Mets 2014 Offseason - Did We Just Get Worse??
So the Offseason Continues….
I’m worried. Very worried. The 2013 season was not the total disaster it could have been and we did finish in third place (WOO HOO!) but there are problems on this team and we haven’t fixed them at all, despite spending $87.5million. Please be patient and follow along with my thinking here.
There is no replacing Matt Harvey. However, Bartolo Colon has been consistently good despite his age and weight and was cheaper than the other free-agent arms still available. That being said, is he a replacement for Matt Harvey? I’m just not so sure. Is he 80% of Harvey? Yes, I think so and that may be enough. Where is our #5 starter? Is it another cheap veteran like Daisuke Matsuzaka or one of our many prospects? I’m not sure, but in this case we are: WORSE.
Right field was manned by Marlon Byrd for much of the 2013 season and he played really well on a comeback from suspension season. The dude hit more homers than any other Met, hit well and played a solid right field. Since he became relatively expensive, we signed Curtis Granderson (who was even more expensive at $60mil/4years). We all know that Granderson’s season was lost last year due to the freak injuries and his previous years in the Bronx he had elite hitting stats. His breakdown for home runs in and away from Yankees Stadium aren’t very skewed towards the Stadium so he has home-run power and he should be able to hit them in Citi Field but will he hit 40? No, I don’t think so. Could he hit 25-30? Yes. That’s great but he also strikes out a ton. I’m not sure I like 25 HRs and a .220 average over 15 home runs and a .280 average. In this case I will say we are marginally: BETTER
Left field was a mess for a good part of the first half of the season until we got Eric Young out there. He played a solid left field and got on base enough to lead the league in stolen bases. So we of course went out and got Chris Young though I’m not exactly sure why. If we believe that the outfield is now Chris Young in left, Juan Lagares in center and Granderson in right, where does the NL stolen Base Leader go? Is he now a bench player? I’m not sure that makes a whole lot of sense especially as Chris Young’s numbers are 12HRs with 40 RBIs and a .200 batting average. That’s right, .200. This is a player who admits he’s not a home run hitter, he’s more of a line drive hitter, except for the fact that HE DOESN”T HIT WELL!!!! Why in the world did we sign him? If it was for the Home Runs, I think it was the worst signing of the offseason. He won’t hit them in Citi Field. If you were going to put Eric Young and his 44 stolen bases, 30+ RBIS (from the leadoff position) and his .250 average on the bench, you need to get more production, not less, and certainly not for $7.25 million. In this case we just got: WORSE
After roasting Ruben Tejada over an open flame in the press, it looks like we have to let him prove himself since the Mets brass hasn’t replaced him with anything even remotely resembling a shortstop. From what I’ve read about Tejada (and this could all be just media driven bad press), he isn’t motivated, he’s been out of shape and relatively surly and unhappy in the clubhouse. Why put him back on the field if he doesn’t want to be here? I don’t need Stephen Drew but even Rey Ordonez and Rafael Santana were light years better than this. Rafael Santana couldn’t hit his own weight and I’d still be happier with him playing shortstop over a guy who doesn’t want to be here. We also don’t have a backup plan since we let go of Omar Quintanilla and Justin Turner. So we have to hope Tejada is the player we saw in 2012 so let’s call this: EVEN.
The bullpen is still a work in progress but losing LaTroy Hawkins was big. We need a veteran in the bullpen and it hasn’t been addressed but I believe it will be by Spring Training. We have to hope Bobby Parnell comes back as the pitcher he was last year or that Vic Black can close in his stead if he isn’t ready As the bullpen really hasn’t been addressed yet, let’s mark it: INCOMPLETE.
So, I hate to say this but I don’t think we really improved enough to say we have a competitive team. I think we have essentially the same team as last year with perhaps a few extra wins. The Mets regained some credibility by spending money, but they didn’t spend enough to compete, just enough to look like they are spending. I agree that the free agent prices are insane, but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t trade for better players as I’m sure there are teams who would like to unload some payroll. I’m sure the front office is looking at every avenue to make changes and get better, but I just don’t think they’ve done enough (and it’s likely not their fault).
Let us hope our young arms and young guns like Juan Lagares and Travis D'arnaud get better.