In this MMO Roundtable edition, I asked our staff the following:
What is the number one priority for the Mets this offseason?
Mitch: While the outfield has some issues, the bullpen is priority number one. The Mets lost a bunch of games because of the bullpen’s inability to get the job done…I’m not sure how many games, if any, could be directly attributed to the lack of production from the outfield.
Nick: Outfield, because the Mets do not have a single outfielder who can be a full-time outfielder. While Scott Hairston had a good year he needs to be re-signed and never had a great full year as an outfielder and there is no one in the minors either to be a full time player.
Michael: Outfield help. Particularly in getting one or both of the Upton brothers. The bullpen can be fixed with some young arms like Carson, Familia, and Edgin, and a bullpen that is terrible one season can bounce back and be lights out the next. It doesn’t matter if you can pitch scoreless innings if you can’t score runs to have a lead in the first place, and the Upton brothers can provide that offense.
Gregg: The Mets number one priority this offseason has got to be improving the outfield production. Bay was a horror, Torres not great, Duda was awful, Baxter was fair. The only bright light was Hairston.
Jim: The No. 1 priority is offensive production from the outfield. Going into 2013 with an infield of Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada, David Wright and Kelly Shoppach/Josh Thole isn’t terrible, but the outfield needs a serious offensive jolt. Mike Baxter and Scott Hairston are nice complimentary players, but the team needs right-handed, middle of the order power threats. The problem is that these type of players (B.J. Upton, Justin Upton, Josh Willingham, etc.) will be expensive either through free agency or trade. It seems like Jason Bay will be back, so expect a Bay/Lucas Duda platoon. Maybe Kirk Nieuwenhuis impresses in spring training to win the center field job. If that’s the case, I hope Sandy Alderson can pull of a trade for a slugging right fielder to insert into the No. 4 slot in lineup. Tejada, Murphy, Wright, SLUGGING RIGHT FIELDER, Davis, Duda/Bay, Shoppach/Thole, Nieuwenhuis. Not exactly murderer’s row, but with a decent pitching staff (which the Mets should have next season if everyone returns healthy), this lineup can win games.
Clare: After signing Wright and Dickey, the Mets need to find a stable force behind the plate. Our catching situation is not good and we need someone who can guide our young pitchers, be dependable for our veteran pitchers, and catch Dickey’s knuckleball!
Jessep: Tough to say. The no-brainer choice is the outfield. The problem with that is, they have to figure out the Wright situation first. The Wright contract is as much an advertisement to current and future free agents as it is to the fans. Nobody wants to play for a team that is financially unstable. Signing Wright not only tells us as fans that things will get better, but it shows the current players and players they hope to bring in – that the ownership is committed to winning.
Fonzie13: Number one priority is the Outfield. Followed by Catcher and the Bullpen. Again!
Satish: Convincing the entire fanbase that they are not punting the 2013 season in one way or another.
Rob Tie Dyed: It should be getting a new GM but that wont happen. Asking what our number one priority should be this off-season is like the captain of the Titanic asking, ‘Should we evacuate and abandon ship starboard side or port side?
XtreemIcon: Deciding which of the minor leaguers have a future. There won’t be a spending spree, obviously, so the Mets need to figure out who currently in the organization can play and based on that, what positions need to be filled via FA.
This is so tough to answer because it seems every offseason we have the same areas of concern as the previous season, plus one or two more new concerns we didn’t have before.
The catching is atrocious, the outfield is horrendous, and the bullpen is still a disaster… Second base is still uncertain and definitely not set with Murphy and who will be our third baseman? Is Wright coming back?
What about Santana and Gee who will both be coming back from injuries, and where do Familia, McHugh, Hefner and Familia fit in?
Then of course there’s the money… You know, that number that Sandy Alderson said he hasn’t discussed yet… With all the focus on Queens next season because of the 2013 All Star Game, all eyes will be watching.
Let me leave you with this. I read yesterday that one more losing season by Sandy Alderson and he will set a Major League record for the most consecutive losing seasons by any General Manager in the history of the game – nine seasons.
Anyway, lets play GM… What would you address first?