An MMO Fan Shot by James Reddicliffe
It’s no secret that 2017 has been a disaster for the Mets. Not only did they catch the injury bug in the worst possible way, they also have performed at an embarrassing level on the field as well. When I read the comment section here I see a lot of negativity, which is understandable. That said, this team is not so different from the one that went to the World Series in 2015, and made the playoffs in 2016. With better health and the three moves below, I am confident that the Mets will contend for a title in 2018.
1. Make A Bold Move For A Third Baseman
Please, I’d take almost anyone at third base but Wilmer Flores or Asdrubal Cabrera. Also I love David Wright as much as the next guy, and he’s an all-time Mets’ great, but can we all admit that he’s done – whether he wants to accept that or not. For this team to improve in a cost effective manner, they need to start with the hot corner.
The free agent options are limited- you’ll have to overpay to get Mike Moustakas who doesn’t get on base enough and has a checkered history of success. After that your options are Todd Frazier and Eduardo Nunez. They are both fine players but neither is the game changer the Mets need.
It’s time to think big… We have the pieces on this team to win for a long time, but you can’t count on health or guys sticking around in free agency etc. The front office should consider making a run for Josh Donaldson or Manny Machado. Sure, they aren’t likely to be traded, but everyone has a price especially if teams don’t believe they can retain these players. Can you entice the Blue Jays or Orioles with a package of prospects Justin Dunn, Andres Gimenez, Peter Alonso and Tomas Nido? You can substitute any players in there that are not named Amed Rosario or Dominic Smith.
The fact of the matter is none of those prospects are helping the Mets in 2018, and probably not in 2019 either. Josh Donaldson (the more likely of the two targets) makes the Mets exponentially better. He’s an MVP candidate who can hit in the middle of the order and also plays fantastic defense. With him and Rosario on the left side of the diamond, the Amazins’ won’t be giving away runs at an epic pace anymore and it allows them to play Wilmer at second where he is a cost effective option and his bat and defense play much better. Get it done and be a “maverick” Sandy.
2. Sign A Reliable Workhorse Type Starting Pitcher
Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb should be the targets as guys who can get outs but also add depth to an injury battered rotation. Cobb is having a great year for Tampa Bay at 10-9 with a 3.64 ERA and a WHIP of 1.202. Lance Lynn Meanwhile Lynn has been fantastic this season, going 10-7 in with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.159 WHIP for the Cardinals. Either one adds a reliable veteran to the rotation and makes us a better and deeper team. With one of them our rotation should look like this:
And then some combination of Matt Harvey, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler for the last two slots. If just two of those arms remain healthy and return to form, it will give the Mets a much more formidable rotation, similar to the one that carried us to a World Series in 2015.
3. Proven Reliever To Bolster Back End Of Bullpen
The Mets actually could have a great bullpen in 2018, a strength that could help ease some of their bruised starters back into action. With Jeurys Familia healthy, the addition of AJ Ramos, and the reliable presence of Jerry Blevins, we have at least three spots solidified. Paul Sewald has pitched well this year and seems to have done enough to earn a spot next season.
You also have the slew of hard-throwing relievers the Mets acquired at the trade deadline: Jamie Callahan and Jacob Rhame are two good looking young arms that could compete for a spot in the bullpen in 2018.
With Chase Bradford, Rafael Montero, Hansel Robles and some of the failed starters around (whoever doesn’t make the rotation) you still need another lefty unless you think Josh Smoker is the answer. He may be part of it, but the Mets need a more established option to go to the next level.
They should do what it takes to sign Jake McGee. During his tenures with Tampa Bay and Colorado, McGee has established himself as one of the top left-handed relievers in the game, despite his somewhat inflated numbers from pitching at Coors Field. McGee can be the missing piece we need to build a deep and very effective bullpen.
With a healthy Familia, holdovers Ramos, Blevins and Sewald, plus the addition of one more proven reliever, the Mets will have what it takes to shorten games and put more W’s in the win column.
… So there you have it. With the three moves above and a little more luck on the health front you could quite easily have a team that more closely resembles the 2015 Mets than the product on the field this year.
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This Fan Shot was written and contributed to MMO by James Reddicliffe. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Send your article to FanShot @ MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.