Grading the New York Mets' Moves So Far This Offseason

Stephen SmithContributor IIIDecember 18, 2013

Will Bartolo Colon be New York's ace in 2014?
Will Bartolo Colon be New York's ace in 2014?Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

It's been quite a productive offseason for the New York Mets so far.

Mets fans have been clamoring for general manager Sandy Alderson to be aggressive and add some important pieces to the 2014 roster so that New York can finally compete for a playoff berth again.

So far, so good.

It's never too early for an early report card. Let's take a look at the grades that Alderson gets for making some important moves so far.

*All statistics are courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.

Curtis Granderson

Dec 10, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Curtis Granderson smiles as he is introduced by the New York Mets during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports
David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The left-handed hitting Granderson is just what the doctor ordered for the Mets—a power-hitting outfielder who has proven he can handle the pressures of New York.

The "Grandy Man" will be 33 years old to start next season, but he should still have a lot left in the tank. Due to a fractured right forearm and broken knuckle on his left hand, Granderson was limited to just 61 games for the Yankees last season and batted a feeble .229.

Go ahead and throw out last season as just a fluke. The 10-year veteran never really had a chance to get going in an injury-plagued campaign.

Instead, look at his numbers prior to 2013. In the two seasons before this year, Granderson averaged 42 home runs and 113 RBI.  His 119 RBI for the Yankees in 2011 led the American League, as did his 136 runs scored. For his efforts, Granderson won a Silver Slugger award that season.

Sure, the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium helped boost his home run totals somewhat, but it should be noted that Granderson hit 20 of his 41 home runs that season on the road. That should bode well for Citi Field, which is considered a pitcher's ballpark.

Granderson is a three-time All-Star and a fine defensive outfielder. As of now, he's most likely to be batting cleanup for the Mets to help protect David Wright. He seems more suited for the No. 5 slot in a lineup, but let's see how the rest of the offseason pans out.

For now, Granderson has a smile that can light up the Big Apple and a powerful bat that should cause the Citi Field apple to rise in center field following a Mets' home run many times next season.

It was the right move at the right time for the Mets.

Grade: A

Bartolo Colon

The portly right-hander had one of the quietest 18-6 seasons ever for the Oakland A's last season. In a word, he was sensational.

The Mets may have found their new ace until Matt Harvey returns.

Colon not only won 18 of 24 decisions for Oakland in 2013, but also authored a stellar 2.65 ERA. That was second best in the American League, along with his 18 wins.

The 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner also had a dazzling 1.166 WHIP and a league-leading three shutouts.

Not bad for a 40-year-old major leaguer.

However, therein lies the rub. Colon turns 41 in May next year, but seems to be blessed with a rubber arm. His heavy frame is certainly a concern, but he follows in the line of other hefty hurlers like Mickey Lolich, Rick Rueschel, David Wells and C.C. Sabathia who have thrived despite the added girth.

New York's commitment to Colon is only for two years and $20 million—not bad for a standout pitcher who may turn into the ace of the Mets pitching staff next year while Harvey recovers from Tommy John surgery.

It's a win-win all the way around for the Mets.

Grade: A

Chris Young 

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 07: Chris Young #25 of the Oakland Athletics hits a double against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Coliseum on September 7, 2013 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The 30-year-old outfielder hit 12 home runs in a part-time role for the Oakland A's last season, but also hit just .200.

So why did the Mets feel compelled to sign Young to a one-year, $7.25 million contract, per Kristie Ackert of the Daily News? They're hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, like they did with Marlon Byrd in 2013.

Young was an All-Star with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010 when he belted 27 home runs and knocked in 91 runs. Although he is a lifetime .235 hitter and strikes out a ton, the Mets need power, and Young has been known to supply it.

Young has 144 career home runs, including a career-high 32 in 2007. No doubt that was a long time ago now, but Young is still in his prime and a change of scenery might do him a world of good.

Young is also considered a fine defensive outfielder. He has patrolled center field most of his career, but with Juan Lagares playing Gold Glove-caliber defense there in New York, Young may have to start the 2014 season in one of the corner outfield spots.

The contract that Mets management gave Young seems a bit high at $7.25 million, but it's just a one-year commitment.

Who knows, maybe Young will turn out to be another gem like Marlon Byrd.

You never know.

Grade: B


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