The Mets’ real season begins now

Posted: September 29, 2013 in Hot Stove, News, Opinion
Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Steven Inman

For the first time as Mets general manager, all the spotlight now turns to Sandy Alderson

For the first time as Mets general manager, all the spotlight now turns to Sandy Alderson

In what was arguably a mirror image of 2012, the 2013 Mets season is over. They finished with the same record they had in 2012: 74-88. They did manage to finish higher than fourth place in the NL East for the first time since 2008- a consolation prize of sorts. We have been told by the entire front office for two years now that the Mets plan is for 2014. Well, the next time the Mets play again it will be 2014.

The team has so many holes but has the financial flexibility they haven’t had in a very long time to fix those holes. If they use the money wisely on the right players, this can be a playoff team next season. Here are the holes they absolutely must address.

1. Shortstop

The Mets came into the season not sold on Ruben Tejada and it turned out that they were right about him. Tejada came into camp overweight, didn’t hit and worst of all, made too many errors that cost the Mets a few games in April. They have no depth at the position and were forced to play Omar Quintanilla every day for most of the year. They gave Wilfredo Tovar a look in September, but he is more of a utility guy.

Unlikely to go back to Detroit, Jhonny Peralta makes sense for the Mets

Unlikely to go back to Detroit, Jhonny Peralta makes sense for the Mets

There are a few options here in free agency but no perfect solution. Stephen Drew will be available and I profiled him as a free agent hereJhonny Peralta will also be a free agent but he is coming off a 50-game suspension for PED’s and he is below average defensively. He has pop though and must be considered. Speculation has increased on Troy Tulowitzki becoming a Met but the Rockies don’t match up well in a trade with the Mets. I wrote about the Mets odds of getting Tulo here.  Other trade possibilities could come from the Diamondbacks who have Chris Owings and Didi Gregorius and Arizona doesn’t seem to favor one over the other for 2014 yet.

2. Outfield

Outfield should be a little easier to fill than shortstop because there is a lot more depth in free agency. Shin-Soo Choo is the headline name and the Mets will be involved in his market. Other options include Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury. The Mets are going to need two outfielders – most likely for left and right field. The likely scenario is the Mets sign one outfielder and trade for another. However they are very uninterested in trading top prospect Noah Syndergaard in any deal.

3. Starting Pitcher

Without Harvey (we should know by November) the Mets will need to sign a veteran starter to give them innings. Matt Garza is the headline name but the Mets will be looking for a guy who is looking for a lot less money. Free Agent Options include some pretty big names that have fallen upon hard times, Josh Johnson, Tim Lincecum and Phil Hughes are a few names the Mets will consider. Old friends Shaun Marcum and Mike Pelfrey are also free agents but neither is likely to see a reunion in Queens any time soon.

4. Bullpen

In his time as Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has built three bullpens and all three have been significantly below average. This would have been more noticeable this year if the team was able to score more. Even if they fix the offense, this bullpen blows more than its fair share of games and that can be demoralizing for a young team. Bobby Parnell  will be the closer if he is healthy but he is coming off neck surgery and Terry Collins said Parnell has already lost 30 pounds since surgery which was just a few weeks ago. His return to form is not 100% guaranteed so bringing in a few late game options wouldn’t hurt.

There is mutual interest between the Mets and LaTroy Hawkins in bringing the reliever back for a second season in Queens but he will be 41 and the team will need more than just him to add to their bullpen.

Over the next few months there will be a lot of rumors, some fact and some fiction and BrokeMets will be there to break down what makes sense for the Mets in what should be a busy offseason for Sandy Alderson.

How should the Mets approach their offseason?

  1. Michael Young says:

    Steve – All of the questins that you have raised are valid and your speculations about various trade or signing options are equally as intriguing. However, you did not mention the first base problem at all. Why? Do you think that Ike Davis or Lucas Duda will be the answer fot the Mets in 2014? After all they were both very disappointing again in 2013 and they will each be another year older in 2014. Where is the Mets version of Freddie Freeman going to arrive? Mike

    • Steven Inman says:

      Mike great question. I left out the first base issue because this post was for holes outside the organization. I believe Lucas Duda or Ike Davis will be the first basemen next year. I’m going to do a post later this week on Duda vs. Davis and what the Mets plan to do with them but as of now it appears the Mets 1b will be from their 40 man roster unfortunately. If the Mets had a Freddie Freeman around, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Again Mike thanks and I’ll answer this in more detail in the next few days.

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