As December approaches it is becoming more likely that the New York Mets will not be major players in the 2012 free-agent frenzy. With the offseason now officially in full swing, we have yet to hear the Mets being discussed as possible landing spots for any of the key free agents.
In fact, the only big news coming out of Queens is the likelihood that Jose Reyes will be leaving the team at some point. That being said, the Mets have to make some significant moves this offseason to at least try and make the club competitive in 2012.
The Mets currently have $70 million already locked into contract obligations, with the heart of that money going to David Wright, Johan Santana and Jason Bay. However, the 2012 free-agent class is filled with hidden gems, and I believe the Mets can find some bargains.
The following are five moves that the New York Mets need to make this offseason.
It’s obvious that the Mets have a lot of problems, but the biggest may come from the bullpen. The Mets bullpen had a terrible 4.32 ERA this season, which ranked only ahead of the Houston Astros for the worst pen in the NL. Not to mention the bullpen also tied for fourth in the NL for most blown saves.
The team needs to go out and sign a reliable reliever like Octavio Dotel. Dotel is coming off a very solid year with the St. Louis Cardinals and was just about perfect during the team’s World Series run.
Adding Dotel would give the Mets a consistent reliever, one which will definitely help a weak bullpen.
The Mets currently have a platoon of outfielders in Lucas Duda, Scott Hairston, Jason Bay, and Angel Pagan. Bay is locked in as the team’s everyday left fielder for better or for worse. Angel Pagan also figures to be starting in one of the two spots, but they still need to add someone else.
Instead of starting Lucas Duda every day, the club should go out and sign David DeJesus, even if it’s just for one year.
DeJesus has batted over .280 in seven of his nine years in the big leagues, and is someone who still has five-tool potential. He is also very sound defensively, posting a career .992 fielding percentage. DeJesus would be a major upgrade defensively, especially for a team that ranked 26th last season in fewest errors.
With Ronny Paulino likely gone, the only catcher the Mets currently have is Josh Thole.
If the Mets are going to start Thole, that’s fine, but they need a veteran to backup the youngster. Thole struggled much of his rookie season and adding a guy like Bengie Molina would be ideal.
Molina is a proven World Series winner and has been very clutch over the years. Even if he does not play much, Molina still will be able to teach Thole and work to make him a better catcher.
Having reliable backups in baseball can sometimes strongly determine the success of the team.
The New York Mets have a lot of holes to fill this offseason, so doesn’t it make sense to sign someone who fills a variety of the team’s needs?
Mark DeRosa is as utility as they come. He can play second base, third base, first base, and even right field.
The only concern with DeRosa is his health, which has kept him from playing a full season since 2009. However, when DeRosa returned from the disabled list he managed to hit .279 with a .351 OBP.
DeRosa will be commanding a small contract, and although there may be some risk, it is nothing compared to the reward the Mets can get from him.
The Mets need to find a few starting pitchers to backup Johan Santana. The team does not have a whole lot of money to spend this offseason, but there still are some suitable guys that will come cheap.
Jason Marquis has already expressed interest in coming to New York, and the Mets need to be taking a serious look at him. Although Marquis struggled last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he still will be able to log a lot of innings for the Mets.
Marquis will also come at a very reasonable price and it’s not like the guy is a complete bum. He has won over 10 games six times in his career and will definitely be able to help take some of the pressure off the bullpen.