Second base has been in a state of flux on the New York Mets for some time now. Last year the position was held down by Justin Turner and Ruben Tejada. Those two players had solid seasons. Turner proved that he has major league talent, and Tejada showed why he is regarded as one of the Mets' top young players.
The free-agent market for second basemen this year is shallow. There are, however, a few interesting options that the Mets should look into. I don't believe that the Mets should concentrate too much on finding a second baseman though. This team has many needs and second base isn't high on the list of needs.
However, that would change if Jose Reyes decides to leave the Mets this offseason. The current plan is that Reyes will be back and Tejada or Turner will play second base. The two will most likely have a position battle in spring training if that is the case.
The situation becomes a lot more interesting if Reyes leaves. If Reyes leaves then Ruben Tejada will most likely occupy shortstop next season. The second base battle will then heat up. Justin Turner will go against the likes of young Mets players Reese Havens and Jordany Valdespin.
Havens and Valdespin are two of the Mets' most exciting young players and they both have a lot of potential. If it wasn't for injury problems then Havens might have already been a staple for the Mets at second base.
When Havens is healthy and playing, he puts up fantastic numbers and shows the massive amount of potential that he has.
Valdespin will turn 24 this upcoming season. He finished last season in AAA Buffalo where he put up solid numbers. Valdespin has the potential to be an above-average middle infielder.
Both of these young players deserve a shot at the second base job next season if Reyes leaves.
I really like Justin Turner but I don't see him as an everyday player. I do want him to stay with the Mets for a long time to come though. He is a great clubhouse player and he would make a solid bench player who could play multiple positions. He also has a useful bat.
I think that the Mets should explore the option of signing free-agent second baseman Orlando Cabrera this offseason. Cabrera would come to the Mets for cheap; he would most likely ask for no more than $1 million.
His skills are diminishing as he gets older, but there is no denying that he is a proven winner and he knows how to play the game. If the Mets bring Cabrera in then it seems as if he might be the perfect mentor for young players like Tejada, Havens and Valdespin. Turner could even learn a thing or two from him, along with many other players.
Cabrera also possesses the ability to revert back to a shade of his old self. He used to be one heck of a player and if he could capture even a fraction of his past success then he could help the Mets. And if he doesn't then the Mets could either cut him or leave him on the team to act as a mentor for the young Mets players.
I don't believe that the Mets should be looking for a drastic improvement at second base this offseason, because they have a bunch of players inside the organization that could occupy second base next year.
The Mets have a slew of young and talented middle infielders who deserve a shot for the job, and bringing a guy like Orlando Cabrera into the mix can't hurt.
The Mets have many other problems to worry about and I believe that the Mets should just stick with their players in the organization and only go out of the organization for a guy like Cabrera.
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