I hope all of you had a wonderful New Years Eve and Day. It’s been such a hectic two weeks… you can count me in among those suffering from a bad case of holiday fatigue. I’m so glad we still have Saturday and Sunday to relax and unwind. Can you imagine if today were a Tuesday or Wednesday and it was back to work? Small favors.
Last week while I was looking back at some older posts from past New Years Days, I came across one that seems especially relevant (and prophetic) today. It was entitled, Some New York Mets Resolutions For 2008.
Omar Minaya – In 2008 I will shake up our Minor League Operations and replace all of my good friends with qualified baseball people who have a reputation for being exceptional at evaluating talent at all levels. We will do whatever it takes to rebuild our farm system, and will no longer be deterred by amateur players who may have high signing bonus demands. Instead of going after the lowest priced bargains, we will draft players with the best skills sets and highest ceilings.
At least they can’t say I didn’t warn them…
Can you believe that pitchers and catchers report next month?
Where has all the time gone?
Now’s as good a time as any to evaluate what we’ve accomplished and what remains to be done before the start of a new season.
Thankfully, we added the big bat we were craving in the middle of the lineup in Jason Bay. And nevermind what you may have read, the world is not going to end when Bay trots out to leftfield.
The Mets have also made some significant additions to the bullpen. Not it wasn’t on the grand scale of last season, but I bet it has a bigger impact where it counts most… performance. The additions of Ryota Igarashi, Kelvim Escobar and Clint Everts bolsters a pen that had little quality depth, and adds some new and deceptive looks that will pay off big in a tight spot.
Henry Blanco will take over as the backup catcher, putting Omir Santos in limbo or even back in the minors. Blanco will give the Mets a quality catcher with a great reputation for calling a game and framing pitches. It could help our rotation in more ways than you can imagine and it will certainly improve their numbers across the board.
The Mets still need to add a starting catcher and are still waiting for Bengie Molina to relent and take their one-year offer with an option. But I sense that the Mets are growing impatient and may just look to another option like Rod Barajas.
The rotation could certainly use another starter who they can pair up with Johan Santana, and I suspect that the Mets focus will shift toward that area after they present Jason Bay in a press conference later this week. Although the best options are now gone, the Mets still have some quality to choose from in Jon Garland, Ben Sheets and Joel Pineiro. And you never know… There’s still time enough to pull off a trade.
Daniel Murphy is still entrenched at first base, and Minaya had expressed a desire to ad a right handed hitter to platoon with Murph, but nothing doing yet. If it were up to me, what the Mets should get is an everyday first baseman who bats left handed and can give our lineup more balance. There would still be plenty of playing time for Murphy off the bench and the Mets can develop him to be a serviceable utility player being his role as a first baseman would be extinct upon the arrival of the “chosen one”, Ike Davis.
Finally, the bullpen can use one more left hander so that Pedro Feliciano will not be the league leader in appearances for the third straight season. We can’t keep overworking Feliciano who has become an important and effective weapon for the Mets. There are also rumors that the Mets may sign him to a multi year deal.
The most important things on this list is of course the catcher and starting pitcher. The Mets could very well start the season without the second left hander in the bullpen and an upgrade at first base, and I still think we’d be able to contend for a title. Plus, we can always assess Murphy a little longer, and make an adjustment after the season starts if he isn’t getting the job done. Actually, that might not be such a bad thing.
Happy New Year everybody!