because I don't want him and Flores playing next to each other in the middle infield.

Daniel Barnaby said...

Also I had one other crazy plan. Extend murph, put him at 3rd, move wright to LF like the braves did with chipper and you have Herrera and Flores at 2B and short. That's certainly an unconventional plan but it would get our best players on the field without sacrificing too much D

Anonymous said...

I like the summary and approach suggested. I really think that Sandy is thinking exactly along these lines in terms of suppressing payroll in expectation of raises, peeling off the vets, establish the rotation above and wait for internals for LF. Rosario may be 3 yrs away, but if he develops as hoped, he could be the sort of Addison Russell prospect who could command a big trade return in as little as a year or two. I like the plan and could live with it all

Herb G said...

If you can take Sandy's comment about payroll flexibility seriously (which unfortunately, I don't) my off dradon plan would be the following:

Sign Cuddyer- 2 yrs, Conforto takes over in 2017.

Offer Gee, Thor, Plawecki and Nimmo to Colorado for Tulowitzki.

Trade Murphy and Colon for the best prospects they can bring.

OF: Grandy, Lagares, Cuddyer.
IF: Duda, Herrera, Tulo, David.
C: d'Arnaud

Rotation: Harvey, Wheeler, de Grom, Niese, Montero.

Bench: Nieuwenhuis den Dekker, Flores, Campbell, Recker.

Pen: to quote the great Durante "We got a million a' dem!"

bob gregory said...

Cuddyer will be what? 35 or 36 yrs old? Plus all of his past injuries?
I would rather pass.

Thomas Brennan said...

If Tulo is expected to be healthy (or as healthy as he'll ever be, and truly Tulo), I'd trade Gee, Thor, and Plawecki, but throw in Reynolds instead of Nimmo. Rockies would get a possible future # 1 starter, a catcher who'd shine there, a solid pitcher in Gee, and a SS in Reynolds who would be adequate.
Keep Nimmo.

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