I will start today with free agent CF Grady Sizemore, free agent 2B Aaron Hill, free agent RP Joe Nathan and a trade for Chicago Cubs C Geovanny Soto.
All three free agents will take more than one year contracts; I think that has to be factored in. Sizemore probably gets 2 yrs $13 million plus incentives, Hill gets 2 yrs $9 million and Nathan gets 2 yrs $10 million. Soto may not cost as much in a trade, maybe a package of P Mark Cohoon and P Roy Merritt, both minor league pitchers who despite some upside are not in the Mets top 10-15 pitching prospects.
Sizemore's biggest question is his recent injury history and it looks as if he has recovered. He would be an upgrade in centerfield and allow the Mets to non-tender Angel Pagan. If he regains his pre-injury form, he would be a steal.
Obviously the signing of Aaron Hill would mean that Jose Reyes has signed elsewhere. Hill is a good two way player who would leave little doubt who the team's 2B is. He can bat either 2nd or later in the order; has some power and can drive in runs. Part of the negative would be Ruben Tejada batting leadoff, which I don't see as a good thing. Lack of team speed would also be a difference in past seasons where it used to be a strength.
Nathan I think right now is the favorite to be the team's closer next year. A NY guy with a huge upside who is not looking for a huge contract seems like its a fit for the Mets. The fact that they don't have to overspend will allow them to bring in another reliever such as Fernando Rodney (1 yr $3.5 mil) who is now part of this package. Rodney is certainly more of a question that Nathan but can be similar to Detroit's Joquin Benoit as a hard throwing 8th inning reliever.
The starting rotation will stay the same, with Santana, Dickey, Niese, Pelfrey and Gee.
Soto is a better defensive catcher than Josh Thole and his bat will give him the majority of playing time. The lineup consists of -Tejada, Hill, Sizemore, Wright, Davis, Bay, Duda/Murphy, Soto, pitcher- which is as good of a threat as any lineup without Reyes.
Last part of this package is the return of bench players Willie Harris and Scott Hairston, who will cost little. For the little roles they play, they make the bench stronger.
Tomorrow I will put together another package of players and in the end, I'll have a vote on what is the best package. Use the comment section to suggest other players the Mets should be interested in and I'll try to work some in to my other packages.