Projecting Mets’ Shopping For Next Winter

Other than extending Yoenis Cespedes, the Mets have been relatively inactive this winter. Could it be they are preparing for next offseason? That’s not a stretch when you consider the potential holes in next winter’s roster. General manager Sandy Alderson should be busy – or he’d better be.

Let’s assume for a moment their young pitching staff gets through the 2017 season healthy and productive. That should alleviate that issue, but here are the others:

CONFORTO: Where will he play?  (Getty)

CONFORTO: Where will he play? (Getty)

CATCHER: If Travis d’Arnaud doesn’t take the next step, it’s hard to imagine they’ll bring back Rene Rivera for another year. The Mets are saying they’ll give d’Arnaud another chance to prove his worth. If not, they’ll have to look for help behind the plate. Their top catching prospect, Tomas Nido, is still at least two years away.

FIRST BASE: They have Lucas Duda for another year, but they are still making noise of experimenting with David Wright and Michael Conforto. Either would be a gamble. If Wright is healthy, the outfield glut might make Conforto the pick. However, what they are really hoping for is Duda to hold the spot until Dominic Smith is ready.

SECOND BASE: Neil Walker signed for one year, so he’ll be another issue. If they re-sign him again, it will be costly, perhaps at least $50 million over three years. Of course, there’s Wilmer Flores, but why are they so reluctant to give him a real chance?

SHORTSTOP: Asdrubal Cabrera‘s contract will be over after this season, but the Mets have two prospects in Amed Rosario and Gavin Cecchini. How much time will they see in 2017 and will it be enough to get them ready for 2018?

THIRD BASE: Wright, of course, will be a question every season. The Mets’ top-rated third base prospect, Jhoan Urena, will still be a year or two away. Will Jose Reyes show enough this summer to warrant an extension?

OUTFIELD: It’s complicated now after extending Cespedes. Presumably, he’ll play left, which means Conforto needs to find a place to play. Center field would seem to be the place, but the Mets want him to share the spot with Curtis Granderson. If they can’t trade him, Jay Bruce could share right field with him. Whatever happens, we have to figure both Bruce and Granderson will be gone after this season, so that should ease the logjam. However, the way things project, playing time could be sparse for both Conforto and Juan Lagares, which might wave a red flag.

BULLPEN: There hasn’t been an offseason in recent memory where the bullpen wasn’t an issue. Figuring Addison Reed pitches lights out in the closer role while Jeurys Familia presumably serves a suspension, he’ll be worthy of a raise. Should Familia pitch well again, he’ll get more money. As usual, the Mets will have to look for role pitchers.

One thought on “Projecting Mets’ Shopping For Next Winter

  1. Catcher – Travis has been a disappointment. He was the linchpin in the trade of the reigning cy young winner and outside of some flashes of potential has been a bust.

    First base – Luke is a decent defensive player who can hit it over the wall. However he is a crap hitter who strikes out way too much with a shitty average. And he is hurt a lot.
    Wilmer might do well there or at second. Two places we can hide his horrible defensive skills. But he doesn’t have enough power for first and can’t find his glove.

    Second. Another position we can’t seem to find a place for Wilmer. Outside of the fact he will never be a capable double play partner and has no range what’s the problem?

    Short – Rosario is the future. Why do we talk of Gavin who recently seemed to solve his minor league bat while leading the league in errors?

    Third – David is done and we don’t have anyone in the minors.

    Outfield. We have a left fielder who is our center of gravity in the lineup. We now need to find 2 others to play with him. Mike might be one of them if he can solve the pitching. Juan might be another if he can solve the injuries.

    Pen – I am actually not too concerned. Jeurys is the closer and we have a ton of live arms we bring up every year. Yes it would be nice to get another premier arm, but considering we have an issue at every position but left this is not an issue.