How the New York Mets Can Settle Their Outfield Dilemma
When you have a really messy room sometimes the first thing you say when attempting to clean it is, "where do I even start?"
That may be what Mets' GM Sandy Alderson said when he took over for the club prior to the 2011 season.
While it is tough to remain optimistic during this stretch which has essentially been the fourth consecutive dreadful beginning to the second half for the Mets, there are a couple moves that can be made that will brighten the outlook entering 2013.
Obviously, the bullpen has been a flat-out calamity, but that can be addressed with players simply performing better next season and the acquisition of a second left-handed reliever and perhaps one more veteran righty.
The other pressing issue with the Mets is their left-handed heavy lineup. I pinpointed this as a problem earlier in the season, as they had Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda and Mike Baxter as lefty hitting outfielders that struggled against southpaws.
The struggles of Nieuwenheis and Duda were well documented, but Baxter has gone 0-for-9 against lefties this season in an obviously small sample size.
If the right-handed bats—namely Jason Bay and Andres Torres—were able to produce consistently against lefties then it would not be such an issue.
Rather, the Mets must find a solution to their radical splits against lefties and righties which leaves them extremely vulnerable against pitchers that are even mediocre.
One right-handed bat that could really help the Mets in 2013 is Corey Hart.
Lucas Duda or Corey Hart?
The Milwaukee Brewers are 16 games behind first place, just like the Mets, and have a few outfield prospects—notably Logan Schafer and Victor Roache—that will be ready for the big leagues soon.
Additionally, Corey Hart will be a free agent at the end of 2013, so they may be more inclined to receive some talent for the 6'6" righty rather than simply letting him sign elsewhere.
Hart is 30-years-old, not old by any means and still remains a very productive player, not to mention he has torched the Mets to the tune of a .303 career average with an .803 OPS.
The primary reason for acquiring Corey Hart would be his production against lefties. For his career, Hart has hit .298 with an .893 OPS against southpaws.
In order to land Hart, the Mets could compose a package of three of their middle-tier prospects such as a Cesar Puello, Reese Havens and a live arm such as Elvin Ramirez.
The Mets could then use Duda in a trade to fill other holes, perhaps behind the plate or in the rotation.
Would this make the Mets instant favorites to win the World Series? No, but adding a veteran bat that has routinely hit 25 home runs and driven in 90 runs for the past four seasons is one step toward becoming a respectable franchise.
It would be the equivalent of picking up that huge pile of clothes in your room and making it look much more presentable.
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