Shortstop Should Be a Top Priority This Winter

With Ruben Tejada‘s shaky and injury-plagued 2013 season behind him, it’s likely that the Mets will look outside the organization to shore up the shortstop position this off-season.

Oct 17, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew (7) turns a double play over Detroit Tigers second baseman Omar Infante (4) to end the fourth inning in game five of the American League Championship Series baseball game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 17, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew (7) turns a double play over Detroit Tigers second baseman Omar Infante (4) to end the fourth inning in game five of the American League Championship Series baseball game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets are going to be active this off-season. Or so that’s what Sandy Alderson says. A team with a bunch of payroll coming off the books coupled with holes to fill and a massive free agent pool is a recipe for an interesting winter. Time and time again it has been said that the Mets would like to fix their outfield, figure out first base and retool an ever-changing bullpen.

Shortstop needs to be added to the list – preferably near the top. Ruben Tejada is not the answer. His work ethic has been questioned, and Tejada took a huge step backwards in his game in 2013.  He struggled mightily both offensively and defensively, leading to his demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas. It got so bad that Omar Quintanilla was called up and was the starter for the rest of the season.

Now, here we are in the off-season. Tejada is hurt and there is no real direction for the position. Wilmer Flores has been completely ruled out from taking over there and currently the Mets have no one in the minors capable of taking over. Where does that leave Alderson and the front office?

It should put them in position to jump all over a potential free agent signing or trade. With names like Stephen Drew, Jhonny Peralta and Jed Lowrie in the conversation, the Mets should consider their options. Neither of these three are MVP caliber talents, but that’s not what is being asked of the position. Alderson wants a guy that can get on base, have some pop and play good defense. All three of the players mentioned ab0ve fit that criteria. Drew and Peralta are both free agents. Lowrie is still under control by the A’s, but Alderson’s connections seem like they could create a fit.

Other possibilities include Troy Tulowitzki, Jose Reyes and Elvis Andrus. All three would need to be acquired in a trade, commanding high price tags in the process.

A team like the Mets, especially one that is trying to take that next step into competing for October baseball, needs to explore every possible option. Nothing should be off-limits. Thinking outside the box is what is going to take this team to the next level. That thinking should be brought to solving the shortstop problem.

 

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Topics: New York Mets, Off-season, Ruben Tejada, Sandy Alderson, Shortstop

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  • Zozo

    How bout Murphy for starlin castro?

    • rwdavis22461

      Why would the Cubs make that deal. nothing against Murphy but Castro is much younger and a two way player. I do not think the Cubs would trade Castro .

    • Chris Schubert

      I like the idea of getting Castro, but it would require way more the just Murphy. Plus I am in the camp that believes Murphy is a vital part to this Mets team. I also think Castro’s trade value has diminished slightly, so it’s a possibility.

    • Jason Powers

      Keep Murphy. I want Kevin Plawecki and pitchers Rafael Montero and Robert Gsellman. Would you answer the phone?

  • Ken Meoni

    Sorry, I see outfield power the priority, with shortstop after that. Maybe I am old school, but I see SS as a defensive position and I think the Mets have defensive SS’s. The money should go to OF and P now that the Mets will go with who they have for 1B. Although I still feel they should make a run at Mike Morse at 1B.

  • Ken Meoni

    If the Mets want to make a move for SS then here is what I think. The Blue Jays are looking for a 2B. Murphy and a prospect or $ for OF Kevin Pillar and SS Ryan Goins or Munenori Kawasaki.

  • rwdavis22461

    I think a power hitting outfielder or two is more important.

    • Chris Schubert

      Agreed. But I feel as if shortstop is being brushed under the rug. Not viewed as a position that needs fixing. I think it does need to be fixed. I’d rather have Cargo/Choo with Tejada at short than Lowrie at short with EY/Lagares in the outfield. But we shouldn’t just focus ourselves on one position, as that could leave us without any upgrades.

    • rwdavis22461

      i hear you loud and clear. I am not against upgrading SS but too me its not first on my list but 2nd behind OF. But i lived in a era of Bud Harrelson where the offense was not as important from that position as defense. with that said . Tejada is not Buddy in no sense of the word. But you do not need more offense but it does not need to be power.

  • Manny

    I like how you mentioned Lowrie. A solid shortstop with a year left and the A’s may be willing to deal him with Hiroyuki Nakajima and Addison Russel making their way to the big club. I agree that the Mets should probably focus on the outfield, but offense is offense and if a shortstop like Peralta can offer a step up from that then it’s surely something to pursue.
    Side note: maybe explore some cheaper options at short such as a Dee Gordon. The guy is a speedster who, if he can work some walks, can cause some headaches for the opposing squad. Or maybe talking to the Padres about Evereth Cabrera.

    • Chris Schubert

      My problem with Dee Gordon is that he doesn’t get on base enough to utilize his speed. The most games he has played in a season is 87, where he only hit .228 with a .280 OBP. I’m not really sold on him just yet to give away prospects.

    • AnakinCorleone

      I agree about Gordon’s flaws but he should still be a fallback option. He’s a left-handed hitter so you can platoon Gordon and Tejada. They might be productive enough in a platoon without leaving either one overexposed as they have been in an everyday role.

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