2039.6: Mei's Future

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2039.6: Mei's Future

Post by Rubaboo » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:16 pm

Hsin Mei has been a standout player for the Aztecs since he was acquired from New Orleans in a blockbuster deal before the 2037 season. One would not be remiss in rating him among the league's top catchers. So why, before the 2039 season even ends, is there so much uncertainty surrounding his role for the 2040 season in the Mexico City front office? The short answer is this: the team would like to get him as many ABs as possible, and considering the potential attrition in the upcoming expansion draft, the team is considering moving him out from behind the dish.

Hold on, you might say, you just counted him among the top catchers in the BBA, how could one consider not having him as a catcher? The answer, while simple, is also quite complicated.

First and foremost in the minds of the Aztec GM are the recent struggles of Aztec captain and DH Augie Plascencia. The team feels that a platoon role might serve Augie better in the short term and that recouping some of the WAR value that Augie has failed to attain over the last several seasons (2.1 combined 2037-39) would be a goal easily attained by platooning Mei opposite of Augie. 'What to do about catcher then?' you might ask. The Aztecs had a rash of injuries that resulted in some shuffling late in the season. Among those shuffles, was the promotion of AAA C Juan Velez. Velez slashed .270/.373/.492 in 20 games in September and reportedly has impressed Aztec management enough that he is already in the plan to be on the opening day roster. A normally platoon-averse organization may be planning on having several set up for 2040.

Mei could always stay at C. He has proven to be durable and led the BBA in C at-bats last season. The issue there is that leaving Mei behind the dish limits the opportunity for Velez, as well as leaving holes at DH (poor Augie) and potentially 1B (depending on Estrada's future [more on this in a moment]). Mei is a great all around C. Do the combos of Mei and Velez at C and Augie and Mei at DH offer more value to the club that Mei full time a C with Velez as backup and Augie putting up less than 2 WAR at DH? The team is leaning yes, but the final plan is not set in stone.

The Estrada problem. Ok, this isn't actually a problem, more of a classic 'overthinking' situation. Estrada will be 32 shortly after 2040 begins. He had a great 2039, but it was his first season over 2 WAR since 2033. He has an affordable team option for next season and is a free agent after. Is there a world where Jose Estrada is 1)Left unprotected to be snapped up in the expansion draft, 2)Traded during the offseason, or 3)Has his team option declined and is sent to free agency this offseason? That world exists, somewhere, but, barring any kind of unfortunate setback from the broken hand he sustained in September, signs point to him playing out his contract in Mexico City. What does this mean for Mei? Not much, really, except that it's what started the whole 'Moving Mei' thought experiment in the Aztec front office. Estrada and Mei carried the team in 2039. Can they do it again in 2040?

Follow all of that? With the Estrada problem not an actual problem (again, barring anything unforseen) the likeliest outcome of this whole scenario is that Mei will pick up some ABs as a DH next season. The team will have to figure out how to manage his innings a bit, but if they can eke 80 more ABs from the all-world backstop, it could see his overall value approach his peak in New Orleans. What happens to Augie in this instance? His arb estimate for 2040 is only $950k. The team will certainly keep him around, both for his leadership and his value as a vLHP platoon and pinch hitter. Velez will get some play at C, and the team may look for another RH option at C.

The team will look to make 2040 count. Help is coming in the OF and middle IF, but the team will be looking to get creative to make a run at the division after the realignment dust settles to make a statement. Mei's role in that will be large, wherever he plays.
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Re: 2039.6: Mei's Future

Post by bschr682 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:59 pm

Blah blah blah #fakenews

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Re: 2039.6: Mei's Future

Post by Rubaboo » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:41 pm

bschr682 wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:59 pm
Blah blah blah #fakenews
I'm almost never happy to see you've commented on something I wrote...
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Re: 2039.6: Mei's Future

Post by usnspecialist » Wed Sep 04, 2019 10:49 pm

Estrada has always been an interesting case as a player.
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Re: 2039.6: Mei's Future

Post by RonCo » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:44 am

Classic Overthinking needs to be the name of my next team blog.
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Re: 2039.6: Mei's Future

Post by Rubaboo » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:50 am

RonCo wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:44 am
Classic Overthinking needs to be the name of my next team blog.
Ha. I think this is true of all of us.
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Re: 2039.6: Mei's Future

Post by JimBob2232 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:23 am

That mei trade is an interesting one to look back on and keep track of. The specs are still all in the minors, but are hanging in there. We’ll see in the next couple seasons how it ends up.
Check out sureveymonkey for my trade block (Last updated 12/7/2018)

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Re: 2039.6: Mei's Future

Post by Rubaboo » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:57 am

I paid alot for him and it looks like most of the prospects are working out so far. I'd still go back and do it again. He's a unique talent at a position that can be hard to find them at. Don't regret it at all.
Fred Holmes
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Mexico City Aztecs - BBA

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JL Manager of the Year - 2023, 2024, 2026
JL MW Champs - 2022, 2023, 2024, 2027
JL Sun Belt Champs - 2035, 2036, 2038

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Re: 2039.6: Mei's Future

Post by JimBob2232 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 12:56 pm

Rubaboo wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:57 am
I paid alot for him and it looks like most of the prospects are working out so far. I'd still go back and do it again. He's a unique talent at a position that can be hard to find them at. Don't regret it at all.
Agreed. My hope was gomez becomes close to as good as he is was. I knew I wasn’t competing those last few years, so that move made sense for me too.

Pacy had a good season for me. A solid middle of the rotation guy.

Other nice peices too. Will be good to look back in 3-4 seasons.
Check out sureveymonkey for my trade block (Last updated 12/7/2018)

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