January 20, 2014

SI Gives Mets Offseason A B

Sports Illustrated has handed out report cards , at least preliminary ones, for each MLB team's activity over the course of this offseason. The Mets, bolstered mostly by the additions of Curtis Granderson and Bartolo Colon, were handed a B by writer Joe Lemire. He gives his reasoning in the article:

The previously penny-pinching Mets were active early in the offseason, handing out free agent contracts to Granderson (four years, $60 million), Colon (2/$20M) and Young (1/$7.25M). Colon will be asked to replace the innings of injured ace Matt Harvey — who is out for the season after having Tommy John surgery — and provide a veteran presence to an underrated rotation featuring Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and 2013 rookie Zach Wheeler. Colon is a flyball pitcher who pounds the strike zone, which should play as well in Citi Field as it did in Oakland’s O.co. Coliseum; he had a 2.99 ERA in two seasons with the A’s.
Granderson and Young, meanwhile, upgrade one of the worst outfields in the majors last season and provide power to a lineup that had the NL’s second-lowest slugging percentage in 2013. Granderson will be of particular help in that area. He’s coming off an injury-plagued season that limited him to just 61 games, but in his seven previous full seasons with the Tigers and Yankees he averaged 29 home runs and a .493 slugging percentage per year.
Lemire went on to note that he believes, as currently constituted, the team should see an uptick in wins from last year. He labeled the two gaping holes that still need to be addressed, short and first, as marks against the team.

I think he is being a bit too optimistic in his review of the team thus far. Their two biggest talent signings (Colon and Granderson) will really only serve as replacements for players that were at Citi Field last season. With Colon replacing Harvey, and those are big shoes to fill, and Granderson playing the rough equivalent of Marlon Byrd, it is going to be hard for this team to start clawing towards five hundred. Starting with two positions, short and first, which are going to be huge holes offensively, and throwing in the steep learning curve that Travis d'Arnaud may experience at the plate, and we have an unsure lineup at best. Chris Young is coming off of a near .200 batting average season, and is a huge question mark at the plate this year. Taking into consideration a lineup card that is already going to contain Ike, Tejada, d'Arnaud, and a pitcher each day, slotting a potentially awful Chris Young in is no comfort. That leaves Wright, Murphy, Granderson, and Lagares, who still has a lot to prove, as the steady, decent hitters in your lineup.

I have to disagree with Lemire, this team has not earned a B this offseason. The signing of Granderson was universally praised, and rightly so. However, it was always followed with a caveat: it could not be all they did this winter. This team still has a long way to go, and needs to address at least the shortstop position.

1 comment:

  1. Grade D. They stayed in place. No real improvement. 75 wins. Boooooo!