Last week, I presented a piece by ESPN’s Jayson Stark, who offered a dismal outlook for the Mets in 2010 and beyond. You can read that blog, entitled Fixing the Mets: Just Blow It All Up. You may remember this memorable quote from Stark,
Their season hasn’t just been a disappointment. It’s been a Freddy Krueger movie. But at least there’s one good thing those fast-sinking New York Mets can say about their 2009 horror show: It’s almost over.
The trouble with that, though, is this: As soon as this lost season is over, it will be time to contemplate a question almost equally scary: Then what?
Today, Peter Gammons throws his weight into the ring with a piece that offers a not so dire outlook and in fact a more realistic approach to fixing the Mets than the Stark article did, in my opinion.
Gammons begins by offering a little advice which suggests the Mets should start using their SNY financial clout to select the best players rather than the most signable players in the June Draft. And then he suggests that the Mets stop worrying so much about what the Yankees are doing.
As for his fixes…
1. One quality starting pitcher. Santana should be back. As we saw with Mike Pelfrey on Sunday, it is there. Jonathon Niese looks to be a quality back-end guy, as does Bobby Parnell. So go try to sign a front-end pitcher. John Lackey wants close to CC Sabathia cash, which may be tough to do with the Santana contract. They can do what Colorado did, find a Jason Marquis; in this case, it could be to accept Bronson Arroyo’s contract … there are ways, and the bullpen should be fine. Maybe Brad Holt and/or Jenrry Mejia can help by June. A big key is sitting down with Scott Boras and forcing Oliver Perez to get serious about his future.
2. Catcher. They may be tempted to take a short-term solution like Jason Varitek, but more likely they will make a deal for a younger catcher like Arizona’s Chris Snyder, the Angels’ Jeff Mathis, Colorado’s Chris Iannetta or Cleveland’s Kelly Shoppach.
3. One corner bat. Even with Carlos Delgado’s contract off the books, going above $15 million for Jason Bay or Matt Holliday and taking on a free-agent pitching contract may be tough for the Wilpons right now. So they will have to be creative, using Daniel Murphy at first or in left. Jeff Francoeur may continue to make strides and deserves every opportunity.
He also adds that with Holt, Mejia, first baseman Ike Davis (.905 OPS between Single-A and Double-A), Fernando Martinez, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada (who led the Eastern League in chances and double plays) knocking at the door, the farm system is nowhere near as bad as has been colored.
First, let me commend ESPN for adding some balance to what could only be described as a less than positive piece last week that was tough to read at times. Even though many of the points made were good ones, lets face it, it was a hatchet job. This Gammons article kind of levels the playing field and offers some hope for the 2010 season, where last week there was none.