The Mets have approximately 60 million dollars coming off the books at the end of this season.
Jay Bruce, Neil Walker, Curtis Granderson, Asdrubal Cabrera (option), Jerry Blevins (option), Addison Reed and Lucas Duda are all notable free agents after 2017. With the lack of athleticism, youth, defense and late inning pitching, the Mets should focus their off-season filling those holes.
First and foremost, the Mets should focus their attention on upgrading at third base and center field.
If the Mets were looking to upgrade third base rather than platoon Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores and T.J Rivera (because that clearly isn’t working for them) they should look at Mike Moustakas to provide them with offense and some nice defense. In 306 at-bats in 2017, Moustakas is batting .275 with 25 home runs and 54 RBI. On defense he has only made five errors at the hot corner.
Next, the Mets need a true center fielder that is a top of the lineup threat. A player that plays great defense, can get on base and has speed and can swipe a bag or two.
Does anyone come to mind? No? Well I’ll tell you.
Lorenzo Cain is the answer and he will be a free agent after 2017. In 347 at-bats, Cain is batting .274/.346/.439 with 15 stolen bases. In center field he has just four errors.
A career .985 fielder, Cain can be an upgrade from having to rely on Granderson in center. Cain can also shift Michael Conforto over the right field. An outfield of Yoenis Cespedes, Cain and Conforto sounds enticing.
The biggest struggle of 2017 has been the Mets bullpen.
The Mets need to focus on acquiring a closer that will enable them to relegate Jeurys Familia into the setup man role.
Wade Davis is a must for the Mets and they cannot allow him to sign with the Washington Nationals.
In 2017, Davis has an outstanding 1.80 ERA with 43 strikeouts in 30 innings pitched. He started his dominance as a closer in 2014 with the Kansas City Royals.
Is it a coincidence that I seem to want former Kansas City Royal players on the Mets? They all won it together in 2015, why not bring them into our locker room?
If David Robertson is not traded by this year’s deadline and still remains with the White Sox, the Mets should look to package a deal to get him.
This season, Robertson has a 2.97 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 30 1/3 innings pitched. Obviously it’s imperative to make Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith and Tomas Nido untouchable in any deal, so I hope Sandy Alderson can put together a good package for Robertson with other prospects.
Speaking of Nido, I think he would be a better option that Jonathan Lucroy as our primary catcher.
Nido is currently on his way to the Futures Game along with Rosario. Although this season has been a down year for him at the plate, batting .246 compared to d’Arnaud’s .227, he has a ton of upside.
In Binghamton this season, he has an outstanding .995 fielding percentage behind the dish and has thrown out 40 percent of base stealers. I can see Nido getting a call up in 2018 after the All-Star break if and when Travis d’Arnaud struggles. The clock is ticking on the Mets former top catching prospect who is now in his prime and I wouldn’t mind seeing the 23-year-old Nido’s defense and arm strength over d’Arnaud’s.
If the Mets can sign all the players that they should sign then their lineup could look like this:
- Lorenzo Cain
- Amed Rosario
- Michael Conforto
- Yoenis Cespedes
- Mike Moustakas
- Dominic Smith
- Travis d’Arnaud/ Tomas Nido
- Gavin Cecchini/ T.J Rivera/ Wilmer Flores
Some people might roll their eyes looking at this lineup because of the platoon at second base, but realistically, Mets fans, do we really think that we are going to sign every free agent this off season?
Logically speaking I’m not sure if the Mets would even get both Moustakas and Cain. It might be one or the other. If they end up only getting one then they might look for a cheaper replacement or platoon at third base or center field.
Whatever the case is, the Mets need to put the best product on the field if they has expectations of winning.
When evaluating their team, they have to judge it based on athleticism, versatility, speed and power rather than worrying how much they have to pay a player each season.
This is a big market town and this is a big market team. It’s time they start acting like it. The window to win is now. Ownership should act on this opportunity before it’s too late.