I have thought of a full proof plan that will fill the holes on the Mets and Yankees rosters but it would require the cross-town rivals to put their differences aside and trade with each other.
First off, let’s outline the needs these two teams have.
For the Mets, they need to bring in a starting pitcher that has a proven track record of eating innings and putting up solid results. Beyond that, they could use a proven left-handed reliever to join Jerry Blevins in the bullpen as a left-handed specialist.
The Yankees needs are different, they need a veteran that can play second and/or third base for them this year because as of right now they are set to have two rookies be their second and third basemen this year. The biggest issue here is their unwillingness to go to a second year on a deal with a veteran for a few reasons.
To start Miguel Andujar, who is their young third baseman, is an up and coming stud at the plate who supposedly just needs to work on his defense to become a legitimate MLB starter. It is also believed that the Yankees are going to be legitimate contenders in the Manny Machado sweepstakes this upcoming offseason so committing time and money to a veteran would be counterproductive to the organization.
The Yankees also have a need in their rotation. Their starting rotation is solid but they have no depth. If one of their starters were to get injured they would have a serious issue. It has been widely reported that they are interested in Yu Darvish but in order to sign him, they would have to clear a lot of cap space so a middle or back-end rotation piece may be more likely.
Now, I am going to lay out the chain of events that need to occur for both teams to get what they need from Free Agency and each other to improve their teams.
First, the Mets need to sign Lance Lynn to a 3 year/45 million dollar deal, The Mets are interested in Lynn but they his price is seemingly too high. Unfortunately, they will have to meet his demands in this scenario which at the moment would put them at 159 million about 5 million dollars more than they are seemingly willing to spend.
However, Jeff and Fred Wilpon have consistently said that they will increase the payroll if the right deal is out there and that is what I am presenting right now.
With the addition of Lynn, the Mets will be in a position to safely move one of their many starting pitchers and this is where things get interesting. At this point, Sandy Alderson could approach Brian Cashman with an interesting trade proposal, to say the least.
Looking at this from a money standpoint Lugo and Cabrera are a combined 9 million dollars which would keep the Yankees well below the Luxury tax a goal that Cashman outlined earlier this offseason and fill their two biggest holes. The Mets would essentially save themselves about 10.675 million dollars as Chasen Shreve will make 825,000 this year.
Obviously, this move would also create a hole for the Mets at second base so Wilpons be ready to open up your checkbooks for one last signing. Now the Mets can get right back into talks with Eduardo Nunez, a guy they were already in contact with prior to signing Todd Frazier. To sign Nunez the Mets would be able to sign him for a 2 year 17 million dollar deal which is identical to Frazier.
All of these moving parts would lead to the Mets having an Opening Day payroll just below 157 million that they have to pay for with 2.5 million being provided by the Yankees. Yes, the Mets would have to make a lot of moves in a short amount of time while spending more than they wanted but it would improve their team as a whole.
For the Mets, Lynn is a legitimate third pitcher in a strong rotation, Shreve is a solid major league arm, Solak has a lot of potential and Nunez would bring similar things to the table that Cabrera does.
The Yankees would take on a bit of cash but solve their only two issues while still having cap space to add talent as the season goes on and at the trade deadline. Cabrera would provide the Yankees with a veteran presence, versatility, and a solid bat on a team with a lot of young talent. Lugo would give the Yankees a solid rotation piece that is under team control for 5 more seasons.
Is this deal going to happen? No, but it does make sense even if there are a lot of moving parts and it isn’t exactly a perfect fit. Lugo is a solid pitcher but could get hurt with one throw, and there is no guarantee the Mets could acquire Nunez.
What makes this even less likely is the fact that both teams are not usually willing to make a deal even if helps them both.
If the Mets and the Yankees are serious about competing and want to make some shockwaves throughout the league this deal is about as close to perfect as it gets. Yes, the Mets would have a salary a bit higher than they would like and the Yankees may prefer a better starting pitcher but there are not many other options out there that work for these teams.
So, Sandy and Brian when you read this, pick up the phone and get this plan in motion. You’re welcome in advance.