New York Mets Continue to Weigh Options for an Impact Bat

Dominick DiFucciAnalyst INovember 19, 2008

The Mets have a need for an impact bat.  However, they have more pressing needs that need to be addressed before they go after offense. They need a closer, a couple of middle relievers, and probably two starters to fill the back end of the rotation.

The Mets this offseason were rumored to have been discussing the possibility of breaking up the team's core (Wright, Reyes, Beltran), but that is not going to happen.  The Mets' offense was good, but it had its failures, especially in the last week of the season.

This is where they can use a complementary player with some pop, but only after they get all the other pieces in place.

They have a need for a right-handed bat, one that can play left field. The Mets can use Daniel Murphy in left next year, but if you think about it, the Mets will have a lot of left-handed hitters in their lineup, like Delgado, Schneider, and Church.

The Mets will be very vulnerable to left-handed pitching.

Here are some names that are available:

Eric Byrnes

He definitely fits this category. He was rumored to go because of his salary, plus the Diamondbacks like the idea of playing Connor Jackson in left field. I would love to see the Mets pull of a deal for him, but they plan to offer Luis Castillo, and the Diamondbacks really don't like him.

The Diamondbacks like Aaron Heilman and would have to give more to get him. It might not be worth it.

Jermaine Dye

He is a right-handed power hitter with a decent pedigree. The Mets have talked to the White Sox, but the asking price has been high. The Mets would have to give Bobby Parnell and Fernando Martinez for starters, and the problem with Dye is he always gets hurt.

Carlos Lee

The big-time Houston bopper has just been reportedly put on the trading block. He is owed $75 million over the next four years, including $18.5 million in 2009.

He is 32 and can hit, but the Mets know he is a liability in the field. Minaya has been known to do the impossible, and I can see the Mets trying to trade for him. He is the kind of hitter the Mets need to put the fear in National League pitchers.

But that contract is ridiculous!

Manny Ramirez

Yeah, Craig Carlton can chant all he wants, but that isn't going to get Manny Ramirez here any faster.

The Mets had many chances to get Manny, even last year. The Mets made up their minds that he was not a fit.  So what would make him a fit now?

Ramirez is one of the best clutch hitters in baseball and would be valuable right-handed bat, but he is 36-years-old. All the Mets have to do is pay him, but they are not going to give him a Boras' ransom.

Pat Burrell

The Mets have no interest in Pat Burrell. He fits what the Mets need, but he is another liability in the field.  Plus, he plays for the enemy. Sorry, Pat the Bat!

Juan Rivera

He is not a big bopper, but he is a right-handed hitter. The Mets can pay him to be a role player and platoon hitter with Daniel Murphy. He is very connected to Omar Minaya, and I would not be surprised if they brought him to Queens.

The Mets' lineup will need some tinkering, but I think they will get role players like they had in 2006 to fill in the missing pieces.

Some names of left-handed hitting outfielders that are worth mentioning:
Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, Mark Kotsay, Raul Ibanez, Garrett Anderson, and Jacque Jones.

The Mets can also use an upgrade at second base, but they have to get rid of Castillo's contract before they do that. Many have mentioned Orlando Hudson to be the successor, including myself.

But if you think about it, would you give this guy a five-year, $50 million contract? He has only played more than 140 games twice in the last seven years.  May as well stick with Castillo.

Go Mets!


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