8/5/15

Reese Kaplan -- How Deadline Trades Impact 2016

5 comments
While everyone is happy the Mets uncharacteristically chose to “go for it” via the acquisition of four rental players to help with the thus-far successful push to 1st place, the fact remains that some valuable off-season chips have already been used to try to assure a post-season berth. Going into 2016 the team has a core of players ready to return, so let’s take a very early look at the roster going into next season.
First, let’s look at the free agents to be:
Name
Salary (Millions)
Bartolo Colon
11
Yoenis Cespedes
10.5
Tyler Clippard
8.3
Daniel Murphy
8.0
Juan Uribe
6.5
Bobby Parnell
3.7
Jerry Blevins
2.4
Kelly Johnson
1.5

Colon was a necessary addition at the time and could deliver high quality starts while mentoring some of the younger players. His stretches of ineffectiveness grew longer this year and there doesn’t seem to be any room for him to come back to Queens for his age 43 season if he was so inclined.
Yoenis Cespedes is probably going to look to cash in big as a free agent. Most of you are aware of the clause in his contract that says he’s a free agent immediately upon the conclusion of the World Series. Consequently, unless he feels the Mets can offer him a good deal to stay, he opens himself up to the other 29 teams by rolling the dice and really only excludes his present one as they would be prohibited from re-signing him until 6 weeks after the 2016 season began.
Juan Uribe has to know the end of the line is near and he was being paid to be a regular player. If he would consider about half his going price then he could be a viable bench piece.
Bobby Parnell has not shown yet he’s recovered his velocity and he’ll be a $4-$5 million pitcher. It might be a smarter play to try to ink Jerry Blevins for a set-up role at probably around half that price.
Kelly Johnson could we worth another look as lefty bats in his price range and versatility are hard to find, but given his relative success this year there will likely be quite a few suitors for his services. At age 33 he’s probably a viable player for a low end multi-year deal.
Next we have a group of players who seemingly have no spot on the opening day roster for one reason or another:
  • Zack Wheeler – TJS recovery
  • Josh Edgin – TJS recovery
  • Dillon Gee – non-tender candidate as he is making $5.3 million this year to play in AAA and he’s arbitration eligible
Now we come to the returning core:

