Mets Can’t Afford To Stand Pat

The 2006 season ended for the Mets with Carlos Beltran frozen by a wicked Adam Wainwright curveball with the bat on his shoulder. The Mets reasoned with another break or two, they could have won the NLCS that year and advanced to the World Series. Perhaps thinking if the breaks went their way in 2007 they might get to the World Series, the Mets did precious little that winter.

METS: Can't stand pat now.

METS: Can’t stand pat now.

Maintaining the status quo didn’t work out then and the Mets can’t afford to duplicate that thinking this winter.

The Mets upgraded their up-the-middle defense with the additions of Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera, but there is more to be done and this isn’t the time for them to be cautious. Attendance at Citi Field will increase this summer as it usually does after a playoff season, but that shouldn’t alleviate the Mets of their responsibility to put a good team on the field and their response should be to be aggressive.

Their situation in the bullpen and in center field isn’t good enough to win with now, and they have several other questions. Will their sterling rotation stay healthy and continue to progress? Will David Wright remain healthy? Will Lucas Duda be consistent? Will Michael Conforto make the next step?

They’ve already done something to back-up Wright, but Michael Cuddyer‘s retirement and not bringing back Daniel Murphy leaves a gap behind Duda? They must remember Conforto won’t take anybody by surprise this year..

That being said, the bullpen and center field are the main weak links and this is no time to stand pat. Especially since Chicago has improved, as has San Francisco and Arizona. You can also count on the Dodgers and Nationals being aggressive the rest of the winter.

I don’t expect Mets to re-sign Yoenis Cespedes, but there are other options and Kirk Nieuwenhuis shouldn’t be among them. And, expecting Hansel Robles to be a bullpen stud is wishful thinking.

This isn’t the time for the Mets to watch the turnstiles click, because if they think repeating is a given that would be mistake.


14 thoughts on “Mets Can’t Afford To Stand Pat

  1. John,the Nats lost Zimmerman and will likely lose Desmond. As good as Harper is it is reasonable to expect him to take a step back. SYndergard and Matz will,be here all,year, Harvey is year more removed from TJ,and Wheeler should be back in July. The division seems very winnble. And those starters can be something big in a crapshoot like the playoffs. Me thinks you worry too much,John.

    • So our payroll just dropped to around 89 mil and we no longer have cespedes who basically helped transform this team from worst offense to first and you think we are fine? Our bullpen badly needs a lockdown type 8th inning guy and you think we are fine? Without Ces, clip and others who we lost you think we are fine. Our team is worse right now than the team we fielded in the playoffs and our payroll is a ridiculously low 89 mil and you think it’s ok? UGH!

    • While the division may be winnable, and the playoffs a crap shoot, running out a bullpen like the one we did in October & November is a failing strategy. It’s no longer about the NL East, but what they can do to beat the elites in October & November. And those teams – the Royals in particular – have depth, flexibility, and daunting bullpens. John’s worried because he should be – this team has to improve to win.

    • The Mets might be able to sign CF free agent Guillermo Heredia from Cuba. He is a switch hitter and runs, fields and throws the ball well. The guy will probably hit around 270 and might pop 8-to-10 HR’s. He is not Cespedes but he has skil,l and he will be affordable. He is a natural left hander so he might be a real good platoon partner for Lagares too. I like the idea of signing Ryan Raburn because he can crush left handed pitching, plays a decent OF/1B, and is not fast but knows how to run the bases. The other thing I would really like to see is the Mets adding TJ Rivera to their 2016 lineup. I find it strange that the Mets have held back on calling him up as he has always hit above 310 in the minors and is hitting above 362 in winter ball. He plays SS, 2B, 3B, and RF and LF so the team has nothing to loose with Rivera on the team. He runs well and is a decent fielder too. If they sign Raburn, Heredia and bring up Rivera I think the lineup will be good with a much higher OBP than in 2015. They still need to sign Antonio Bastardo as a left reliever and bring up Jeff Walters and their relievers will be decent to with Blevins, Bastardo, Reed, Walters, Robles and Gilmartin paired with Familia and their pen should be a winning one.

  2. While the Mets may very well be faves to win the division, let’s not kid ourselves Met fans !
    The Phils, Braves, Marlins all are stinko poo. That is a lot of wins right there and Mets may just need to finish like .500 with the Nats, and the Central / West to take the division. As for moving further, that is where the sink hole may cave. The other top teams in the Central just may all be better equipped. The Mets BP is not 1st grade, this we must admit.
    Jury is still out on A.Reed for a full year, Robles can be up and down, Edgin coming off an injury, no Bartolo to eat up innings (along with much of everything else), getting to Famila will be a familar problem as was seen in the postseason. Losing the bat of Cespedes will bring us to a familar dark place that was the 1st half of the 2015 season. Low scoring games with our staff pitching gems, then turning over a one run lead or deficit to the BP…tough on the blood pressure man..! Many tough losses come from that and can really hurt psyche of the team.
    Mets proved last year that if they can score 4 runs or more, game is over. Please Sandy, get us a bat that puts team over the hump (Cespedes, Upton) and an arm or two in the BP. The dollars are there from last year’s success, Bartolo and Cuddy’s contracts gone (over $20m), and from the $$$ coming in this year from last year’s hurrah. Don’t disappoint the fan base. One year as a tease is just not enough. We want the whole thing now.

    • Conforto is play LF. You can say they need a hitter off the bench to play LF but that’s Conforto’s position to lose.

    • Conforto is in LF. We need a CF so they should be looking to sign Parra, Span, or Cespedes.If the Mets want to obtain a CF thru trade they should try to obtain Blackmon, Revere, Dickerson, Eaton, or Ethier. The Mets have prospects in the minors to make something happen.

  3. I think its ok to be too agressive here – a good time to overspend and enjoy the ride the young pitchers are going to provide. also, before the season even starts we could have 3 guys missing due to injury – that is just how things are so adding another bat and reliver is a good idea IMHO.

  4. Robles has good stuff so expecting him to pitch the 7th isn’t exactly wishful thinking. Edgin is coming back too. They could really use a shutdown guy for the 8th though.

  5. I dont think we need to add a star immediately…… last season JU & KJ added a spark even if it was playing sporadically and by pinch hitting. I would like to see both resigned. Having two guys that can hit off the bench under late inning pressure is a plus… Agree we need at least a capable CF platoon guy and a few more BP pieces. I think Hansel can continue to improve and be more consistent. I think it is crazy to pay a 26 year old with one or two good seasons as if they are an ALbert Pujols type who has clearly been a HOF’r for 12 years…. I think the Giants will be regretting Cuello sooner vs. rather than later. $20(+)m for a guy who may or may not win more than 13 games…. for six years??? I hope the club has an out

  6. The Mets have too many line-up holes to repeat even in a weaker division. Any baseball expert knows if you don’t have strength up the middle, you’ll be no better than a .500 club. Platoon by definition in center field reveals weakness. Our strongest position up the middle is catching followed by Walker at 2nd base who at times will be platooned. Shortstop.has been upgraded somewhat offensively but not defensively. when factoring in Ruben T.. David Wright’s reduced range, continued high strikeout ratio and health are all 2016 big question marks. If he can come back to play 100 games that would be a pleasant surprise. Duda can again hit 30 HR’s but must cut down on K’s to hit .265. Biggest position player strengths are Gandy and Conforto. Starting pitching is the best in baseball and should improve with experience. However, all are 7 or less inning starters. Thereifore, middle relievers have been erratic and 2016 looks less promising. Bottom line, Murphy’s bat and Cepedes #3 and #4 voids haven’t been filled. . .