New York Mets Must Make a Decision on 2009 Season
These are bad economic times. People are losing their jobs left and right. Families are forced to dig deep into their savings to help their children finish college, and it seems that there is no end in sight for the hardest economic downturn since the 1930s.
Such problems have stretched all the way to Major League Baseball, as many free-agents such as Orlando Hudson, Manny Ramirez, and Bobby Abreu remain unsigned through Jan. 29. And we are only 13 days away from Spring Training.
One team that has really suffered from the economic downturn is the New York Mets. For an entire offseason, the Mets have muddled through the free-agent market, unwilling to spend the money necessary to bring in Ramirez, re-sign Oliver Perez, add Hudson at second base, or pursue a reliable starter like Jon Garland.
It is clear that the economy is playing a huge roll in the Mets plans; and even though they tried to down play it, the Bernard Madoff scandal and the Citi Group explosion have really killed the Mets financial situation.
If this is the case, then the Mets have to make a decision: Try to stay competitive with the Phillies in 2009, or begin to cut bait and look forward to better days in 2010 and 2011.
Just looking at the Mets additions makes it hard to believe that this is a team that will win more than 81 games this season. They have questions in left field with rookie Dan Murphy, who is really a first baseman and bench player Fernado Tatis set to compete for that job.
At first, Carlos Delgado is 37 years old, and there is no plan for a new first baseman when Delgado leaves at end of the season.
At second Luis Castillo has become a cancer on the field with his dead bat and sulking attitude in the clubhouse. In right field, Ryan Church is coming off of a severe concussion, will he continue to show effects from it.
In the bullpen, the Mets finally have a closer in Francisco Rodriguez and a set-up man in J.J. Putz, but the question remains as to who will get the ball to Putz and Rodriguez. The Mets have no reliable bullpen depth at all, unless you are excited about Darren O' Day, Brian Stokes, Duaner Sanchez and Rocky Cherry.
In the rotation, there is tremendous pressure on Johan Santana to not only win games for the Mets this season, he has to pretty much win ever game he starts, which is impossible. Behind Santana is John Maine, who is a five inning pitcher with arm trouble.
Mike Pelfrey is a promising young pitcher, but how well he handles having to throw over 200 innings for two straight years is a question.
After Pelfrey the Mets have no answer at the four and five spots in the rotation. Tim Redding is a journeyman pitcher from the Washington Nationals. Redding's 4.92 career ERA is nothing to get excited about. Freddy Garcia used to be good. Emphasis on used to be.
Garcia hasn't pitched since 2007, and has been bothered by arm trouble for the last year plus. He's not reliable. There are also rumors that the Mets would consider bringing back Pedro Martinez, who spent more time on the DL in his Met career than actually pitching for them.
In short, the Mets have to think about cutting bait. In bad economic times, the Mets have to go with the flow and start laying off a team that laid down for each of the past two seasons.
1) Find a taker for Delgado. The Mets made a mistake in picking up Delgado's $11 million option in October, and they are saddled with the possibility that Delgado will not produce the way he did in the middle of 2008. The Angles could use a first baseman, maybe the Mets should send him to Anaheim.
2) Restructure Luis Castillo's contract. Sounds impossible and probably is, but the Mets need to get some relief from Castillo's idiotic four-year contract. Even if they can't trade Castillo, at least the Mets and Castillo's agent can come to terms of cutting some of Castillo's earnings for cap relief.
3) Trade Ryan Church, Duaner Sanchez and John Maine. All three would be expendable, and the Mets could get something promising for each of them. Maybe a lefty specialist for the bullpen, a first base prospect and maybe a starting pitcher.
4) Warn Jose Reyes to put up or shut up.This is Jerry Manuel's job here. Reyes has made the Mets the target of everyone's hatred with his Dance Dance Revolution skits on the top of the Mets dugout after every Met home run or base hit.
The Mets have to tell Reyes to stop showing off and start swinging the bat in September, or it could be bye bye Jose come next winter.
5) Trade for Eric Byrnes. If the Diamondbacks are willing to part with Byrnes the Mets should jump on it. Byrnes is a high energy player who knows how to get a clubhouse fired up for game day. The Mets have had no spiritual leadership at all for the past two years, and Byrnes would definitely bring that to the table.
Also, did I mention that Byrnes hustles on every play. When was the last time a Met actually hustled.
6) Sign Oliver Perez. Even though he is terribly inconsistent, it is not often that one finds a lefty that can throw 92 mph. The Mets should overpay Perez in March and finally have a second lefty starter to go along with Santana.
7) Slowly move Muprhy to infield. The Mets tried to move Murphy to second base during the fall leagues, but he got injured ending the project. Still the Mets need to find a position that suits Murphy.
The guy really tried hard down the stretch of the year hitting .313 with two homers and 17 RBI. First base may be in Murphy's future; why not try for the future now.
8) Sign Matt Holiday in the offseason. With the big contract's of Delgado, Billy Wagner and former manager Willie Randolph now off the books in 2010, the Mets should go ahead and sign the best outfielder on the market in Matt Holiday.
There will be no more excuses in 2010, like there are now with Manny Ramirez. Holiday is younger and less of a clubhouse cancer than Ramirez.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?