Here are my off-season plans:
- Sign one starter, and sign/trade for another to join Johan, Pelfrey amd Maine in the rotation. Bye-bye, Pedro and Ollie.
- Trevor Hoffman closes, sign a set-up man in the $3 to $5 million per year range, trade for at least one more reliever and sign a whole mess of veterans to minor-league deals to see if we can catch ligtning in a bottle. Trade Schoenweis for salary relief, give Heilman a chance to start, keep Ayala as a middle reliever and use Feliciano and Smith as specialists.
- No changes to the infield, unless the Mets can sign Mark Teixeira. Then trade Delgado ASAP.
- Sign Adam Dunn to a 5 year, $75 million to play left field. New lineup: Reyes SS, Beltran CF, Delgado/Teixeira 1B, Wright 3B, Dunn LF, Church RF, Schneider C, Castillo 2B, PITCHER Bench: Castro, Murphy, Chavez, Tatis, middle infielder.
Can it be done?
CRITICISM #1: So your going to pay Wagner who is over the hill and hurt and Hoffman who is 50? I would rather have Delgado for one year than Dunn for 5. The guy stinks in the clutch and stinks in the field. Classic "feast or famine" type player. Really bad plan. And who is he trading for??? or signing for the rotation??
Response: Wagner's contract is sunk cost, which is actually why you give a one-year deal to an old guy who can still do the job, but won't command top-dollar. Then, next year you get a guy to the be the long-term closer. Of course, the ideal way of doing things is to develop a closer from within - draft a boatload of college starters, turn one of them into a closer and get quality pitching for a fraction of the free agent cost. Dunn stinks in the field, but his numbers don't change much in the clutch. He could play one year in LF and move to first in 2010.
Who am I trading for? Don't know yet - have to talk to the other 29 GMs and find out. Who am I signing? Depends on the asking price. Can I get Derek Lowe for three years and an option, at $11 million per? Will Ben Sheets sign a deal for the same length of time at $13 million per? Can I get Brad Penny or Freddy Garcia on a one-year deal?
CRITICISM #2: The only thing I disagree with, Jack, is that you still have Castillo as part of the team. Give him and a few hot dogs to a homeless guy and call it a day.
Response: Castillo's value is so low the Mets would have to take a bath on him. It's worth giving him one more year at the bottom of the lineup, where he can walk and bunt for a base hit all he wants, before giving up entirely on him. Plus, if they don't sign Orlando Hudson, who would play there?