What The Mets Must Do To Contend In 2010

Matt PaoneContributor IDecember 26, 2009

Hi everyone, I hope some people actually read this article. This is my first article for bleacher report, after being a constant reader of others great work. A little information about myself before I get started about my solutions for the New York Mets. First and foremost I am a huge Mets and Jets fans since I came out of the wound; I am also hoping to become a sports journalist as I graduate college. Now on with the much anticipated solution for the New York Mets!

The Mets have many holes they need to fill to get back to where they were in 2006. These holes consist of; catcher, a number two starting pitcher, left fielder, and like always back of the bullpen help. There are also less significant sports they should look into improving, like; second base, first base and back of the starting rotation help.

There are a few catchers that are available that will help the Mets. Bengie Molina should be their top priority at this position, as it looks like he is. It has been rumored that he wants a three year deal and they should give it him; they should offer two year deal worth 12 million dollars with a team option for a third year. Another guy that I like is Rod Barajas, I know he is not the most popular option but he is a significant improvement over the likes of Chris Coste and Omir Santos. Santos is not a bad role player but they should not have him getting more than three hundred at bats. They could try to sign Barajas to a 1 or 2 year deal as a short term improvement.

The most difficult task of the offseason would be to get a quality number two starter. They already dropped the ball on John Lackey, letting him sign with the Boston Red Sox. There are not many pitchers in the free agent market that are considered a number two pitcher, so they would have to try to make a trade for this huge hole. I would call the Cubs to see if Carlos Zambrano is on the market, and even call the Astros about Roy Oswalt. I would give up almost anyone that these two teams would ask for. Another option the Mets have is to offer incentive based deals to pitchers like Ben Sheats, Chin-Ming Wang and Eric Bedard. These three pitchers have the stuff to be number ones; however they are all injury prone and cannot be considered reliable. If they ask for a deal worth more than two years the Mets should back off.

The left field issue is arguably the easiest spot to fill. Jason Bay and Matt Holliday are the biggest names in the market and they both should be on the Mets radar. Obviously with the Mets offer to Jason Bay they are on the right path for this position. I like Bay better then Holliday so I am happy with this move. If the Mets were to sign Holliday I feel he would have the same problems in Citi Field as David Wright, as they are both gap to gap hitters. Bay is more of a fly ball pull hitter and hopefully can put more than a few homeruns over the left field fence. I say give Bay what he wants; if he wants that fifth year give it to home!

The backup of the bullpen help is very difficult to solve, I thought we had it figured out when J.J. Putz was brought in last year but I was completely wrong. Relief pitchers are so inconsistent that it’s more of praying you find the right one for that year. I honestly feel that Bobby Parnell will be a solid pitcher for the Mets, so I won’t have a problem if they just go out and sign or trade for a veteran relief pitcher to be an insurance policy for Parnell. I like Jose Valverde a lot; he would be a real solid set up man for K-Rod and someone able to close some nights when Rodriguez needs a day off.

Louis Castillo is a solid second basemen, he has taken alot of heat over the last couple years from Mets fans but had a very solid season last year. My biggest problem with Castillo is his contract, he is getting paid alot of money for someone who isn’t a top second basemen. I would try to dump his contract on another team and go out and sign Orlando Hudson. However upgrading the second base position should NOT be on the top of the Mets priority list.

The Mets are filled with a bunch of number threes to number five starting pitchers; Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez and hopefully John Niese. I really wanted the Mets to get Jason Marquis, as I am a Staten Island native. He would of been a perfect fit hear as the Mets number three pitcher, he is a sinker ball pitcher and I feel he would have really strived pitching for his hometown team. Yet again the Mets dropped the ball and let the Nationals sign him for about 7.5 million.

First base is not a very weak position for the Mets but it is a big question mark. It seems like they have a couple options inside the organization, Daniel Murphy and Carlos Delgado. Murphy had a typical rookie season with some ups and many downs, it seems like he is not going to turn into a superstar but I feel he could be a 280 hitter who hits 15 homeruns a season. I know not what you like to see out of a first basemen but it’s not horrible. On the other hand you have Delgado, coming off an injured shortened year. When healthy he is one of the more feared hitters in the game even at his age; he is a solid 35 homerun hitter and someone who can drive in 100 runs. His biggest question mark is if he can stay healthy for 500 at bats. They should bring Delgado back with Daniel Murphy being his backup.

All in all for the Mets to be contenders in 2010 they must sign Jason Bay, make a trade for a number 2 pitcher like Carlos Zambrano or sign a Ben Sheats and hope he can make 28 to 30 starts. They must also sign Bengie Molina and Jose Valverde. I feel all these moves are quite possible and would significantly improve their team, possibly bringing them to the playoffs. Their opening day rotation should be; Johan Santana, Carlos Zambrano/Ben Sheats, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, John Niese. Set up men should be Bobby Parnell and Jose Valverde and closer K-Rod. Their opening day batting order should be; Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Carlos Delgado, Jeff Francour, Bengie Molina, Louis Castillo, and the pitcher spot. This pitching rotation with this batting order should make the Mets very competitive in 2010.