1/18/17

Reese Kaplan -- Who Ya Gonna Protect?

11 comments


Since it’s a historically stagnant off-season, let’s revisit the prospect of what the Mets would do if ever the league decided to expand and add another franchise.

The rules from the 1997 expansion draft it must have been a daunting task for the clubs to figure out who to protect from the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays (as they were known at the time).

For round one you were only allowed to protect 15 players from your entire organization.  This group of resources was not just your 40 man roster but anyone from the entire depths of the minor league system as well.

After the first round ended, a team was allowed to add 3 more players to its protected list.  If you were lucky enough to have survived unscathed in round one, now you’d have 18 players that could no longer be selected by the new teams.

The teams chose 14 players in round 1, another 14 players in round 2 and 7 players in round three.  There were no restrictions placed on resource distribution.  Theoretically both new franchises could have raided the rosters of just one or two teams and that would have been perfectly permissible.  Had that happened, by round three a less popular team would have had 21 players protected.

Anyone who was a free agent at the end of the previous season was exempt from protection by their former club.

So now that you know the rules, let’s play GM and figure out who on the Mets you would protect in round 1, who you would add in round 2 and who you would add in round 3.

Here’s my crack at it:

Noah Syndergaard
Jacob de Grom
Matt Harvey
Steve Matz
Yoenis Cespedes
Michael Conforto
Lucas Duda
Amed Rosario
Dom Smith
Thomas Szapucki
Jeurys Familia
Robert Gsellman
Addison Reed
Tomas Nido
Asdrubal Cabrera

After the first round I would add:

Zack Wheeler
David Thompson
Justin Dunn

After the second round I would add:

Desmond Lindsay
Andres Gimenez
Luis Carpio

Assuming that the existing players’ salaries are the burden of the drafting team, I felt you could be safe in assuming no one would likely take Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker or Jay Bruce.  Although his salary is high, you have to protect Cespedes.

Since the club has a 2018 option on Cabrera, I figure you have to protect him.  Lucas Duda is a relative bargain for a 30 HR albeit flawed slugger.  You might quibble with some of the lower minors talent as high as it is here such as Thomas Szapucki, but the selecting teams get 35 players in total to start so there is room for them to hold some in the minors as well.  I figure you have to make sure your crown jewels don’t get snapped up too soon.

There were tough calls.  I’m guessing the injury history on Wuilmer Becerra pushes him behind Desmond Lindsay.  I also think they would be willing to part ways with Travis d'Arnaud and Seth Lugo as well as most of the bullpen.  Some goners for sure would include Wilmer Flores, Brandon Nimmo, Gavin Cecchini and perhaps even TJ Rivera.

There are no right or wrong answers here, but have at it.  Who would you protect and when?

11 comments:

Thomas Brennan said...

Duda out of my top 15, Dunn in it. Duda is one more year and gone, Dunn could be a solid MLB pitcher by OD 2018.

If I were confident in Zach Wheeler, he'd stay, and Nido would get bumped to the top 18.

Not so sure at all that Luis Carpio belongs in Round of 21...he's bumped. I'd have Jose Reyes in the Round of 18, and d'Arnaud in Round of 21. my guess is even with that, both would be drafted. Thompson would not be in the Round of 18 or 21...I think the jury is still out on his future major league impact, so I think he'd be safe being left out. I'd strongly consider keeping Lagares if possible.

Glad this is theoretical.

I'm sure Wright, at his salary, would go undrafted. Grandy and Bruce would be gone. Expansion teams would want their Frank Thomas circa 1962.

eraff said...

weren't there also limits on the number of players you could lose per round...and in total???

If Non 45 man roster guys are eligible, you'd need to consider protecting prospects as a foremost consideration.

Conforto
5 SP's
Cespedes
Familia

That's EIGHT

Rosario
Smith
Cheech
Plus 4 more PROSPECTS... a total of 7 Prospects

I believe the Draft generally allowed you to lose 1 per round.

The emphasis on the Drafting team might be to draft players who still have some "control" left--a Flores or a Plawecki. The "later rounds" might still feature guys with a short contract obligation--Bruce and Grandy, for Instance---these guys would be "features" for the fans---but, alos UNHAPPY and not part of the expansion future.

In prep for the Draft, I could see teams trading and positioning to prepare.

Interesting WHAT IF Post!!!

Mack Ade said...

I wouldn't protect Duda either in the first round.

Question... are players like Dunn that were drafted in the last draft eligible for something like this?

Reese Kaplan said...

@eraff -- Specifically there were no restrictions on drafting multiple players from one team in a given round.

Hobie said...

Great Winter (Cold Stove) exercise!

So a trio of ex-Metniks who now own the Omaha Orangutangs select an all-Met lineup:

TdA, Walker, TJ, Reyes, Wilmer, Grandy, Legares, Nimmo.
Bench: Plaw, Cecch, Evans, Taijeron, Bernadina
SP: Lugo, Montero, Ynoa, (and unprot from other clubs: Pelf, Gee)
BP: Seawald, Rosenbloom, Robles, Smoker, Peterson, Mateo, Gilmarten

And fill out their 40-man with:
Mazelka, Corrillo, Alonzo, Guerrero, Garcia, Beccera, Kacz
Molina, Conlon, L.Taylor, Flexen, Crismatt, Knapp, Griset & Kay

I might secretly be rooting to the O's.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hobie, it seems there should be some limit to how many can be snatched from a given team. I'd think if a new team draft ever happened again they might think differently. If not, for every guy we love, other teams have guys that a new team would love also (think "Cubs")

Reese Kaplan said...

There was no limit in raiding one team's roster in 1997. Every team is at the same risk (assuming they have minor leaguers worth considering as well).

Reese Kaplan said...

BTW, my thinking of Duda in the top 15 is that Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson might be claimed. That would leave a need for LH power. If they were, then you'd want the cheapest option of the three.

Eddie Corona said...

wow on another day i would be all over a article like this here is my list...

Noah Syndergaard
Jacob de Grom
Matt Harvey
Steve Matz
Yoenis Cespedes
Michael Conforto
Amed Rosario
Dom Smith
Thomas Szapucki
Jeurys Familia
Robert Gsellman
Tomas Nido
Justin Dunn
Andres Gimenez
Zack Wheeler

have to protect your best cheap options

my best guess is we would lose flores first

Hobie said...

Thomas,

My all-Met draft was of course tongue-in-cheek.

It does contrast to the trough the original Mets ha to feed from. NL teams protected 15 of 40. NY & HOU had to select exactly 2 from each for $75K apiece. Then up to 8 more (one from ea NL club at &50K per, and finally 4 premium players $100K (not more than 1 per club). The Mets chose 22 players in all (HOU 23) of a possible 28.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hobie, makes one wonder how they only lost 120 in 1962! Thank God for those 2 rainouts.

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