The New York Mets 2012 Off-Season: A Fan’s View
What the Future Holds...
We all know that there are two main questions for the Mets this offseason and they are:
“What do we do with R.A. Dickey?”
“What do we do with David Wright?”
Since I’ve been a Mets fans since 1980, I figured I’d give my opinion here.
R.A. Dickey is great. He’s a great person, he has a great story and he had a great year with the Mets. All that being said, if the Mets can trade R.A. for some high level talent I think they have to do it. If the Mets have any organizational strength it’s in their starting pitching and it’s not often a team can put the current Cy Young winner on the trading block but the Mets don’t have any high-level, high-ceiling position players in the minors. That’s not to say that there aren’t any good minor leaguers in the system, there are, but not the impact players the Mets need. The free agent market for pitchers is incredibly thin this year. After Zack Greinke is signed, there is very little high-quality left on the market. Several teams are trying to push forward and need a frontline starter. I believe Sandy Alderson should target a few teams and talk to them. The Blue Jays and the Royals have deep farm systems that may match up best. IF no trade makes sense, sign him for 2 more years.
David Wright is a completely different story. If this were David Wright from say 4 years ago this would be a no-brainer. Sign him to a long-term contract as the face of the franchise and don’t think twice about it. However, the David Wright we have now is a bit different. For whatever reason, the Mets, in their wisdom, built a beautiful new park to completely neutralize their best weapon. Sounds silly I know, but this is the Mets. Shea Stadium was a pitchers park too but David was far more comfortable there then he will ever be in this new park. The original dimensions of the park included a 15-foot high left-field wall and a power alley so deep anybody could catch fly balls in it. The market for David Wright has been set by Ryan Zimmerman at $100 for 6 years. Could he go for more? Yes, but only from the Mets and only because he IS the face of the franchise. No other team will offer him more than that because the last 3-4 years haven’t been spectacular. Injuries and lower production really undermined his value. Even this season was odd at best. He was hitting .400 into June but fell off the cliff in the second half of the season. His overall numbers for 2012 aren’t bad but the second half was a struggle.
I love David Wright, but many Mets fans aren’t into him. He doesn’t come across as a “clutch” player to many fans and I can see the reasoning (I feel the same way about Mike Piazza by the way). Could the Mets trade him? I actually said they should about a year ago, when I thought they could get more for him. I think they still could, if they traded him now – not at midseason.
So if the Mets traded Dickey and Wright what would the Mets have for Opening Day?
1B – Ike Davis
2B – Justin Turner
3B – Daniel Murphy (this is his natural position)
SS – Ruben Tejada
LF – Lucas Duda
CF – Kirk Nieuwenhuis (Maybe or someone from the R.A. Dickey trade)
RF – Jordany Valdespin (Maybe or someone from the David Wright trade)
C – Josh Thole/Veteran free agent catcher
SP – Santana, Niese, Harvey, Gee, 5th Starter (Zack Wheeler doesn’t arrive until midseason)
RP – Francisco, Edgin, Parnell, Familia, Mejia, any number of minor league options
Not very intimidating but I see a pattern forming that I like. In the 80’s it took Frank Cashen I think 4 years to put a good team together through the draft and good trades. Think this through with me.
The Mets drafted Dwight Gooden. They traded for Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez. They later traded for Ojeda in 86. The Mets drafted Harvey, Mejia, Familia and traded for Zack Wheeler. The Mets developed Orosco and later on McDowell. I still think Parnell can close and Mejia or Familia probably can too. Parnell has to get meaner – a lot meaner. Hey Bobby, you can throw 100 miles per hour. Maybe it’s time someone reminded him of this.
The Mets developed a 30-HR hitting left handed position player in Darryl Strawberry. Well, they also developed a 30-HR hitting left handed position player in Ike Davis, and maybe a second one in Lucas Duda if he can get his hitting straightened out properly. The 80’s Mets had a slick fielding shortstop in Rafael Santana who couldn’t hit. This team has a slick fielding shortstop in Ruben Tejada who can. The 1986 Mets imported leadership in Keith Hernandez and later Gary Carter and I think they can do that once they are free of the Bay and Santana contracts next year. What this year’s team needs is GRIT. We don’t have a gritty guy besides Justin Turner and he doesn’t have the speed. We need a Wally/Lenny clone, a pest that gets under the skin of the other team. Jose Reyes was like that but he didn’t do it on purpose, he was too happy on the field and too innocent to realize how annoying he could be. Wally and Lenny bothered people on purpose and loved doing it. We need that type of player.
I can see it coming though we are still a year away from generating any noise unless the players Sandy brings in through any possible trades really works out quickly. The new PR slogan should read:
“If you build it… like Frank Cashen… they will come!”
As an aside from all of this, why don’t we see about Giancarlo Stanton. We have some pitching depth to trade and the Marlins have a very pissed off Stanton to unload. We should at least ask. I might, as GM, also ask Johan Santana to defer some money until next year, in order to spend a bit this year if the right player were available. You would have to add something to his contract in order to do that but it might be worth the effort to free up some money.