In the wake of “Black Monday”, the Mets are faced with a decision. The Mets need to evaluate if they can realistically compete with the Phillies for the NL East crown next season. Many of us fans want to believe that somehow our beloved Metropolitans will be able to competitive next season, but in order to have any semblance of a chance next season the Mets need to act. This off-season has been marked with ineptitude and feet dragging, which needs to end now.
The Mets have many glaring needs. The first was of course a lack of starting pitching. But, yesterday’s events scratched the two quick fixes off the Mets list, effectively making their other issues more paramount at the present moment.
I believe that the Mets now need to focus on securing Jason Bay for their LF situation. Yes he is a risk, but at this point the Mets have no choice. The Mariners and Red Sox seemingly are out of the sweepstakes, making Bay ripe for the taking. If they don’t get someone with HR power for the middle of their lineup, a 4th place finish is not out of the question. Bay will be a productive hitter, and yes we may regret the 5th year later on, but we would also regret the 8th year in Matt Holliday’s contract.
After Bay is secured for LF, we need to focus on pitching. First we need a reliable starter who will give us a quality start every time they take the mound. That guy in my mind is easily Jason Marquis. Marquis is a solid starter, not exactly a flashy edition, but a reliable one nonetheless. He reportedly wants to play on the Mets, which could be a nice breath of fresh air, and he apparently is a good luck charm for teams getting to the playoffs (I’ll take any good luck charm I can get at this point). If he can somehow be had for a three year deal, I don’t see a reason not to jump on this chance.
The Mets also need to shore up the catching position, and fast. Personally, at first I was ok with the idea of Molina for two years, but now that he is dragging his feet and demanding a third year, I would drop negotiations with him and sign Rod Barajas. If he can be had for one year that would be fantastic, but even two would be ok in my mind. Yes, he hit .226 last year, but he hit 19 home runs, and a career high 71 RBI last year, which would be a fine line for a #8 hitter. Let’s face it, whoever we sign is basically just a stopgap for Thole in 2011, so 15 or so dingers and 60 or so RBI’s is fine by me.
Finally, I believe the Mets need to take a gamble. The Mets need to make a bold move, and hope for the best. The Mets need to sign Ben Sheets. Sheets has the ability to be one of the best starters in the game, and could be had for relatively cheap. By signing Sheets, the Mets will be taking a large risk, but at this point, a bold daring move is the only choice they have. Teams like the Red Sox make bold moves and reap the benefits, why can’t the Mets do the same? If he is healthy, he is just as good of an addition as anyone on the market, if not better. A rotation (if healthy) of Santana, Sheets, Marquis, Pelfrey, and Maine has the ability to be very solid and if EVERYTHING goes well borderline great. Yes health is a question, but what do we have to lose? What justification do we have for NOT taking a risk?
The Mets, whether we like it or not, are in a state of desperation, they will not rebuild the team, so the only chance they have are making deals and hoping for the best. These deals, if they pan out, will make us a competitive team. We may not be able to usurp Philly from their NL East crown, but we may be able to fight for a Wild Card, which would be an upgrade over last year wouldn’t you say?