We've been hearing about a Bay for Bell and Buck trade [and ask for MIA to add $3M to offset the $24M v $17M due] and I say go for it...nothing to lose and filling two holes if we win. Figure Bell gotta be better than Rauch and Buck is better than Nickeas and despite those two underachievers in 2012 we were in the wild card lead on July 4th so anything we get from Bell and Buck is a plus. The most important off season move is getting a slugging OFer to replace Bay and Nick Swisher fits the bill. Cut loose Pelfrey, Rauch and Torres and pocket the $13M and use it to pay for Swisher or equal at $9M per and some raises for the current squad. Use the current $91M payroll minus $16M saved, $9M for Swisher and raises and you're around where we are right now but with a better, more balanced team. I really got sick of seeing Torres' .236 BA, Bay's .158 and Nickeas' .165 in the lineup [RJ is an upgrade]. No more deadwood please!
Valdespin-L---playing CF---I really like this kid
Duda-L/Hairston-R---go with the hot hand
Buck-R/Thole-L---go with the hot hand
Murphy-L----so if a .300 hitter is batting 8th we are in good shape and he could bat #2 when he is hot and Valdy is cold.
This lineup would have good lefty-righty balance for once and depth. And if Buck has anything left we could get 15-30 homers from positions 2-7.
Turner-R, Cedeno-R or equal, Nieuwenhuis-L and/or Baxter-L fill out the bench.
Santana, Dickey, Niese, Harvey, Gee with Young re-signed for insurance and Wheeler [up next July when Santana's gets arm tired] and Familia at AAA honing their skills.
Francisco, Bell, Byrdak, Parnell, Edgin, RRamirez makes 12 and guys like Mejia, Carson, ERamirez developing at AAA along with retreads like Hefner, Schwinden and Acosta for emergency spots.
And if SA gets the okay make a run at Michael Bourn for $15M per using the unspent Reyes money and with a little backloading the payroll could be $100M and then Murphy becomes trade bait to upgrade another spot. I do wonder what the Mets could get for a package of Murphy or Valdespin, Familia and Nieuwenhuis??? Maybe a younger slugging outfielder that wouldn't cost us much. Would Bourn cost us a first round draft pick??? Weakening the Braves and strengthening us would be a bonus. Comments?