1) Starting Pitching
5) Relief Pitcher
Umm..alright, I suppose these would be the five areas that the Mets need to address this winter, but that isn't even remotely close to how I would rank them. Here is what I'm thinking:
2) Starting Pitcher
4) Relief Pitcher
Even with the injury to Matt Harvey, the Mets still have a plethora of young starting pitchers. Does that mean that the likes of Jenrry Mejia, Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero should be depended upon next year? No. But the Mets most pressing need with unquestionably offense.
Its for that reason that I would select outfield as the first area that needs to be addressed. If you looking for a guy who is good for a 25HR/100RBI season, certainly there are more to be had in the corners of the outfield. Whether or not the Mets decide to spend what it takes to bring one of those guys in is another story, but the fastest way to add pop to the line up is going to be via an outfielder.
Second, I would agree that starting pitching is a definite area of concern. The Mets and their young pitchers would greatly benefit from the acquisition of a veteran teaching type. Lempert brings up Bronson Arroyo, whose name has come up frequently so far this winter. I'm not 100% sure Arroyo is the best answer, but I think he's the right type of player.
Third is a supposed replacement for Ruben Tejada and/or Omar Quintanilla. I think this spot needs to be addressed, but more so because there are going to be legitimate upgrades available. Ruben Tejada at his best (which may already be behind him) doesn't provide the lineup presence someone like Jhonny Peralta does. This is an area the Mets should definitely look into if they have the funds after addressing the first two areas.
Fourth is the bullpen. I think this lands an nearly every team's list this winter. Bullpens are always a crap shoot for lack of a better term. The Mets' pen ended the year on a pretty good note. Lempert suggests that Parnell's questionable health is the reason for his high ranking, but I anticipate the Mets have other in house options that can temporarily fill this roll, just as LaTroy Hawkins did in 2013.
Finally, a veteran catcher. I think this a fair assessment. The Mets don't need Travis d'Arnaud as their lone major league caliber backstop, nor can they count on his health. The reason I don't stress this area is that I think backup catchers are almost a dime a dozen (sounds crazy to say that having endured years of Josh Thole). The Mets will find someone, whether it be Henry Blanco or the recently traded John Buck to fill this role.
So that's what I think... And more importantly why I think it. How would you rank them? Do you agree with Lempert's assessment of things or am I more in line? Maybe you fall somewhere in the middle. Either way, let us know in the comments section below!