Who's In Left? Options For The New York Mets

Jason LempertCorrespondent IDecember 30, 2008

Reports out of New York say that the Mets would be content with their current left field platoon of Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis.  But is this really what Mets fans want to see in CitiField?

As a Mets fan myself, I can say "no", we don't want to see a platoon in left for 2009.  Granted, there is an appeal to having a constantly rested outfielder.  And the idea of having the younger Murphy, who bats left-handed, playing more regularly against right-handed pitchers is attractive as well.

But there are a lot of options the Mets should explore as we head into 2009.

Of course, the biggest name out there is Manny Ramirez.  At the beginning of the offseason, I was opposed to bringing Manny to Queens.  But I have since changed my tune, for a number of reasons.

If Manny can be signed for a two or three-year contract, for about $20 million a year, I think it's a no-brainer.  Think of a lineup that has Jose Reyes leading off, and then the heart of the order includes Ramirez, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, and Carlos Delgado. 

Sure, Ramirez will be turning 37 in May.  But he hasn't exactly shown any signs of wearing down, and I believe his "Manny Being Manny" antics were over once he finally left Boston. And besides, if Adam Dunn signs with the Dodgers, the suitors for Manny will have been reduced to almost nothing, which in turn could lower his asking price.

If the Mets decide to pass on Ramirez (as is being reported by ESPN's Jayson Stark), they should at least kick the tires on Pat Burrell.  Burrell has never posted a high batting average or on-base percentage, but he's also never hit less than 18 home runs in a season. He would be a solid 6-7 hitter in the lineup, depending on whether the team was facing a right or left-handed starter. 

Finally, what better way to stick to the Phillies than by signing one of their franchise players?

Another option would be Juan Pierre.  Pierre has almost 430 career stolen bases and would fit very nicely hitting behind Reyes in the batting order. He has a decent arm in left field, and could be a very nice val-u-option for the Mets.

Finally, Kevin Millar.  For those who haven't noticed, Millar hit 20 homers last season.  He can play left and he can certainly spell Carlos Delgado at first base when the Mets face a left-handed starter.  At 37 years of age, Millar could be a nice cheap option for the Mets.

The ideal would be for the Mets to move Luis Castillo, by any means necessary.  If they are unable to then sign Orlando Hudson, move Murphy to second and plug in any of the outfielders listed above in left. 

It could be a very interesting Spring for the Mets of Queens.

Spin those wheels Omar!