I don’t understand how some members of our Flushing congregation have a hard time comprehending that due to the financial problems of our beloved Skill Sets, it is not business as usual when it comes to restructuring this Mets team. There will be no more careless bidding on free agents (I’ll see your 4th year and raise you a 6th year) as has been done in the past. Let’s put the cards on the table right now, the Mets will not sign Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, CC Sabathia or Ted Williams severed head.
Now that does not mean it will be a quiet off season, in fact I’m looking at what will be the busiest off season in Mets history. When you look around and the needs of this team (again as opposed to years past when the Mets focused on wants instead ) there are so many, it could take two off seasons to fill the gaps.
There is still a need at 2nd base, Justin Turner and Daniel Murphy are not every day 2nd basemen. Turner, while a hustler, leaves much to be desired in the field and as for Murph, he may get killed trying to turn a double play. So a bonafide 2nd baseman is on the want list. Ben Zobrist would look nice in a Mets throwback uni.
Shortstop will be manned by Ruben Tejeda. Get used to reading that.
In a perfect world, the Mets would have a whole new outfield in 2012. But we Mets fans live in the most imperfect world on baseball earth. I’m sure Sandy Alderson will try very hard to move Bay and his cement shoes contract. Unless he is willing to eat a lot of dead presidents or take back another unseemly contract, this will be near impossible to do. Angel Pagan should be an ex-Met soon and Lucas Duda looks to be attractive trade chum. Of course the name Grady Sizemore comes up as a choice for center field but his injury history is a huge caveat. There will be suitors for Sizemore among teams that have outfield depth, something the Mets lack. Coco Crisp and David DeJesus are nice fall backs or how about BJ Upton (get him with Zobrist in a mega deal with the Rays? Would the Rays take a package of Murphy, Duda, Parnell and another minor league pitcher for both?) or how about a deal with the Orioles for Adam Jones (is Mike Pelfrey a viable trade chip? Would you trade Jon Niese for Jones? Hummmmm?)
The bullpen and starting pitching will be the toughest to fill as we have seen in this past post season, pitching is at a real premium these days. There is a glut of closers on the market and one, Joe Nathan has declared the Mets a destination of choice, if a two year deal with incentives could be worked out with Nathan that would be a great signing by Alderson.
Josh Thole is not an everyday catcher, in fact he may be better off in Buffalo learning the tools of the trade but that won’t happen, I don’t think. I’d love the Mets to get their hands on Chris Iannetta or Nick Hundley but I think I’d settle for Kelly Shoppach as a tag team partner for Thole. A top flight catcher is hard to find.
I can see the Mets making a lot of deals this winter, when you are strapped for cash, the barter system is the way to go. As the late Bob Murphy said “Fasten your seatbelt” and be careful of getting whiplash.