LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The New York Mets left the Winter Meetings a better team than when they arrived. They haven’t been the busiest team this offseason, and didn’t make the biggest splash, but they have been far from dormant and above all, kept their word on being proactive.
COLON: Surprise addition.
Jeff Wilpon and Sandy Alderson took considerable heat for being dormant and talking a good game, but the additions of Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon were not talk. They aren’t the highest profile free agents, but will make an impact on the 2014 Mets assuming their health.
* Fills outfield spot they’ve had open since the beginning of last season.
* Adds left-handed power bat to give protection to David Wright.
* Provides veteran presence in the clubhouse along with a player who understands what it takes to play in New York.
* Fills one of the two slots for a starting pitcher for 2014, and assuming Matt Harvey’s return the following season, completes the 2015 rotation.
* Adds a pitcher who threw 190 innings in 2013 for Oakland, so we’re talking about durability.
* Adds mound presence young arms can learn from.
In addition to Granderson and Colon, this also came from Mets’ manager Terry Collins:
* Bobby Parnell might not be ready for spring training.
* As of now, Ruben Tejada is their shortstop.
* He’s prepared to go into spring training with both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda on the roster.
* He’s prepared to have Anthony Recker as the back-up catcher to Travis d’Arnaud.
* Wilmer Flores is in better shape, which could enable him to play the middle infield.
* The Mets don’t have a leadoff hitter if Eric Young doesn’t play.
* Said Chris Young is poised for a surprise season.
The Mets still have a way to go and must address the following:
* Find a resolution to the Davis situation. Sandy Alderson spoke with the Brewers on his way out of town, but Milwaukee GM Doug Melvin said nothing is happening there.
* They need another starter, at least for the first two months of the season until they are ready to bring up Rafael Montero.
* The acquisition of a veteran back-up shortstop behind Tejada.
* Bullpen depth in anticipation of Parnell not being ready.
* Determine who will be their leadoff hitter when Eric Young doesn’t play.
Although the Mets were more active than many anticipated, I felt they let several opportunities slip through their grasp, among them:
* Did not pursue Phil Hughes. Who would you rather have, a 27-year-old Hughes for $24 million over three years or a 40-year-old Colon for $20 million over two years?
* Despite needing bullpen help, didn’t make a run at Joba Chamberlain, who signed with Tigers.
* Could have had Nate McLouth over Chris Young. McLouth signed today with Washington.
There’s still a lot of time and a lot of work to do before spring training.
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