For 5 years, Mets fans have been waiting for the big turn-around year. We have seen head shaking moves (Jason Bay anyone?), players age 10 years before our eyes (Johan) and have our future dreams shaken by injury (Harvey). Every year, it seems, the season is OVER before it even starts. Do we still watch? Of COURSE we do, as we keep thinking “this might be the year!” It’s depressing, draining, and a daily punch to the gut.
This past year, prior to the Harvey injury, we got to see glimpses of the pieces that are being put in place. Wheeler has come up, and while not AS good (and really, who could be) as Harvey, he has submitted his resume to be Robin to Matt’s Dark Knight. (see how I did that?) Lagares, while never a much heralded prospect coming up through the system, has played an 80 grade CF (and now RF with Den Decker up), providing nightly highlight reel plays. (yes, I live in Connecticut, yes ESPN is housed in our state, no I will not say Web Gem) Travis d’Arnaud has come back healthy, came up quickly thereafter, and while not hitting at a record breaking clip, has shown glimpses of the predicted “perennial All-Star” tag he has been given since being in the Phillies system. And while it seems he has no future position (and note to every Mets fan calling the FAN asking him to be moved to SS….that shipped sailed 3 years, 5 inches and 40 pounds ago) Flores has shown that he can hit. I find myself watching games now, not really concerned with the win/loss outcome of the game, but more so to see the growth of the young guys…..and news flash: they try REALLY hard. That should give Mets fans hope.
But, as you know, there is one H-UGE (©Francessa) elephant in the room, one question that EVERY fan is asking on a daily basis: “Is Dr. Andrews getting the call or not?” Look, I am not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV, nor would I stay at a Holiday Inn Express), I cannot read MRIs, I cannot perform surgery, hell, I can barely take my kids temperature, so PLEASE take this opinion with a grain of salt. I want the decision to be made as soon as possible. The history of “rehab the injury” v. TJ surgery is not glowing. I know Matt believes that he can work through this via exercise and PT (and got counseling on this very subject from a different kind of Doc, monsieur Halladay). And as a fan of Harvey (Connecticut native, oh by the way), and a fan of the team, I SO want him to be right…..but the odds are stacked against him. I would rather him opt for TJ now, that way he is ready to go to instructs in 2014, and start getting ready for 2015. If he rehabs all winter, goes to ST, and feels “it” again, he loses 6 months, and is now set back to maybe May/June of 2015. (which, is not disastrous, as he’d be on a strict innings count anyway) Either way, all I wish for Matt Harvey, is as healthy a recovery as possible.
So, we are three paragraphs into this, and you must be wondering….”um Doug? The title of the post is Three moves the Mets should make this offseason”. I know, I know, I am getting there.
OK, let’s go. (I am writing this under the impression that Harvey will be lost for 2014)
1. Do not, under any circumstance, move Noah Syndergaard in a trade: I am not going to even try and hide it: I am an unabashed, and unashamed “fan boy” when it comes to Drago. I was a big fan before the Dickey trade, and became an even bigger fan since. While I am not tapped into the scouting community like the big boys of prospecting, I do have a couple of people I trust who saw Syndergaard this year in the EL, and to a man, the word on the street is pretty simple: If the curve keeps progressing as it has this year, he is 1A to Harvey’s 1 in two years. That’s pretty high praise. I read another scout reported that Noah is better than Wheeler was at this point in their respective careers. His fastball (which sits at 95, and can touch triple digits) is electric, and the command is there. His change is near-plus. He is the real deal. I know that big time prospects can bring back a potential star player. However, because I really don’t believe Stanton will be moved this offseason, and I am PRETTY sure Trout and Harper are not going anywhere, there is not a player out there that I would include Syndergaard in a package for. I believe the system has enough good arms to avoid doing so. That being said….
2. Make every effort to obtain Carlos Gonzalez: Here are the big league untouchables in my eyes-Harvey, Wheeler, Wright, d’Arnaud. That’s it, that’s the list. Everyone else is on the table to make a deal with the Rockies. I am not one to try and come up with a hypothetical deal (the most ANNOYING trait on sports talk radio….”Hey, how about this deal for the Mets….we give the Nationals Murphy, Familia, Flores, and one other lower prospect for Strasburg and Harper….the Nats would HAVE to do that deal right?”), but I think if Colorado really wants to move CarGo, the Mets have the pieces to make a fair deal for both sides.
3. Don’t over spend on free agents......at all: I know, we as fans have been LONG awaiting the off-season, as this was finally the winter that the purse strings would be loosened, with dead money coming off the books (although, Bonilia is still on the payroll until 2026…..please allow me to slam my head against my desk now…). Have you looked at the list of free agents this year? Is there ANYONE (save for Cano, who I have to believe is going to stay with the Yankees) you would overpay, that you REALLY want for the future? Yes, I wouldn’t mind Ellsbury or Choo on the team….but not at a price that blows out the budget. (and if the Mets take care of #2 on my list, I would be perfectly fine with Lagares/EYJr/Den Decker manning the other two outfield spots) There is neither a 1b nor SS worth it either. And as far as pitching (of which the talent pool is as thin as Iggy Pop), I am more than confident that even with Harvey out, the staff can be constructed in house. (I am FULLY on board starting the season with a rotation of Niese, Wheeler, Gee, Montero and deGrom….with Mejia being a fall back, and Syndergaard a mid-season call up) I have to believe that if the money is available this off season, it will be available next off season as well. Stand pat…..the Mets are NOT winning next year anyway.
There are of course 100 other moves that the Mets could make in the winter, and I am sure they will. I just hope, again, assuming Harvey is not available for the 2014 season, that Sandy doesn’t make moves that financially hamstring this team…..again.
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