How Citi Field Will Affect the Mets in 2010

Josh LevittSenior Analyst ISeptember 3, 2009

FLUSHING, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: CitiField is seen from the New York Mets bullpen at Shea Stadium on September 25, 2008 in the  Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The New York Mets will move from Shea Stadium at the conclusion of their 2008 season for their new home at Citi Field.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Well, one of the least hitter-friendly parks in the majors isn't going to get anymore hitter-friendly anytime soon. Not in 2010 at least.

Sluggers hoping that the dimensions at cavernous Citi Field will be more home-run friendly in 2010, reportedly, are going to be disappointed.

The New York Daily News, citing an unnamed source, reported Thursday that New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel recommended no changes be made to Citi Field's dimensions for next season. And the team's owners, the Wilpon family, will abide by that request.

So what does that mean for the Mets as they begin thinking about 2010?

It means that no free agent slugger in their right mind would come play for the Mets. Have they seen what Citi Field has done to David Wright's power numbers this season?

For God's sake, Gary Sheffield is leading the Mets with 10 home runs, and he has not hit a home run since JUNE (note: I'm not counting Francouer here because he did not play the entire year with the Mets).

Matt Holliday to NY? No chance.

Jason Bay in orange and blue? Doubt it.

With this news in hand, the Mets need to approach this offseason with a four-pronged attack.

Go after starting pitching on the free agent market

Unlike hitters who get destroyed by Citi Field, a quality pitcher should want to play for the Mets. If I was a fly ball pitcher, I would clamor to sign with the Mets.

In addition, the Mets cannot count on John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Mike Pelfrey to be anything more than No. 4 or 5 starters at this point. There are so many questions surrounding those guys that the Mets need to go ahead and fill the other two spots in the rotation behind Johan, thinking that they need to go get two more very good proven starters.

Defense matters

Since Citi Field will remain a pitcher's paradise, it's imperative that Mets get lots of quality defenders. The Mets simply cannot afford to give away runs with shoddy defense because of how few runs are scored at Citi Field.

Get faster and more athletic

Obviously in a big ballpark, speed will be more valuable than power. It's especially important that the Mets have outfielders who can cover a ton of ground because Lord knows I can't take another year of watching a Gary Sheffield-type run around trying to play a very spacious left field.

Trade for a power hitter

Think about it: in order for a power hitting free agent to come to the Mets, the team will have to dramatically overpay him because his stats are bound to go down in the hitter's hell that is Citi Field.

The Mets don't want to do that. In addition, I think the Mets would have a tough time convincing any power to come to NY because of how poorly Citi Field has played for hitters.

All of this leads me to the trade market. Even though the Mets don't have a ton of chips to send away, if the team wants to add the slugger that it so desperately needs, then this will be the best option.