The constant underperforming and lackluster baseball finally caught the wrath of GM Sandy Alderson. No more will there be any coddling or nurturing of their underachieving players. It’s all about accountability now. Perhaps it’s a day late and dollar short, but better late than never I guess.
Sooner or later, it’s all going to boil down to wins and losses. That said, it’s high time Alderson makes his first big splash as GM of the Mets and swing a blockbuster deal for a potent bat—ideally one you can plug right away in the outfield.
Sure, they say pitching wins championships—and that is true—but for this franchise to go anywhere they need to trade from a position of strength (a surplus of quality young pitching) to bolster their anemic and lifeless offense—an offense that has no real ready-made prospects waiting in the wings either.
The only pitcher on the Mets who is untouchable, of course, is Matt Harvey. But after that, no one is unattainable and the list of candidates who could be moved includes—but is not limited to—Jonathon Niese, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard, Michael Fulmer and Rafael Montero.
While it was blasphemous to think of such a trade prior to the season, certain circumstances (seriously have you seen this offense this year?) have forced the Mets to declare that they will spend money to upgrade the offense (whether it be through free agency or through trades).
Mind you, obviously you are not trading all of these players, but when you offer a combination from the likes of Wheeler, Syndergaard, or Montero with a d’Arnaud or maybe a Wilmer Flores, then the Mets have a reasonable shot at acquiring a player of Gonzalez or Stanton’s ilk.
With the way Kevin Plawecki is playing catcher in the minors and with d’Arnaud susceptible to injury, d’Arnaud should not be considered off limits anymore.
It is obvious that the Mets missed the boat to bolster the offense when they didn’t push hard enough to acquire Justin Upton in the offseason. They also did themselves no favors for passing on Michael Bourn in order to protect their first round draft pick this year.
So with the power of hindsight, Alderson can’t make the same mistake twice, at least not if he wants to stick around in Queens before he is shamed out of town.
The face of the “franchise”, David Wright, needs some help on the offensive side of things and while the Mets have strong pitching, Wright needs a partner in crime to help carry this team. He can’t do this alone.
That said, I present here an optimal way to improve the Mets for the 2014 season.
- Do what was rumored before and try to trade Wheeler and d’Arnaud for Stanton (or Gonzalez)
- Take a quasi-risk and sign Shin-Soo Choo to be your centerfielder and lead-off hitter
- If you trade d’Arnaud, then resign John Buck cheap until Plawecki can make his way to Queens
- Depending on how they perform the rest of the way, trade one to two from Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy while getting fair, market value in return.
So here can be your possible Mets’ lineup for 2014
- Shin Soo Choo-CF
- Daniel Murphy/Wilmer Flores (last resort Jordany Valdespin)-2B
- David Wright-3B
- Giancarlo Stanton-RF
- Ike Davis/Lucas Duda- 1B (there should be no plausible scenario where both of these players are on the same team next season)
- John Buck- C
- Combo of Juan Lagares, Cesar Puello, Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Collin Cowgill-LF
- Ruben Tejada-SS (we can’t upgrade every position)
Now if you trade Wheeler to get Stanton or Gonzalez, here can be the staff for 2014
- Matt Harvey
- Jon Niese
- Dillon Gee
- Jeremy Hefner
- And then sign a mid-tier pitcher through free agency or through trade.
While it’s not the most intimidating back end of the staff, at least you would feel comfortable knowing reinforcements are on the way with Syndergaard and Montero.
Again, come hell or high water, the Mets have to bring in a big bat that will generate some buzz. You got to get somebody you can tell the fanbase that you are serious about winning while changing the culture around Queens.
Status quo will not cut it anymore and it’s time Alderson puts his money where his mouth is.