Offseason Moves Mets Should Have Made Going into 2014
At 20-25, the Mets' 2014 season has not gone particularly well so far. The team has been very inconsistent, and it has shown. While the starting pitching has usually been good, the offense has not always been able to provide decent run support, and the bullpen has been an adventure to say the least.
This past offseason, the Mets tried to make a few moves in order to hopefully win more games. Did they end up having a perfect offseason? No, but then again, no other team's offseason was thoroughly perfect, either.
Here are a few offseason moves the Mets should have made.
Statistics courtesy of MLB.com.
Mets Should Not Have Signed Chris Young
Before we get into the moves the Mets should have made, let's start with one move that should not have been made: the signing of outfielder Chris Young.
Young is a decent outfielder but isn't exactly what the Mets needed to spend over $7 million on. Young has had some clutch moments for the Mets this season and always had potential. However, he is still the streaky hitter he has always been and still strikes out a lot, and that doesn't help the Mets offense. His defense in the outfield has not been particularly great, either.
But more importantly, Young's presence has taken away some playing time for younger outfielders such as speedster Eric Young Jr. and defensive whiz Juan Lagares, who has been hitting well so far this season. If this was the American League with the designated hitter option, this would not be a problem, but because the Mets are in the National League, they can't play these three outfielders simultaneously.
Curtis Granderson is pretty much guaranteed to continue starting in right field, regardless of how he is performing. That's because of the big contract the Mets gave him this offseason. This means that left field and center field can only include two of Young, Young Jr. and Lagares. If Young is in the starting lineup, this means that the Mets would be lacking Young Jr.'s speed or Lagares' defense.
All in all, it's not to say that Chris Young has been a disaster for the Mets, but he's not exactly a superstar who should be getting regular playing time over Eric Young Jr. and Juan Lagares. The Mets could have done better with the money they are giving Young this season.
Mets Should Have Signed Stephen Drew
One of the Mets' biggest position concerns is still at shortstop. They could have possibly found a solution there had they been able to sign Stephen Drew. The Mets, though, did not end up coming to an agreement with Drew, who recently signed with the Red Sox, whom he played for in 2013.
Drew would have been a solid stopgap at shortstop for the Mets, who instead have Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores playing there. Tejada has never been a particularly good hitter, and Flores isn't the best defensive shortstop out there. Drew, on the other hand, is a very good shortstop both offensively and defensively.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson ultimately did not end up wanting to commit a large amount of money toward Drew, according to Marc Carig of Newsday. In other words, it seems like the Mets wanted to save some money that they may feel could be better spent elsewhere. However, let's say the Mets did not end up signing Chris Young this offseason. They could have used that money to help pay for someone like Drew to fill in their weakest position. That certainly could have paid off for the Mets.
Mets Should Have Traded Pitching Talent for Hitting Talent
The Mets clearly have more young pitching talent throughout their organization than hitting talent. As a result, the Mets should have traded some of their excess pitching talent for an offensive upgrade, whether it be a young major league player or a prospect.
The Mets really lack a significant young hitter to build around for the long-term future. David Wright is still one of the best third basemen in all of baseball, but he is not getting any younger. The Mets could definitely use a young hitter with superstar potential to help lead the team to more success. A good hitter with speed, as Jose Reyes once was for the Mets, could be what they need, as could a slugger who can protect Wright in the lineup and be big run producer for years to come.
Many different kinds of trades could have occurred for some of the Mets' young pitchers this past offseason. They could have packaged a couple of their good pitchers for a good hitter, or they could have swapped one of their top pitchers for a current or future superstar.
No such trade ended up happening, but it would have been fascinating to see how a big trade of some sort could have turned out for everyone involved. Alderson did not make that big trade in the offseason, but hopefully, he will find a way to make a blockbuster trade in the future.