Rachel asked –
Hey Mack. First of all, you run a great site. It’s one of the top three I visit every day and I think you have the best writers on the internet.
On to my question… you’ve said in the past that you don’t like to predict things and speculate and all that, but I’m really curious if someone gave you the money that was needed to buy the Mets, pay off all the debt, and star anew.
What would Mack do?
Mack – Wow. Now there’s a great question and I’m happy it came on a day I’m working a little ahead of schedule and near the end of the week. It gives me the time to think about this and address it properly.
Hmm… no debt… current team… current front office.
1. I assume I still have some money left over to pay out some existing contracts. For starters, I’d make some changes in the front office. I would remove Terry Collins as the manager of the team. I’m not exactly sure who I would offer this job to, but it would be someone much younger and someone that respects the players more than I believe that Collins does. I would consider one internal candidate… Tim Teufel. Past him, I would go outside of the team.
2. This one could be sticky and might not happen. I assume that Sandy Alderson isn’t going to be happy that I removed Collins and I understand that, but this is my dream, right? I would offer Alderson the opportunity to stay for the remainder of his recently signed contract, but he would have to accept that I am going to make decisions like the one I just made about TC. I would also make it clear that I will take an active role a la George Steinbrenner in many of the duties that Alderson had under the Wilpons. If he has problems with this, he also can leave.
3. Sadly, there’s very little I can do about all the baseball players that have signed with other teams. What I can do is throw some more money around and show the baseball world that things have changed in Flushing. This would start with aggressively pursuing and offering what it takes to secure the services of Cuban outfielder Yoan Moncada. No Mets fan on this planet is going to hold it against me if this kid turns out to be a bust.
4. Next, I do not want to rush either Noah Syndergaard or Steven Matz. To me, they will both be part of my 2016 rotation, not the 2015. Regarding this year, I would keep Jonathan Niese on board as SP5 and add Rafael Montero as my emergency 6th starter/injury relief/long man out of the pen. I would then offer a super-duper one year contract to SP James Shields as an alternative (for him) in case he wants to push this whole free agent business back a year. If he passes, I add Montero to my rotation. The Mets already screwed up the draft (in a light draft year) so losing another pick isn’t going to kill me.
5. I would DFA both Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon and take what I can get for them, even if it’s just international bonus money. As I said above, I want to make a fresh start here even though neither of these guys really did anything wrong
6. I would double, possibly triple, the amount of scouts I had working the international market. There’s no place in baseball where you can sign a high end, high ceiling, prospect (at 16-years old) for really reasonable money. It’s high risk though, but other teams have proven that a steady input of these kids get you more than just a future shortstop.
7. I’d make one more shot at a blockbuster trade with Colorado. I want both Tulo and CarGo and, if I was able to get them, this whole post should be throw away and I would start over. I would offer two things… a decent and flexible group of prospects/established players that would include Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda (I’d play Cuddyer on first), Wilmer Flores, Brandon Nimmo, Cory Mazzoni, and even Rafael Montero. The other part of this trade is I would offer to pay 100% of both their existing contracts. Again, I really want these guys (if doctors clear them) and I want to show the baseball world I mean business.
Past this, there’s not much more I can do this year. I would probably start to sniff around for a replacement for Curtis Granderson in 2016, and I’d make myself a promise that I’m never going to sign another long term deal with someone unless he was a superstar in this game. Lastly, someone has to start the process of attempting to sign Matt Harvey past his free agent date so I’d make the first phone call and invite Scott Boras for a salmon lunch.
How’d I do?