February 21, 2014
Mets Offseason Grade
The primary tasks at hand, in no particular order, would be to renovate an almost nonexistent outfield, replace ailing ace Matt Harvey, upgrade the shortstop position, and finally to determine the fate of Ike Davis. Some other areas of concern would be a backup catcher and the normal addressing of the team's questionable bullpen.
Fast forward about five months and Sandy Alderson made what you could consider three major acquisitions. The first was a one year-$7.25 million dollar deal to Chris Young. The second, a four year-$60 million dollar deal to Curtis Granderson. And finally, the two year-$20 million dollar deal to Bartolo Colon. Of that group, Young's deal was met with the most scrutiny as questions remain as to whether or not he can rebound as an every day player. There were also some lower cost veteran acquisitions who would complete for both spots in the rotation (Lannan & Matsuzaka) and the bullpen (Valverde & Farnsworth).
Areas that weren't addressed included both the shortstop and Ike Davis situations, despite what amount to very long draw out almost soap operaish attempts to complete each. In reality, each may still work themselves out between now and opening day, but today they remain unaddressed and a hindrance to the 2014 season. Finally Alderson chose not to upgrade the backup catcher, leaving Anthony Recker as the lone option to the oft-injured Travis d'Arnaud. A major problem? Not currently, but if d'Arnaud does fall to injury the Mets could have a crisis on their hands.
If you're trying to grade a winter such as this, it really come down to whether or not the Mets are poised to field a better team. On the surface, I think the 2014 Mets have a lot more upside. I think players like Granderson and Young have the potential to outperform their predecessors. I also think the Mets rotation can be plenty formidable. However, the team still lacks answers at both shortstop and first base. They're still far from a playoff contender and by most projections are only slated to win a few more games than last year. That's really where I come up with a grade of C+ because the team does stand to be better, but with fifty million dollars to spend, not as much better as we'd all like.
Should Alderson find a way to upgrade the shortstop position and finally resolve the Ike Davis dilemma, all the while improving upon the current roster, I'm not against bumping my grade. However until then, this was only a slightly above average offseason. New faces in new places, but ultimately I expect similar results.