The 2010 New York Mets did exactly what I expected of them, another losing season. Before the year began, I projected the Mets to be 78-84 and finish fourth place in the NL East, just one game off of their record of 79-83. This article will look at the Mets 2010 season and how their decisions will affect their future.
The greatest thing that Minaya did was not trying to salvage the season by trading for another veteran to clog up capital. The one knock on Minaya was signing Jason Bay for four years at $66 million (and the option for a fifth year). This last-ditch effort for trying to save his job ties the Mets up with an aging veteran who will never hit 30 home runs or bat above .280.
This money could have been spent on a number of free agent options in the market this year, or by giving R.A. Dickey a raise. Although if one looks at the past acquisitions made by Minaya, this is one of his best years as the Mets GM.
During the regular season, the Mets losing was the greatest thing for the franchise. The Wilpon's finally cut ties with Minaya, ending his era of mediocrity. This move is the most encouraging aspect in the front office. The Mets fired Omar Minaya and hired Sandy Alderson with assistant GM JP Ricciardi. Alderson is best know for the creating the Atheltic's team that featured Mark Macgwire and Jose Canseco. Ricciardi was an assistant GM for Alderson and worked as the GM for the Blue Jays who is great at talent scouting.
Carlos Beltran is no longer a Met. Anyone who watched the Mets noticed he did not hustle, or seem to give a damn. The one thing I'm hoping for is a bounce back 2011 in which the Mets can trade him at the all star team break for any prospects.
Francisco Rodriguez assaulted his girlfriends father. I miss the good old days when our players just did cocaine...
Luis Castillo is being paid $6.75 million for being a cheerleader. The worse thing? His most (in)famous moment as a Met is this. This not doing it for you? Just remember him walking down the steps...
The Mets were unable to move any veterans or acquire any talent to help the farm system. However, it doesn't surprise me they couldn't, considering every player listed here should be paid half of their actual contract. In Oliver Perez's case, he should be paying the fans for making us watch him pitch.
Noticeable New Talent:
The Mets never had a shot at playoff contention after the all star break. This, along with injury, allowed the Mets to try players such as Mejia, Tejada, Thole, and Pagan. Their lack in depth and ability led to Ike Davis becoming the starting first baseman.
Ike Davis has captured the hearts of Mets fan. He can play defense and filled in a major power vacuum in the Mets lineup. Ike had streaks were he couldn't connect with the ball but was able to adjust his swing and have a very impressive rookie campaign.
Angel Pagan was always written off as role player. The reason most (including myself) thought he would never become a major factor was that he made simple mistakes in the outfield and had lapses in the box in which looked like he had no idea which way was up. In 2010, however, he had a breakout campaign in which he played consistently in both offense and defense.
Josh Thole will be a good catcher in a couple of years. At this point in time he still lacks experience and needs more time with the batting coaches. However, a .277 average by a catcher is nothing to laugh at, and in the future a .300 average with 10 to 15 home runs is possible.
Mejia is one of the Mets top prospects, but never showed it in the Majors. He still needs time to develop better control and gain mound presence.
Tejada had a mundane year at second base. He didn't contribute much in the offense, but was a solid defensive player that could turn the double play.
Talent is hard to come by, and the Mets may have a legitimate all star in Ike Davis and catcher of the future in Josh Thole.
Players who found their Niche
David Wright has found his power again. Even though it still looks like he is trying to cut down a tree with every swing, he has been connecting for home runs the Mets desperately need. But if the Mets are going to have any chance at contention, he has to make a lot more contact.
Mike Pelfrey had a strong year. In the first half he looked like one of the best pitchers in baseball, but we all knew it wouldn't last. He had an ERA of 3.66 and won 15 games, much improved from his 5 ERA in 2009. If Pelfrey can show consistency in a game to game basis, the Mets could have a very dangerous number 2 starter.
Jon Niese is another young pitcher who proved he could be a solid man in the Mets rotation. Injury had caused him to have had a very limited role but this year he was able to play and had an extraordinary year. He had an ERA of 4.20 and should look to either replicate or improve in 2011.
Two more players who found an important role with the Mets were R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi. These two players came out of nowhere and proved to be very important players for the Mets. R.A. Dickey is a 36 year old knuckle baller who had never had an ERA under 4.62 before this season, who emerged as a top 10 pitcher in the National League. Takahashi was a relief pitcher who became a starting pitching and then again a relief pitcher (this time a closer). Takahashi was 8 for 8 in save opportunities and is a necessary backup for K-Rod who has not been in top form. Both players are very questionable in 2011 as to their effectiveness, but the Mets season could depend on them.
The Mets are in transition. There are three new starters in the Mets depth chart at 1B, C, and CF (that is assuming Beltran is switched to RF). The main core of the Mets which has failed to produce a world series win, let alone a berth is old and injured. Carlos Beltran, Oliver Perez, and Luis Castillo all come off the Mets payroll next year, freeing up cash. What is especially crippling to an aging star team is the injury prone Johan Santana, who has once again undergone season ending surgery.
While the Mets have problems in injury and age, there is still a silver outline. The Mets have a farm system that has produced Ike Davis and Josh Thole, both starters on the 2011 team. Mejia looks like he can have a promising career, but he still needs developmental time. What also gives the Mets life is the return of David Wright's power and Jose Reyes being healthy in time for the start of 2011.
The Mets will also have a new manager replacing an ineffective Jerry Manuel. Leading the Mets' in the front office is the new GM, Sandy Alderson, who will be able to run the franchise by going after existing talent and building the next generation of Mets players with the help of long time partner JP Ricciardi. Alderson and Ricciardi will be able to build a new Mets dynasty through the draft, something that needed to and should have happened years ago.