Even though calendar year 2013 is yet to expire, we might as well conduct an early review of the club’s new emerging 25-man roster. Rounded off, Spring Training is still two months away. Much can change before then. Therefore, this is nothing more than a transient conversation.
Sandy Alderson addressed a dire outfield situation, and satisfied the need for a starting pitcher. With Chris Young, Curtis Granderson, and Bartolo Colon all signed, sealed and delivered, the Mets increased their 40-man roster to 37 players.
Large issues requiring Sandy Alderson’s attention remain at shortstop, first base, and the bullpen. Three available spots on the 40-man roster could potentially get filled with a relief pitcher, perhaps an extra player acquired through a potential trade – namely of Ike Davis, and a third unknown commodity. That’s purely speculative on my part, so please weigh in.
On the next tier of personnel issues, the Mets must decide who the back-up catcher will be, who the 5th outfielder off the bench will be, and who the fifth starter candidates will be. They will all likely remain in-house issues, but shortstop, not so much.
The Current Starting Eight:
C – Travis d’Arnaud - He still qualifies as a rookie next season. RA’s Sam, was bold enough to toy with the possibility of trading d’Arnaud. In a related item, RA’s Rich offered a response to MLB’s plan to ban home plate collisions.
1B – Lucas Duda – For the moment, the club favors Duda over Ike Davis. Here’s RA’s latest update from Danny, an opinion from Andrew, and Kevin questioned whether trading Ike was the right thing to do.
2B – Daniel Murphy – To the dismay of many Mets fans, Murphy trade rumors remain hot. Ironically, he’s not necessarily a blip on other team’s radar, so much as most of the trade noise seems to be coming from within Metropolis itself. Eric Young Jr. is an alternative to play second in the event Murphy is indeed traded, which would serve to get Young’s speed in the line-up. Here’s an RA opinion from Will.
SS – Ruben Tejada – He better hope that off-season conditioning program pays off! While free agent Jhonny Peralta stepped in and out of the picture, Rich offered a solid perspective on the shortstop situation. Andrew has his candidate. Meanwhile, Danny continues to monitor progress regarding a somewhat expensive free agent option, and another far more questionable one.
3B – David Wright – No one seems to care about him lately. Otherwise, he is finally realizing some of the club’s support promised him when he inked his pact. Lost in the frenzy of MLB’s free agency signing binge, is the fact David gave the Mets a considerable home town discount, and should be commended for it from time to time.
LF – Curtis Granderson – (Cost = $60 million, 4 years) Upon his signing, our newest addition to the RA team, Cassie, thought Granderson said all the right things. The acquisition also ignited excitement from RA’s other Dan. In fact, everyone at RA weighed in with their thoughts.
CF – Juan Lagares or Eric Young – I recently shared my concerns regarding a lead-off hitter, which invariably focused on center field. Rich also contemplated the outfield situation, and speculated who potentially plays where, and why.
RF – Chris Young – (Cost = $7.25 million; one year) Danny announced the deal for RA, and offered his initial impressions regarding the Mets first free agent acquisition of the off-season. I then stuck my two cents in.
What Now? Rich tackled that question.
C – Anthony Recker – For the moment, he’s the man. Sandy Alderson said he wanted to acquire an experienced MLB catcher, as insurance should Travis d’Arnaud incur yet another injury. Nothing has transpired yet, with nary a rumor. I wanted A.J. Pierzynski who was signed by the Red Sox, but that fell on deaf ears! I digress.
1B – Josh Satin – He may platoon with Lucas Duda. Josh is likable, isn’t he? If only he possessed just a little more power…. Despite breaking his fibula while playing winter ball, I still maintain an overwhelming desire to re-sign our own minor league free agent, Allan Dykstra, and give him an equal chance to win the first base job in Spring Training.
2B, 3B – Wilmer Flores – He was okay defensively last season, but we caught a small glimpse of his reportedly notorious lack of range. We’ll see. Let him gain comfort with his surroundings, then reassess. Otherwise, I’m glad he’s finally in the fold. His finest attribute however, may still lie in his tradability.
SS – Wilfredo Tovar – He suddenly became a very important back-up. The Mets have created an acute shortage at shortstop with recent non-tenders, and lack prospects in the high minors.
OF – There is only room for (maybe) two outfielders on the bench. For the moment, Eric Young and Juan Lagares are the third and fourth outfielders. The debate over who starts in center is ongoing. Matt den Dekker and Andrew Brown will likely compete for the fifth outfield spot in Spring Training. The loser of that competition will probably start the season at Las Vegas, and along with 3B-1B Zach Lutz, will be the first to be called upon if, and when, needed.
I’ve accounted for six reserves, which brings the roster to 14 players. Others might prefer to sacrifice a fifth outfielder for an additional relief pitcher.
1SP – Zack Wheeler
2SP – Jonathon Niese
3SP – Dillon Gee
4SP – Bartolo Colon
5SP – For the moment, this competition is between Jenrry Mejia and Carlos Torres. RA’s Rich was not necessarily pleased with the signing of Bartolo Colon, and had different ideas regarding the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation, and also kicked off the bullpen discussion.
I followed Rich with an expanded review of the Mets bullpen.
Closer - Bobby Parnell – His situation is still pending. Depending on his status, Sandy Alderson may be required to go off-campus for another relief pitcher.
2RP – Vic Black
3RP – Jeurys Familia
4RP – Gonzalez Germen
6RP – The question is whether to go with six or seven relievers? If the Mets go with six, chose one more reliever to complete the 25-man roster. If the Mets go with seven, chose two relievers, and drop a reserve player. If the Mets also have to compensate for Bobby Parnell, then they potentially need three, and will be faced with a roster move upon his return.
The in-house options with MLB experience are Josh Edgin and Scott Rice, and they both just happen to be left-handed. Of the two, I’d give the nod to Edgin. The potential minor league options most spoken about are Jeff Walters and Cory Mazzoni.
The alternative is to sign one or two remaining free agents, and/or obtain someone through a trade. On that note, Dan offered his formula for creative transactions.