Reese Kaplan -- Blow It Up And Start Over


For most contending teams the revenue generated by ticket sales primarily takes place as the season begins with only the nosebleed seats generally available on game day.  Towards that end, putting fannies in the seats is not as important at this time of the year as is ancillary revenue that results from TV ratings, merchandise sales and the perception that your team is not only going to contend in the near future but also a desirable place at which to go to work. 

On the latter part, the Mets are probably not doing as much as they can.  Think about it.  If you are a free agent right now and say the Houston Astros and New York Mets made equal offers to you, where would you go?  The club did nothing to improve itself over last year, they have a reputation for being penny pinchers (or as least spending their money oddly), their manager can’t get out of his own way, and just when they were poised to take over the city they let the Yankees beat them at their own game yet again. 

Cries for a new ownership always fall upon deaf ears as it’s unlikely the Wilpons are interested in conceding defeat.  Cries for a new front office won't happen unless Sandy Alderson chooses to retire since he will take credit for bringing them to the World Series in 2015 and the post season in 2016.  Cries for a new manager may possibly finally be heard, with a scintilla of hope for change in the off-season, though it’s still going to be a painful July through September. 

So what can be done between now and the bitter end to generate some interest in the ball club and to evaluate players for the future?

  • Trade away the folks who for sure won’t be here next year – Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda and Jose Reyes.  Take whatever you can get by paying a portion of the salaries of the first two.  Think lower level prospects with high upside (like when you picked up Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard).
  • Play Wilmer Flores every day at a set position.  See what happens.
  • Ditto T.J. Rivera.
  • Promote Dom Smith and let him play 1B every day except against the toughest lefties (and that means Clayton Kershaw, not any shlub who happens to face 1B when winding up).. 
  • Promote Amed Rosario to play shortstop every day (and batting leadoff, not 8th).
  • Promote Kevin Plawecki to play 1B against tough lefties and catch occasionally.  See if he’s finally learned to hit or if you have to start with a blank sheet of paper at catcher.
  • Pitch Rafael Montero until he finally convinces you he either has it or he doesn’t have it.
  • Ditto Robert Gsellman (when healthy).
  • Ditto Seth Lugo.
  • Move Paul Sewald into the 8th inning reliever role and if you do wind up trading Addison Reed, let him be your closer until Jeurys Familia returns.
  • Hold onto Jay Bruce until the 11th hour and see if you can hold up another team for more than a Dilson Herrera type.  You want an organization's top 5 prospect.
  • Ditto Addison Reed.  Same level of prospect here.
  • If you do wind up trading Bruce, then play Brandon Nimmo (and when he recovers) Juan Lagares in a platoon.  See what you have.
  • Offer the $2 million you would have to pay to decline Adrubal Cabrera’s option as an incentive to get something for him in return.  I'd go for more AA or lower types.
  • Replace Fernando Salas in the pen with Tyler Pill or Kyle Regnault.  Neither can possibly be worse.
  • Learn to play small ball.  With Duda, Granderson , Cabrera and possibly Bruce gone, you can no longer rely on the all-or-nothing approach.
  • Pray for a miraculous recovery of Neil Walker by July 15th so he has 2 weeks to showcase himself for yet another trade opportunity.  Be prepared to kick in a lot of salary as he’s overpaid.  Get more farm system enhancements.  
Will this type of team be better than the one you have now?  Probably not…but it will at least be more interesting to watch and may move some of those unsold nosebleed tickets while generating higher TV ratings as people will be curious about the new blood finally getting a chance to play. What’s the worst that could happen – they’d play sub-.500 ball?  Take a look at the record now WITH Granderson, Bruce, Reed, Reyes, Cabrera and Walker.  What’s the absolute worst?  You battle the Phillies for the number one draft choice?  That’s a better consolation prize for 2017 than looking up at the Marlins and Nationals while treading deep water.   Besides, you will have something on the order of $85 million to play with during the next off-season.


Thomas Brennan said...

Reese - good plan - I would wait until after the Nats series next week to start to execute it.

Eddie Corona said...

Reese ...
We think alike... I would trade any and all of those guys for the highest gains possible... So if we could get a B level prospect from one team that is in double A or an A level prospect that is further away get the High upside Guy...
Fans only believe in instant gratification... But some prospect take time... We dont want to trade a Rosario and neither do other teams so Unless you trade your best (A LA DEGROM/THOR) you don't get other team ready to contribute Prospects...

So the next question is can this front office really evaluate and see if we would be ready to contend in the next 2 years... IF not Cespedes should be considered too before he is too injury prone to get value back or he breaks down and becomes the New David Wright salary burden...

Alexander Han said...


I'm with you on this. It's a no-brainer - you save money, you freshen things up. Quite possible the youngsters will outperform the old lineup and if they don't, it's still more enjoyable to watch youngsters struggle and improve than watch older teams go stale.

If only we could trade the Wilpons for a nice, new ownership that aren't from the NY real estate scene.


Alexander Han said...

Tom, I guess we always need to be prepared for a miracle season but I don't know, I just can't see it happening. I would not want the front office to change tack just because we take 7 or 8 of 10. In my view that would be fool's gold. This season has a lostness about it, I don't sense any hidden potential.

Reese Kaplan said...

The worst thing that could happen to this team is reeling off a hot streak. I hate to say it, but they need to go on another Dodger series type of performance to hasten the front office to start making necessary changes. If they win say 4 of the next 6, they will delude themselves into thinking they still have a chance.

Reese Kaplan said...

I'll add one more thought. I'd take a minimum wage flyer on Bartolo Colon and jettison Neil Ramirez.

Gary Seagren said...

Totally agree but this recent hot streak will keep everyone where they are for awhile longer unfortunately and the one big item as far as I'm concerned going into next season is Syndergaard. After hearing him say he would do the same things over again this off season that he did last off season and also wouldn't take the MRI again he's sounding more like Harvey 2.0 than any of would like to hear and knowing that management has little or no impact on such matters is it time to consider possibly listening to offers for him...any thoughts guys?

Reese Kaplan said...

You can't look for offers on him until he's healthy and pitching again. Even then, it would be a matter of selling low while there is plenty of team control left and suspect durability issues.

However, if you WERE to consider moving him you'd better be getting back young, cost controllable offensive talent as another team wouldn't give up pitching to get pitching. I'm thinking star quality along the lines, for example, of Jose Altuve or Carlos Correa (since the Astros inquired about deGrom).

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