The Mets' Outfield Problems: Over 20 Years in the Making

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The Mets' Outfield Problems: Over 20 Years in the Making
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Lucas Duda is expected to be the Mets' left fielder in 2013.

The Mets' biggest offseason need by far is to sign or acquire a superstar outfielder. A right-handed hitting outfielder would be more preferable because the Mets already have quite a few left-handed hitters in their projected 2013 lineup. The Mets need this outfield upgrade because their outfield performed very poorly overall in 2012.

Scott Hairston was the Mets' only outfielder who had a good season overall this past year. Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis were both streaky at the plate, while Mike Baxter and Jordany Valdespin both struggled in part-time starting roles. As for Andres Torres and Jason Bay, they each had terrible seasons to make a long story short.

Some fans may think that the Mets' current outfield problems are rather new. After all, Carlos Beltran was the Mets' cornerstone center fielder for seven years from 2005-2011. Beltran though has been a very rare exception to a Mets outfield that has been a revolving door since 1989.

For the past 24 seasons (1989-2012), the Mets' outfield depth chart has changed very frequently. Some positions were more stable than others at times, but plenty of failed signings and trades led to new players getting opportunities. Some of those people even got opportunities they never deserved in the first place, which goes to show how bad the Mets' outfield has been since the 1980s.

The last time the Mets won a World Series championship was in 1986. That year, they had a very solid outfield, with Mookie Wilson in left field, Lenny Dykstra in center field and Darryl Strawberry in right. They also had two great pinch-hitting outfielders on the bench with Danny Heep and Lee Mazzilli.

If the Mets want to win another championship in the near future, a thoroughly solid outfield could possibly do the trick.

Here is a recap on exactly how bad the Mets outfield has been since the 1980s, through the eras of each general manager.

Begin Slideshow »

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