Who'll Be the New York Mets' Left Fielder on Opening Day?

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Who'll Be the New York Mets' Left Fielder on Opening Day?

So far this offseason, Mets General Manager Omar Minaya has focused on addressing the team's biggest flaw, the bullpen, by bringing in closers Fransisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz.

I have been ecstatic about the recent K-Rod Signing and J.J. trade, but I do believe that the Mets have important needs other than pitching, and that Minaya has a lot more work to do before he starts to enjoy the off season and play some golf in Puerto Rico with Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado.

Ninety-nine point nine percent of all Mets fans want Luis Castillo off the team, and who can blame them after his dreadful performance last season. Minaya should look to move him, but it will be a very difficult task considering his hefty contract.

Other then second base, the only other seemingly open position is Left Field. The Mets have many ways they can go with this, and here are a few possible scenarios:

 

3) Free Agents

Manny Ramirez He is the big name out there, but I honestly don't want him. I think he would further disrupt an already turbulent club house, and prevent David Wright and Jose Reyes from taking over as the leaders of the team.

However, the New York Mets definitely need a big presence in left field who will put up big numbers and Manny may be a perfect fit. But the time to get him is over. If Manny was to ever done the blue and orange, we would have gotten him in the middle of last season when we needed him the most.

Raul Ibanez He was a player I've liked for a long time now, until he signed a three year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets liked him, but weren't going to sign another lefty when we have one already in Ryan Church who plays Right Field. Ibanez plays very hard and was the type of player the Mets need, but unfortunately we wont get to see him on our side of the dugout come April.

Pat Burrell ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I throw up my lunch whenever I hear Mets fans actually hoping that the we sign Pat Burrell. Have you forgotten that this guy has killed us in the past? Have you also forgotten that the Phillies almost released him during the 2006 season? I want no part of this guy on my team.

Moises Alou No more please. We paid this guy $8 million last year to have 50-some-odd at-bats. This guy can hit, but he's too old and too injury plagued.

 

2) Trades

Eric Byrnes I've heard rumors that the Mets may be interested in acquiring Eric Byrnes. I don't think it's going to happen, nor do I want this guy on my team. I guarantee you he'd break his collarbone or something on his first dive on a routine pop fly.

Xavier Nady If the Yankees go after Manny, they may look to trade Xavier Nady, who is/was a fan favorite during his short tenure with the Mets, and I'd love to get him back some how.

Juan Pierre The Dodgers are looking to unload him, but I don't think he'd be a good fit for the Mets. Castillo and Pierre were once a dynamic combo at the top of the order, but wouldn't be a good tandem now.

 

1) Home Grown / Current Players

Daniel Murphy I want to see this guy play everyday next season. He's a great hitter, but we need to find a spot for him on the field. He's been playing second base in Arizona lately, but with Castillo being a blackhole at that position, Left Field seems to be the spot where the Irish Hammer will get his most playing time.

Fernando Tatis The 2008 comeback player of the year was a pleasant surprise for Mets fans this past season. I still remember the fans Cheering TATIS! clap clap clap TATIS! After he had a ton of clutch hits for this ball club. He deserves at least the CHANCE to be the starting Left Fielder next season.

The Mets suffered a big blow when he got injured when trying to make a diving catch, and honestly if he stayed healthy, maybe things would have turned out a little bit differently.

A lot of Mets fans want to go out and sign a big name to play Left Field, but I'd be entirely comfortable with a platoon of the two players above.

 

Other Possibilities

Nick Evans This prospect played decent last season, and Met scouters foresee him being a 30 home run a season type of player down the road. His natural position is first base, but I think he should get a fair amount of chances out there in left field for the Mets next season, so that him and his buddy D-Murph can battle it out for more playing time.

Fernando Martinez What ever happened to this guy! He was once the Mets' most cherished and top prospect, dubbed the teenage hitting machine, but he has fallen off the radar after an injury plagued season in the minors and the emergence of Daniel Murphy.

Why does nobody mention this guys name when talking about the Mets outfield in 2009?

 

Conclusion

The Mets NEED production from Left Field, but I don't think it warrants a stupid trade or expensive signing. The future of the Mets lies with their youth, which is why I think it's imperative for them to develop their home-grown talent at the major-league level by using the vacant left field. This will be prevented if the Mets get Manny or someone else.

I believe the Mets should platoon Tatis and Murphy, while also giving a few starts to Nick Evans and some of the other outfield prospects that we have.  

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