1. I would have signed Jeremy Affeldt to his 2 year $4 million dollar deal on the 1st day of free agency. I love the length of that contract and I'm sure he would have rather pitched for a winner than the Giants.
2. I would have followed that move with similar offers of between 3-4 million a year to Joe Beimel AND Jaun Cruz. I wouldnt have wasted any time and would have just locked them up quick. All 3 of those guys.
3. Next I would have worked my tail off immediately to get a deal done for either J.J. Putz or Houston Street (with Street being my preferred choice). Seeing what transpired lately between the Rockies and the Mets on the rumor front, something could definately be done there with Aaron Heliman and someone else in a package. Considering what I have just added to the bullpen, I would not have "balked" like Omar did if in the end I would up giving up Pedro Feliciano as wll with Aaron. In any case, adding Street and subtracting Heilman would be accomplished in some form of a deal.
*Lets breakdown what I have done so far:
A: I have drastically improved a completely faltering bullpen with probably the 3 best middle relievers available and I obtained a closer that wont cost the team a ridiculous amount of money. All told, adding these 4 guys would cost the Mets a total $14-16 million depending on Streets arbitration and taking away Heilman's and possibly Feliciano's salaries.
B: I have managed to not only accomplish the revamping of the bullpen, I did it with what most are suspecting Francisco Rodriguez is going to cost all by his lonesome. I can now move on to addressing the starting rotation knowing full well that I still have about $20 million to spend without going over last years budget.
4. I am now looking at my starting rotation and 1st have to let you know what I am doing with Oliver Perez and Pedro Martinez. Oliver Perez will get a handshake and a thank you but then would be shown the door. You gave us some decent moments but for the most part, I've got a bleeding ulcer with your name on it and just can't take it anymore.
Same would go for Pedro. I appreciate the fact that you've been such a great cheer leader over the last 3 years in the dugout but I would have rather enjoyed it more had we been cheering for you on the mound. Your bank account has not suffered for it and if you would like a coaching job...we have your resume and would be very interested.
5. Now that Pedro and Ollie are gone, I make my #1 priority Derek Lowe. 1st offer of 3 years at $13 million which could go as high as $16 million with another year possible. I know that with him I am getting consistancy, innings, and someone that knows how to win. Somehow or another, I find a way to get him added. I know he is no spring chicken but its not like Im bringing Randy Johnson on board.
My staff right now looks like this:
Johan Santana, Derek Lowe, John Maine, Mike Pelfrey as my front 4. I can now either go with either Jonathon Niese or Bobby Parnell as my 5th starter OR I will try, depending upon what is left in my wallet after getting Derel Lowe, to sign another starting pitcher on the cheap (say Randy Wolf if he could be had for around 6-7 million) or through a trade (say Edwin Jackson from Tampa). In any case, I would feel just fine going into the season Nise and Parnell fighting it out for the 5th slot knowing that my first 4 are looking the way they do.
These moves have pretty much maxed me out on my off season budget but I would have been happy. I redid my bullpen and added another front line starter. I still have areas that I am not happy with and would still look to tinker around with in deals (dumping Scott Schoeneweis and Luis Castillo would be nice) but if I couldnt accomplish either then I would just truck ahead as is.
IF by some chance I could move the both of them and actually have a few nickles to spend afterward (with some more cash having to be approved by ownership) I would look to add Orlando Hudson and if not him I would take a shot at Felipe Lopez (who could probably be had cheaper).
If I was stuck with Castillo at 2nd then I would focus on possibly adding a left fielder. I am not enamored by going after what will be left after Manny Ramirez and Pat Burrell are gone (not that I like Burrell at all) but I would really like to add Rocco Baldelli and shift him to LF.
I know he has the mitochondrial disorder (and those that know me know that I am a nurse so its not like I dont know what he can and cannot handle) but he could play most of the time and if he needed a day off, then you throw Daniel Murphy in there (who would be playing close to all the time in my clubhouse regardless of whether we kept Castillo- he would either play 2nd or LF). Adding Baldelli wouldnt cost me as much as say Raul Ibanez or any of the other options still left out there and could really pay off big.
I know this was rather long and appreciate anyone that took the time to read it all. It isn't easy coming up with this stuff when you do actually take the time to consider the money available to the GM and what is actually realistic. I am sure that alot of you out there will have even better ideas that will change my mind in certain areas but this is what I would have done if I we're the GM.