Shortstop Should Be a Top Priority This Winter

By Chris Schubert

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

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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