So it looks like the Mets will have a new manager sometime before Thanksgiving. The four candidates have completed the second round of interviews in an attempt to secure a position that will be heavily scrutinized over the next season.
Once the manager is chosen, the Mets need to switch their focus to importing some talent that could help the ball club next season and beyond.
With Sandy Alderson, J.P. Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta, the Mets have put together a sound front office.
Some time early next week, the Mets will make their managerial selection so they can check that off the list.
The off-the-field talent is there, but now it's time for them to explore ways of turning the Mets back into a winning team.
Let's take a look at where this team needs improvement and some possible suggestions on how to fix those problems.
With Santana's status up in the air, the Mets could use a quality starting pitcher. I've already made the case for Javier Vazquez, but Matt Cerrone on MetsBlog mentioned Kevin Millwood today. Now I know what you're thinking: Millwood is even more washed up than Vazquez.
But Citi Field can work to his advantage. He's a fly ball pitcher who got no run support in Baltimore. Maybe a change of scenery would do him well.
Jon Garland would be another option, but his price tag may be quite hefty after putting up solid numbers last season.
Alderson may have to roll the dice on this one. Former All-Stars Brandon Webb and Ben Sheets are available, but their recent string of injuries could scare him away.
Pelfrey, Dickey and Niese right now are the only definites to the rotation (barring any trades) so at least one if not two starting pitchers are needed.
Looking at the bullpen, Pedro Feliciano may be heading out the door. He's been our most reliable reliever the last two seasons, and his presence would be missed. Raul Valdes had spurts of greatness last year, but he doesn't appear to be the answer to the bullpen woes.
K-Rod will likely still close if he's eligible. That leaves Parnell, Green, Igarashi, Acosta and possibly Pat Misch. Certainly an improvement or two would not hurt here.
Guys like Scott Downs and Brian Fuentes would be good options, but the Mets must be willing to fork up the cash. Trade candidates include Jonathan Papelbon and Jonathan Broxton, but they too will cost significantly.
Around the horn, second base still seems to be one of the only "holes" in the lineup, assuming everyone else is healthy and producing. Personally, I like the idea of a platoon of Daniel Murphy and Ruben Tejada, with Tejada also serving as a late-inning defensive replacement.
Orlando Hudson is available and could provide a spark both offensively and defensively. I'm not sure, though, if the Mets would pull the trigger on this one.
The team appears to have placed its confidence in Josh Thole behind the dish. However, if they could somehow make a play for Victor Martinez, maybe Thole could become expendable in a trade for a starting pitcher. Highly unlikely but interesting to consider.
If the Mets do trade Carlos Beltran, they would have a hole in right field, with Angel Pagan shifting to center. There are some aging sluggers available on the free agent market, but the Mets should stay away there.
For the bench, the team should consider re-signing Henry Blanco, and Chris Carter has earned his spot. Other than that the Mets need a complete overhaul here, and they may just rely on some of their youngsters (Lucas Duda, Nick Evans, etc.) to fill these spots.
So it looks like the Mets still have much work to do. They will have several months to accomplish at least some of these goals. Good luck, Sandy!