New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson formally announced that Terry Collins had been given a two-year contract with an option for 2016 during a lunchtime press conference Monday.
That answered what is probably the least important question the team will need to deal with this off-season.
The Wally Backman fans are probably going nuts that their guy is not going to manage the Mets. (But hey, there are already job openings in Washington, Seattle and Chicago… maybe he’ll land one of those, or a spot that’s yet to officially open.)
The pro reporters are talking about what a great job Collins did with the limited talent on his roster, but they’re mainly happy because Collins is a good guy to deal with. Fair enough, but I don’t really care if their jobs are easy or hard.
I’m more interested in the roster. The Mets have an All-Star at third base, and a highly regarded rookie who will get the opportunity to prove he’s a worthy major league catcher.
They’ve got a 24-year-old center fielder who caught everything he could get to and threw out 15 runners on the base paths, but hit just .242 with an OPS of .633 in 121 games. The second baseman had a pretty good year, but will never win a gold glove and had a .319 on base percentage with a .286 batting average. The left fielder led the National League with 46 stolen bases, but hit just .249 (with a .310 on base percentage.)
First base, shortstop and right field may as well be black holes.
And the latest guesstimate is that Alderson has $35 million to play with this winter. Is that enough to patch the worst of the lineup holes, add a veteran backup catcher and some bullpen arms and bring in another starting pitcher (maybe Johan Santana?) for insurance? Probably not.
And even on September 30th, the names of the players in the lineup matter to me a heck of a lot more than the name of the guy filling out the lineup card.
2 thoughts on “With Collins re-signed, the Mets must address their important off-season issues”
Not to be a downer, but Matt Harvey is unlikely to throw a major league pitch next year because, if he’s smart, he’ll have the surgery. Even if he toughs it out, the Mets aren’t going to be much better next year. Set your sights on 2015 (or, as I’ve always thought, 2016). You’ll have Harvey and Wheeler headlining a staff that’s going to be one of the best in the majors. No, not the guys we’ve been looking at this year. There are some great young arms down on the farm. Montero for one. The lineup will sort itself out in time. For me, these are the fun years. I know the modern fan thinks its all about the big names and how much you pay them. But that’s not how winners are born (except in the Bronx–and even there it’s the farm system that makes it all possible. No, these are the years when you bring up Strawberry and Billy Beane and see which one sticks. Of the current cast, whatever their talent level, history says two or three of them (beyond David Wright) will be there when we get back to the Series. If you’d told anyone other than Hodges that Al Weis was going to be a key player on a World Championship team and Bud Harrelson not so much, they’d have thought you insane. What was Shamsky? Not much. Ed Charles was wayyyyyy past his prime. Swoboda couldn’t field a lick, yet still made one of the greatest Series catches ever. Eric Young was a nice get for cheap. He could be on that Series team. Or maybe Tejada will be the guy. Could be Murphy (versatility’s a big plus). Who’s the next Timo Perez? You never know until you get there. But I like where the Mets are headed right now. Harvey’s injury aside, the team and organization are both better at year’s end than they were at its outset and that’s what you want. If they don’t panic and start trading off kids left and right, they’ll be just fine.
I just can’t get that excited about the pitching staff with this lineup. By mid-summer, it had almost gotten to the point that I didn’t want to watch Matt Harvey because it felt like every time I did, he was pitching a good game, the opposing team would take advantage of one mistake, and the Mets would lose because they couldn’t score.
I think the pitchers will sort themselves out, but I don’t see the talent there on the major league roster or anywhere close in the minor leagues for the lineup to do the same without some outside help. (And if the plan is to wait for Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cechinni to arrive, we might as well forget about Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler – they’ll be om the way out the door via free agency before those guys ever have the chance to establish themselves in the big leagues.)
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