Well we are headed to the end of the off season and it’s been pretty disappointing for a Mets fan. Frankly, the Mets front office did a terrible job putting together a team based around “pitching, defense and speed.” Mets failed to address these areas, although they did add Kelvim Escobar and Ryota Igarashi to address the bullpen.
Somehow, the Mets failed to sign a starting pitcher, probably their biggest need. There were some solid arms out there and the Mets should and could have signed a one or two of them, even if they were only number three pitchers in the rotation.
Mets lost out on John Lackey, which from what it sounds like wasn’t really their fault. The Boston Red Sox made an offer for him and the signed the same day he was suppose to have a meeting with the Mets officials.
The only capable number two starters after that were Rich Harden and Ben Sheets (given that Erik Bedard and Chien-Ming Wang are going to miss a few months). Both Harden and Sheets seemed to be attainable by the Mets but they lost out on both of them to the Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics, respectively. When I learned that the Mets didn’t even make an offer for even one of these pitchers, I was flabbergasted. If you make a competitive offer for a pitcher and he signs elsewhere for a similar deal, like the Joel Pineiro situation, it’s understandable. But to not even make an offer for two talented pitchers who can greatly improve your rotation when their price tag isn’t that much? That’s inexcusable and incompetent managing of a team by the front office.
Instead, the Mets decided to sign no one. Which is a bold move considering that 4 out of their 5 starters are coming off of season ending injuries and only one you can really count on to perform well. So that’s how they addressed their pitching needs.
Now onto defense, a part of the game that if you watch the Mets a lot last season, you know needed to be improved. So they sign Jason Bay to a 4 years $66M deal. Bay is a terrific hitter and plays hard. I love the signing, personally. But if the Mets front office was concentrated on improving defense, the Bay signing doesn’t make any sense. He is not a good fielder and he’s range in the outfield will only get less as he get older.
Then they didn’t make an offer to Adam LaRoche, who is a great fielding first baseman. He signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks for one year for $6M. Though Daniel Murphy did a great job at first for the Mets and I think he’s defense can only improve there, they need someone more proven at first if they want to compete. But I have no problem with the Mets going with Murphy at first, as long as they get a good fielding first baseman to back him up. So I guess that explains the Fernando Tatis signing…
As far as catching goes, I’m a little disappointed. Though signing Bengie Molina would of improved defense, he getting old and he has a terrible OBP. The Mets made the best offer for him but he just didn’t want to come here. Not much the Mets could do about it. What is bad is that they didn’t get another catcher. After Yorvit Torrealba signed with the San Diego Padres he said he, “offered himself to the Mets for $1.4MM.” The Mets “indicated they had no money to spend.” Really? The Mets didn’t have $1.4M to spend on a starting catcher? Omir Santos is not a starting catcher and they need to get one. They could have had Torrealba for $1.4M and the Mets passed it up? I don’t see this front office team being here next year if they can’t get deals like that done.
The Mets wanted to add speed to their roster too. Swing and a miss here as well. I guess it counts having Daniel Murphy at first instead of Carlos Delgado. That’s an improvement in speed, not much, but an improvement. Jason Bay had 13 stolen bases for the Red Sox last year and with the Mets hopefully that number will go up. But by no means with Bay a speed demon, especially in the outfield. Other than that the Mets didn’t really add anyone new to the team that would bring speed to the table.
The Mets wanted pitching, defense and speed going into the off season. Their biggest improvements were getting Kelvim Escobar for pitching, Daniel Murphy working with Keith Hernandez for defense and Jason Bay for speed. Front office did a poor job of putting a team together that is looking to compete in 2010. You have to wonder if the front office was evening trying to put together a playoff team. From the look of what appears to be the finish product, I would say they weren’t. They still have time to put together a solid team but the way that this off season has worked out, I find it hard to believe that they will.