The 800 pound gorilla that lives over the Triborough Bridge (I'll never call it the RFK Bridge), the World Champion New York Yankees, are a team to be reckoned with. A team that redefines what "Championship Caliber" means.
Three superstars in the infield alone that will be sure to steal away MVP voting from each other for years to come, a strong top half of the rotation that showed it can dominate in the post season, and the best closer of all time.
All the talk around the Mets blogosphere saying what the Mets should or shouldn't do makes me crazy. What the Mets should be doing is figuring out a way they can beat the Yankees. If they field a team that can beat the Yankees, then they should be able to beat anyone that the National League teams can put on the field.
How can they beat the Yankees?
Step 1: Sign John Lackey
The only thing Lackey will cost the team is money. All indications suggest that the team is willing to spend the money necessary to get a guy like Lackey. I hope they pull through. He would legitimize the top of the rotation, and will be a key part in the three-headed monster staff that my plan will build.
Step 2: Trade for Roy Halladay
Sure, Halladay wants to sign an extension before being traded. Sure, it's going to cost someone a lot of money to get him.
The other sure thing about Halladay is that he'll be worth the money. (See Johan Santana & CC Sabathia).
Some may think that trading away your farm system for a guy like Halladay is a foolish move, but I call those people fools. I pointed out a while back that farm system prospects aren't always what they were cracked up to be.
I'm aware of the kind of money it would take to put a pitching staff like this together, but anyone should be aware of how historically good the top of the rotation could be.
I also like the idea of Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, and Oliver Perez competing for the bottom two spots in the rotation. I don't think I'm the only one that realizes that's where these pitchers really belong.
Step 3: Sign a Cheap Power Bat for Left Field
All the talk has been about Jason Bay and Matt Holliday. While I believe either would provide an infusion of life to the middle of the line up, I feel like the money it would cost to get them should be spent on pitching.
I'd love to see Xavier Nady make a return to the Mets. He's only 31. He can hit for power, which he showed in 2008 when he hit 25 home runs and drove in 97 RBI. He's a right-handed hitter that hits right-handed pitching well. He's got a career .270 average against them, and a .308 average against lefties.
Sure, he's coming off a season-ending injury that allowed him to only play in seven games last season, but I think he's worth another look.
Step 4: Leave Luis Alone!
Luis Castillo, dropped fly ball and all, was one of the few bright spots for the Mets in 2009.
He worked hard in the off season to get in shape, and was able to keep healthy all season. Sure his range has diminished at second base, but he proved he was willing to try and earn his paycheck.
Plus, having Jose Reyes in the lineup ahead of him and David Wright in the lineup behind him will lead to more success. How could it not?
Step 5: Daniel Murphy, Starting First Baseman
Call me crazy...Maybe I got a heavier dose of the Daniel Murphy Kool-Aid, but I believe in him.
Maybe it's the fact that he looks a lot like Don Mattingly in the box. I think with a full season working at first base, and the confidence that goes along with being the starting EVERY DAY first baseman will allow him to develop into the hitter we all think he can be.
He's a No. 7 hitter, behind Reyes, Castillo, Wright, Beltran, Nady, and Francoeur, and having a No. 7 hitter that has a smooth swing and good power to the gaps is not the worst situation to be in.
I'm a big believer that the Mets don't need to spend money to add power at first base because I hope having Reyes and Beltran back, and Wright hopefully returning the home run to his repertoire, will be more than enough. Especially with the dream pitching staff I listed above.
I'm not saying any of this will be easy or cheap. Steps one and two could conceivably cost over $40 million a year to do so. But spending that kind of money can be effective .