Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
My infield has 8 ball players.
2 catchers, 4 starting infielders, and 2 utility players that can play multiple infield positions.
I can fill a few of these in quickly –
- SS Astrubel Cabrera -I don’t think there is a Mets fan on this planet that isn’t happy with this guy and what he did this past season. He’s worth every penny of the $8.25mil he will be paid in 2017 and, if he repeats in 2017 what he did in 2016, I’ll gladly pick up his option.
Frankly, I next have to move to a couple of veterans that are both under contract and just not reasonable trade bait anymore because of the money and/or length of what’s left of their contract –
- 3B David Wright – Look, I have to respect both the amount of years and dollars committed over the length of Wright’s contract. I greatly question whether or not he will ever play at 100% again. I then will light a candle and hope he can produce like he has done in the past. And lastly, if everything goes south, I hope that David (I can call him by his first name because I know him) would have the decency to work out an exit package both he and the team could benefit from.
- UT Jose Reyes – I’m thrilled to see that the Mets have picked up the option on this guy. I’m basically putting off any youth movement for my 2017 infield and paying Jose (I can call him by his first name because I know him) the approximate $600K minimum makes much sense when you also have so much invested in Wright ($20mil in 2017). I have him as the backup for Wright on third, Cabrera on short, an occasional gave at second, and late inning pinch hitting. You can’t find a more talented player in the league at this cost for this role.
- 1B Wilmer Flores – Frankly, I’m done with Lucas Duda and I would not pay him the projected $6.7mil it would take for him to return. I know we are still one year away from the Dominic Smith Experiment (spoiler alert: two years away from the Peter Alonso Project) so I’m going to try and limp through this season with a full time Flores and a part time returnee that I hope will sign up.
- C-Reserve Rene Rivera - Many of you know that I want two basic things from my backup catcher. First, I want his to catch a great defensive game which includes the ability to throw out runners on a consistent basic trying to steal second base. Secondly, I want my pitching staff to be happy when this guy is chosen to catch them as well as be encouraged by this catcher when my pitchers are getting things done right. Do these things and hit. 200 and I’m thrilled, but do these things and hit .222 and you’re the guy for me. He’ll cost around $2mil which is a steal.
And then there are the new guys that I would do what it takes to add to my roster -
- C – Wilson Ramos – yeah, I know there’s a health problem (ACL and meniscus tear in right knee… second tear), but he’ll be back and, since he only cost $5.35mil last year for the Nats, I probably could easily (especially after the injury) get this guy in the $10-mil range for 2017. He hit 22 HRs/80 RBIs last year in 482 at bats and will play 2017 as a 29 year old. He easily could not be ready for the beginning of the season and his rehab literally could last until the all-star break, but I’ll still sign him through 2018. Big risk (two rebuilt knee operations for a catcher) but big rewards to. I’ll fill in with Travis d’Arnaud until the transition and then deal off ‘ d’ in some future trade. This is basically my wild card move this upcoming season.
- 2B – ??? – Yeah, this is where you come in. Do you send a QO to bad backed Neil Walker? Or do you promote rookies Gavin Cecchini or T.J. Murphy? I’m not going to allow you to use Flores here because I am going to play him at first for one year with the next guy as his back-up. Your call here.
- UT – Kelly Johnson – I didn’t want this guy to go away the first time and I sure as hell don’t want to lose him again. Johnson knows his role. He can play at least three infield positions and there isn’t a better clutch late inning pinch hitter in the league. He also was only paid $2mil last season. I would easily double his salary to get him back.