A Small Off-season Preview of the New York Mets.

Updated: November 7, 2013
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As a Yankees fan, I have never hated the Mets, even though a majority of Mets fans hate the Yankees.  In fact, last baseball season I went to more Mets games than Yankees games, because I think Citi Field is a great stadium. On one of those occasions I attended with my friends and fellow La Sportsa Nostra writers Frantz Paul and Dionicio Collado (unfortunately Dion is a Mets fan), where we were able to watch Matt Harvey pitch. At that time, he was the most dynamic pitcher in baseball, and looked liked he was going to be the premier ace for the Mets for years to come. 

Unfortunately, Harvey has now undergone Tommy John surgery, which was probably the best decision he has made in his young career. It was smart for Harvey to opt for the surgery now so he can be back for the start of 2015 season. But without Harvey this upcoming season, plus a limited offense, the Mets might be cellar dwellers once again in the NL East. However, if they make a few key moves during the offseason, they could actually finish second in a weak division. Here are three moves the Mets should make to stay in contention:

Courtesy of cbssports.com

1.)  Sign Jacoby Ellsbury:  The Mets outfield was brutal last year. They were one of the lowest-ranked teams in outfield production, and it does not seem like they have any minor leaguers coming up to contribute anytime soon. Jacoby Ellsbury is a client of mega-agent Scott Boras, meaning he will come at a steep price. But the Mets need to open their checkbook to start showing fans that they care about winning.  Last year, Ellsbury hit .297/.355/.426, which are quality numbers.  Even though his RBIs and homeruns don’t scream “greatness,” he still had a quality season, especially with 52 stolen bases.  He is also a great glove in center field.  Plus, it was only two seasons ago that he had an MVP season, with 32 homeruns and 105 RBIs.  The big knock on Ellsbury is that he can’t stay healthy. But when he does, he is a top-five centerfielder in the game. The Red Sox aren’t going to re-sign him with Jackie Bradley, Jr. coming up, which gives the Mets a great opportunity to make a splash. I say sign him for seven years, $126 million.

Courtesy of en.wikipedia.org

2.)  Sign a First Baseman: The Ike Davis experiment has not worked. Can we please concede that now? Davis hit a measly .205/.326/.334, with only 9 homeruns. This is unacceptable for a power position like first base. There aren’t great first basemen on the market, but there is quality ones that the Mets can get on the cheap. I say make a run at a guy like Kendrys Morales.  He might accept the Mariners’ qualifying offer, but he wants to be a full-time first baseman, and he can be that on the Mets. Morales’ numbers last year: .277/.366/.449, with 23 homeruns and 80 RBIs in pitcher-friendly Safeco Park. Thus, the Mets don’t have to worry about him hitting in spacious Citi Field. I would sign him to a 2-year, $24 million deal until the Mets can get a long-term commitment at first base. 

Courtesy of zimbio.com

3.)  Sign a veteran-starting pitcher: The Mets possibly have the best young pitching staff in baseball. Again, Harvey will be back and will still be great. They also have Zach Wheeler, who looks like he will be a great number 2 pitcher behind Harvey for years to come.  They also have the likes of Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero waiting in the minor leagues.  Next year, as of now, the Mets have Wheeler, Jonathon Niese, and Dillon Gee locked in the rotation, with one of these young guns possibly coming up. This is why it’s a perfect idea to sign a veteran pitcher to anchor the staff and be a great mentor. The Mets should go after either Bronson Arroyo or Jason Vargas.  Both are quality starters who will eat innings. They also will come fairly cheap. I would sign one of them to a 3-year/$33 million dollar deal. 

            Again, the Mets have a lot of problems. But by making these moves, the Mets can keep their heads above water until their young pitching molds together. The Mets need to open their wallet and spend some money in order to get this team into contention again. With next off-season’s free agent class potentially having much more depth with hitting, and the above mentioned moves, the Mets can eventually right this sinking ship.

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