Position
Player
2015 Salary
2016 Salary

1B
Lucas Duda
4.2
8.4
Arbitration Eligible
2B
Dilson Herrera
0.51
0.53

SS
Ruben Tejada
1.9
2.5
Arbitration Eligible
3B
David Wright
20
20

C
Travis d'Arnaud
0.53
0.65

LF
Michael Conforto
0.51
0.53

CF
Curtis Granderson
16
16

RF
Michael Cuddyer
8.5
12.5






IF
Wilmer Flores
0.51
0.53

OF
Juan Lagares
0.53
2.5

C
Kevin Plawecki
0.51
0.53

Bench
Kirk Nieuwenhuis?
0.53
0.056

Bench
Eric Campbell?
0.51
0.53






SP
Jacob deGrom
0.56
0.65

SP
Matt Harvey
0.62
3
Arbitration Eligible
SP
Noah Syndergaard
0.51
0.53

SP
Steve Matz
0.51
0.53

SP
Jon Niese
7
9






RP
Jeurys Familia


Arbitration Eligible
RP
Hansel Robles
0.51
0.53

RP
Erik Goeddel
0.51
0.53

RP
Sean Gilmartin
0.51
0.53

RP
Logan Verrett
0.51
0.53

RP
Rafael Montero
0.51
0.53

RP
Alex Torres
0.52
0.6

RP
Carlos Torres
0.58
0.8
Arbitration Eligible


67.59
83.016


Looking at the available roster choices, a few things immediately jump out:
There are too many relief pitchers here and not enough quality to make up for the quantity. It could be addressed by the conversion of Rafael Montero to a high-control strikeout relief pitcher but that comes with risk as it’s a new role and health risk as he’s had trouble staying on the field the past two seasons. Bobby Parnell may be deemed too expensive, but if he can regain his previous form then he’s a less costly replacement for Tyler Clippard and reduced the risk of converting Montero into the 7th inning guy.
The outfield is scary. What a void would be left if Cespedes departs. Right now you can’t really count on anything from Michael Cuddyer other than a sunk cost. Curtis Granderson is doing well defensively in RF but unless Michael Conforto is both ready offensively and can convert to CF, you’re looking at a position switch for Granderson to enable both Conforto and Cuddyer to play. Ugh.
No one is sure what to expect from David Wright anymore, but assuming he’s able to play it makes for an interesting battle between Wilmer Flores and Dilson Herrera for 2nd base. My money would be on Herrera who only plays that position while Flores has shown the ability to stand in the field at every infield position but catcher, so he would likely be the guy off the bench. Ruben Tejada continues to be a utility player miscast as a starter and his position seems to be one of great vulnerability in that it wouldn’t take much to deliver more offensively than he provides.
The bench is nearly as bad going into next year as it was starting this year. Consequently some thought must be given to Uribe-type players who are veterans who understand what they’re expected to do despite limited playing time. There’s a zone between AAAA players like many of whom the Mets gave too many ABs for much of this season, and the nothing-left-in-the-tank veterans like Bobby Abreu.
The good news in looking at the salary commitments going into next year is the revelation that there is some money to spend. Even if they are saddled with Michael Cuddyer's contract and elect to keep Jon Niese to hold down starting slot number five until Zach Wheeler returns, they are about 25 million below where they are this year with the likely departing free agents like Colon, Murphy, Parnell and the rentals. Throw in a non-tender of Dillon Gee and it's possible they'll have as much as $30 million to spend. An off-season deal for Jon Niese could create another $9 million in payroll flexibility. That could certainly cover the cost of an extension to Yoenis Cespedes or the acquisition of a similar bat.
Speaking of Cespedes, what would he cost? At age 29 and coming off his best season during which he's earned $10.5 million, he's probably looking at a deal similar to what Pablo Sandoval got from the Red Sox – 5 years for $95 million ($19 million per year). The money is there to add him as well as a few other bench and pen reinforcements.   

5 comments:

Thomas Brennan said...

If Cespedes does well, pay the man to stay. What would the Yanks do? Do it.

With next year's elite rotation (going to Super Elite status if Wheeler returns as good or better than before, as he could be better if the discomfort he had pitching last year is gone), if I were Cespedes, I'd want to be right here in NY.

If they see a pennant surge in revenues this year, they have to spend big. It is nice to go to a mediocre Mets team's game occasionally to see one of the elites pitch. If, instead, they stock the team and are the team to beat, more fans will go to more games because they are no longer nice to see, they are COMPELLING TO SEE. Turnstiles will spin in high gear.

Robb said...

I would love uribe and johnson back for a combined 5.5

I would think its flores/herrera comp in spring training, if flores wins herrera goes down if herrera does flores starts on the bench.

your starting outfield will be the same as it was at the begining of the year. but by the all star break conforto will probably be in left in a platoon with cuddy. who will also be in a platoon with duda at first base a bit.

Im really hoping for a long term deal for degrom and maybe a below market one for thor. to amortize costs.

Mack Ade said...

Alderson and Company are getting a rare moment to see how a true stud hitter plays for this team.

I don't see any way in hell his agent goes for this but I can dream.

Holdup will be the length of the contract for a hitter his age.

Reese Kaplan said...

Apologies to all, but I'd left Familia off the salary projections -- his line is blank. Mejia got about $2.5 so I'm thinking Familia is ripe for $3 million this year as he is arbitration eligible. That pushes the base core to about $86 million (though with too many pitchers).

Lew Rhodes said...

Flores is going to be our Ben Zobrist - let's hope he can hit like him - he will get 300+ ABs in the reserve role all over the infield.

If we can't keep Cespedes, I dream, DREAM of us signing Heyward - his defense in RF, and he is still only 26.

There is no doubt that the Mets will sign a big bat for the OF - I think they are going to plan on Lagares being out for a chunk of the year recovering from surgery.

I think Grandy could man CF with Hayward in RF - not sure who else is out there as a OF FA -- I just know we could do a lot worse than re-signing Cespedes.

For SS, I would love for us to take a 1 year flyer on Desmond - I bet he would sign a 1 year contract to recover from this year - and I am sure the Nats won't re-sign him - they HATE him hear in DC now - we have Reynolds and Cecchini in the minors as depth there - even without signing anyone there is room for improvement.

I am not worried about the bullpen either - with Familia, Goedell and Robles we have 3 strong arms - hopefully Black recovers by the end of the season - that is a pretty solid pen, if short on experience - keeping Blevins and signing one other veteran would make that a strong pen.

I think Sandy Alderson has acheived his mission of building a foundation that can compete for several years.

This roster, even without any external signing, is likley a team that would finish above .500 (on the strength of its pitching alone) - add one or two more high end pieces, and they are a contender.

Mack's Mets © 2012