Friday, November 6, 2009

Building the 2010 New York Mets

I still plan on doing an in-depth analysis of the Mets' 40-man roster, but I want to set that up with a more general look at the five main components of the big club - starting pitching, relief pitching, catching, infield and outfield. The Mets need help in all five of these areas before Opening Day, but it's highly unlikely that they will be able to address everything this winter.

The truth is, building the 2010 Mets is really about laying the foundation for the 2011 Mets. Right now, it appears that the Mets need one or two starters, one or two relievers, a catcher, a first baseman and at least one corner outfielder to seriously challenge the Phillies in 2010. Omar Minaya isn't going to find seven free agents to fill those holes, and the Mets simply don't have the chips to make more than one good trade to improve the on-field product.

I just don't think that this Mets team has it in them to be competitive next season. Minaya's job may depend on a successful 2010, and I fear that the players he pursues will reflect that, but the franchise would be better off if Minaya was patient and looked at roster reconstruction as a two-year process.

There is not one minor leaguer ready to be a league-average player next season, but intriguing bats like Josh Thole, Ike Davis and Fernando Martinez will benefit immensely from a full season in Triple-A. If Thole, Davis and Martinez pass the test at Buffalo, the Mets will have three promising, low-cost options in their starting lineup for 2011.

For that reason, the Mets need to be wary of committing to multi-year deals with a catcher and a first baseman, and simply cannot sign Jeff Francouer to a long-term extension. There are internal options at first base, and Minaya can offer one-year, incentive laden deals to a veteran catcher and left fielder that won’t block Thole and Martinez.

Daniel Murphy and Chris Carter can battle it out for the first base job in 2010; they will make less than $1 million combined and would allow Minaya to pursue a free agent starter or to take on a big contract elsewhere. If neither has a breakout season, both can be pushed aside for Davis (if he’s successful) or for an established star in 2011.

Francouer, meanwhile, hit just well enough that he’s worth another look in 2010 as the starting right fielder. He is incredibly overrated offensively by Mets fans and he will probably revert back to his uninspiring career norms next season, but Francouer is young enough and good enough defensively that he will do little to no harm batting seventh and playing on a one-year deal.

Will Minaya resist the temptation to indiscriminately spend all those Wilpon bucks that apparently weren’t lost in the Bernie Madoff scandal? I seriously doubt it. Met fans can only hope that Minaya doesn’t do any more damage to the franchise in his quest to save his job.

2 comments:

Mack said...

Jack:

The first thing I would do is cement 25% of the every day starting lineup, by extending the contracts of Beltran, Reyes, and Wright, through 2015.

I would also sign Frency to a 3-year deal (with club option in the 3rd year) so the RF issue would be done.

I could then concentrate the 30+mil I've already saves since last season on an SP2 and LF.

Mack

BLUMANCHOO said...

I think we should trade for a 2 starter sign bay to 5 sign a guy like russell branyan at first for like 1 year and sign the eager orlando hudson for maby 3 years that way we can use luis to trade for a starter and last we should just stay with satos and thole for our catchers satos is a good deffensive catcher and he isnt a horrible hitter hitting in the 8th spot