Here's An Idea - Twins acquire Santana and R.A. Dickey
Whether you believe the Twins can compete in 2013 or not would it be crazy to acquire Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey from the Mets? From the Twins perspective they would get at least one top of the rotation pitcher and possibly two if Santana regains his form after several years of injuries. Neither is signed to a long-term contract, though a 2-year, say $30M extension to Dickey would not necessarily be ridiculous. From the Mets perspective they would be trading a valuable commodity, a top-flight pitcher, but they would also be dumping about $31.5M in obligations for 2013 and $5.5M in obligations for 2014. Why it works: for the Twins these two pitchers would make them competitive in 2013 without breaking the bank as their payroll would rise to about $102M, maybe $105M+ if they signed yet another FA pitcher. They could take on that extra salary knowing this big splash would probably sell enough tickets to cushion the increase. For 2014, the additional payroll obligations - Dickey and a Santana buyout or extension - would be offset by the salaries of Blackburn ($5.5M) and Morneau ($15M) coming off the books. For the Mets, they get much needed breathing room to reset and rebuild for 2014 and beyond. Can it be done? The Twins may have to throw in a prospect or two to sweeten the deal and it might take a fairly good one that could help the Mets in say 2015. The deal would not compromise the Twins' flexibility and it might make them really competitive in their division in 2013.