After finalizing the R.A. Dickey trade earlier in the week with the Blue Jays-which brought in uber prospects Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard-the Mets will now look to continue its facelift this offseason by addressing other needs-most notably the outfield.
So, where do the Mets turn to now? How do they go about upgrading the talent level for 2013 while also striving to remain committed towards building for the long-term?
Moreover, how do the Mets go about upgrading the outfield, which is in need of an overhaul?
Since the Mets received no outfield help from their biggest trading chip in Dickey (although they got there catcher of the future), the Mets will likely go to the free-agent route to upgrade their outfield corps.
Well, for starters the Mets made a minor move earlier in the week by acquiring the services of Collin Cowgill (traded for Jefry Marte) from the A’s. Cowgill is an uninspiring right-handed outfielder with not much of a track record. While, it’s great to nab a young righty-hitting outfielder with a bit of upside, Cowgill is certainly not a player that will excite the masses. In 196 career at-bats, Cowgill has a mediocre.255/.319/.311 slash line while playing for the Diamondbacks and the A’s in the last two years.
While there is some potential with Cowgill, you are not getting any production you can certifiably bank on. That’s why the Mets have to sign some outfielder worth his weight this offseason.
Although they don’t fit into the Mets’ youthful overhaul strategy, the Mets have to make a serious push for someone along the likes of Cody Ross and/or re-sign Scott Hairston; or perhaps even trading for someone like Josh Willingham or Jason Kubel.
The Mets certainly could use the attitude and the moxie Ross brings to the table. Ross can be the bridge in the outfield before the Mets get their wings and take off as a formidable unit. Ross can provide the gap before the Mets can go about signing front-line free agents when the budget is less restricted.
Last year Ross had a respectable .266 /.326/.481 slash line and .807 OPS. Ross could act as a glue guy-along with David Wright-while being a calming, veteran influence in a clubhouse full of boisterous, developing youth.
The Mets can’t really afford (not literally, mind you!) to take on any more projects while trying to upgrade the outfield. They need some stability in the lineup from the outfield spot. Ross could provide just that. Nick Swisher would be an ideal fit, but his price tag could be a bit out of the Mets’ reach. Austin Kearns, Xavier Nady and Scott Podsednik could be some low-level options worth gambling on. Podsednik is a curious case, as he could provide the Mets with a speedy leadoff option. Granted, at age 36, Podsednik isn’t what he once was, but on the cheap he’s worth a look.
Granted, right now the Mets are all about the future, but for 2013 they need an identity and an edge about them. And by signing Ross you’re accomplishing that.
Although the chances the Mets can contend for a playoff spot next year appear to be slim, it doesn’t mean the Mets should act idle. Sandy Alderson knows this and said on WFAN this week that he knows the Mets have holes in the outfield and that he will look to sign a righty-hitting outfielder of some “quality.”
The above mentioned free-agents (save for maybe Swisher) are well within reach of the Mets’ budget.
The Mets need to act before it’s too late.
(Note: Next Thursday I will discuss pitching possibilities the Mets should target)