The New York Mets cleaned house at the top of the organization with the firing of Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya at the end of the 2010 season. Bringing in Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins were the proper first steps to take towards bringing the franchise back to respectability, but there are many holes to fill in the roster before the Mets can become contenders again.
With the 2011 season right around the corner, here are 10 moves that the Mets can make to take steps in the right direction.
While David Wright is likely to be the face of the Mets for the duration of his career, Jose Reyes might never return to the form of his earlier years. At 27 years old, Reyes is still young enough to get plenty of prospects back in a trade. Reyes has become injury-prone and doesn't run with the same intensity as he once did.
Trading away Johan Santana might not be a fan-friendly move in the short term, but it would be wise to move the player before his value decreases even further. Time will tell if Santana ever fully recovers from his recent surgery, but history dictates that it is no safe bet he will ever be a dominant force again.
Making the decision to move Beltran to right field should come during spring training so that everyone in the organization is on the same page. Beltran is too talented to be bounced around from center to right and the team doesn't want to lose him entirely. Angel Pagan gives the Mets a better chance to win if he is the starting center fielder.
Tejada has flashed a brilliant defense, but questions about his hitting at the major league level forced the Mets to look at other options at the second base position. This upcoming spring training will be a four-way fight for the starting job. Tejada should get a chance to mature and play in every game for the Mets this season.
Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo have been eating up roster spots and wasting millions of dollars for the Mets over the last few seasons. The time has come for the Wilpons to cut ties with the problematic duo despite the pricey contracts.
Bay had a miserable 2010 season but is too good of a player to continue his slump. It usually takes a free-agent signing one full year to grow into a comfort zone in New York. Expect him to get off to a hot start and return to his All-Star form.
Ike Davis showed plenty of promise in his rookie season, but pitchers began to find holes in his lengthy swing as the year wore on. Davis would be wise to shorten up his stroke to give him a better chance at the plate.
The Mets will need plenty of help to get the ball into the hands of Francisco Rodriguez. With Pedro Feliciano testing the free-agent market, the Mets will need to find a lefty specialist on the cheap. In the meantime, Oliver Perez might need to work out of the bullpen while he tries to find his way back to the starting rotation.
While Pavano was an epic failure with the Yankees, he has been a perennial winner at the other stops in his professional career. "The 'Stache" would be a hit with the fans and shore up the middle of the starting rotation.
Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese have put a few seasons under their belts at the major league level. 2011 will be the make-or-break year in their careers if they are to become elite starters.
David Wright eased into a leadership role last season and he must continue to press forward as the media spokesman and vocal leader of the team.