Al Leiter: The Mets Aren’t A Playoff Team

An article by posted on December 17, 2013

tejada580On MLB Network’s MLB Tonight, Al Leiter and Ron Darling were discussing the free agents still available on the market, and which teams still had some glaring holes to fill. Included in the conversation was, of course, the New York Mets.

The Mets came up in two conversations—first in the discussion regarding the Pittsburgh Pirates, and later with the Mets.

Leiter said the Pirates would be a nice fit for Mets’ first baseman Ike Davis. With Ike’s current salary, he thinks that his power would translate well in PNC Park, and that the Pirates should take a shot. We know from last season that the Pirates and Mets have been able to work out deals in the past, so this door seems to be open.

Darling, on the other hand, thinks Mitch Moreland is a better trade option right now. Aside from having an awesome first name, Darling notes that Moreland hit for a higher average last year and is the cheaper option. Moreland also hit for more HR in 2013 (23).

Here is a chart that breaks down Moreland’s and Davis’ batting averages over the past couple of years. As you can see, both are below average with regard to batting average, although Moreland has been slightly more reliable in this category as Darling stated.

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Darling and Leiter then both discussed the Mets, and what the plans at shortstop are. Both agreed that they do not see the Mets making a move in free agency, and are going with Ruben Tejada this season. Leiter added that the Mets aren’t a playoff team, and they have to stick with their young shortstop. Darling agreed, saying they should not give up on him after one bad season and alluded to the idea that the Mets were more upset with his effort than his actual play.

Is it too soon to give up on Tejada?

Probably.

It seems logical that the Mets would give him one more chance this season, but the odds are that he will be on a very short leash.

Is it surprising that Leiter still doesn’t think the Mets are playoff contenders even after many analyst and reporters have deemed the Mets “winners” this winter?

Not really.

I think even the most die hard Mets fan has to recognize that the Mets are not playoff contenders just yet. They are taking steps to move in the right direction, but nobody will look at the current roster of the team and start saving money for playoff tickets in October. Anything can happen, it’s just not likely based on the current roster.

You can watch the entire clip from MLB Tonight here.

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