The end of the 2013 season was the same as usual for me as a Mets fan. I was looking forward to the off season to see what GM Sandy Alderson would do to improve on our 74 win season. In this article I will cover some early observation of what he did do for the squad as far as impact additions, what I believe he should have done, as well as observations made after opening day of the 2014 season.
What Happened In Free Agency
Signing of OF Chris Young (1 Year/$7.5 Million)
Signing of SP Bartolo Colon (2 Years/$20 Million)
Signing of OF Curtis Granderson (4 Years/$60 Million)
I will start with what was the cheapest signing, but could hold the most value in the long run, the signing of OF Chris Young. Chris Young has had a roller coaster of a career thus far. After being named Rookie of The Year for the DBacks in 2007 he went quiet for a few years. He broke out in 2010 and was named a National League All-Star but then went silent again. In 2013 he switch to the American League where he had another down year for the Oakland Athletics. He now comes to the Mets looking to have a fresh start with a team willing to give him an opportunity. I believe this signing could be beneficial because if he returns to that level of play he is a bargain at just over seven million. Another reason I believe this could be a steal is because one year ago the “washed up” Marlon Byrd had a career year with the Mets at age 36 before being shipped of to the Pirates at the end of the season. We will have to sit back and see what happens with the opportunity given to Chris Young.
The next addition is one that I would like to feel like is a good signing, but has me a little concerned again. This is the signing of the 40 year old ageless wonder Bartolo Colon. For a man that has won the CY Young Award, and finished in top ten voting 4 times (including once last year) this signing looks golden. The upside is that although Colon isn’t throwing a 100 mph heater anymore, he has become an expert at locating his pitches. This is why he was able to maintain an ERA under 3 last year. My only concern is that Colon is old and that the contract might have been a reach on a career that had one final stand last season.
Finally the “biggest” signing the Mets had this off season. This of course is referring to the signing of Curtis Granderson. Grandy provides upside, but at the same time he provides a lot of downside. First for the upside. He has raw power and its obvious. He has had seasons of 40+ homeruns as a member of the Yanks. Another positive is that Granderson provides much need protection for the face of the Mets franchise, el capitan David Wright. Now its a little less appealing to pitch around Wright because the Mets have an offensive weapon behind him eating clean up. Now for the downside. The most obvious and painful is that while Granderson provides freakish power, he also strikes out, like alot. When Granderson left Detroit and joined the Bombers prior to the 2010 season he was more concentrated on contact. With the short porch available in right field he started swinging more for the fences. While still striking out a lot he hit a lot of homeruns, but his average dropped. This is something that will in turn have a negative affect on the Mets line up. In reality the Mets have enough “All or Nothing” offensive players, and this addition will hurt just as much if not more than it help unless something changes with Granderson’s approach at the dish.
What I Believe Should Have Happened In Free Agency
While Alderson made some additions that are obviously going to help improve the team, there are some things that should have happened in opinion. One thing that I think is the most obvious is the that the Mets have had a glaring hole at shortstop since Jose Reyes left. With that being said I believe there should have been a stronger pursuit of Johnny Peralta as well as still free agent Steven Drew. Either of these would have been a MAJOR improvement over the mediocrity that is Ruben Tejada, The Second thing im having a hard time coping with is that Nelson Cruz sat around free agency for an extended period of time and his asking price dropped drastically. He ended up signing a 1 year deal with the Orioles for only $8 Million. Common Sandy, the addition of Nelly would have given us consistent power in the line up. I almost might have favored this over the Granderson signing, and it may have come with a cheaper price tag. Finally the needs on the Hill. If your like me when you saw Matt Harvey go down your stomach turned, but your understanding was that Alderson would go out and find a replacement ace or two for the year, while Harvey rehabs. The addition of Colon was a good start, but while we have to wait for Harvey’s return, as well as the emergence of young guns such as Noah Syndergaard, we could have used another starter such as oh, I dont know, Ervin Santana. Instead now you have him in your division instead of on your team. Finally, possibly the weakest part of this squad is the bullpen. I know there we almost snagged former A’s closer Grant Balfour, which I would have loved, but there were plenty of other quality relievers. One that stands out to me is Addison Reed. A push for a guy like this could help a team that is very severely lacking talent in the pen. All of these are moves I as a lifetime fan feel like would have made sense to make but oh well, that is clearly not my call.
Early Takeaways from Opening Day
- David Wright will be David Wright. I’m guessing another season with an above .300 average, as well as another all star selection.
- Curtis Granderson is going to strike out, a lot. I just hope he can make up for it with Power and a reduced number of strikeouts.
- Eric Young Jr. is an outfielder, and that is that. We need to get Daniel Murphy back asap.
- Its going to difficult not seeing Matt Harvey every 5th day
- We don’t have a single ace in the rotation, we need consistency
- The emergence of pitcher Noah Syndergaard can’t come soon enough.
- This year is going to be a difficult one, just keep pushing forward to what I believe is a very bright future.