I realized I'd better start writing this entry about how I'd like to see the Mets rebuild when I saw today that Trever Miller signed with the Cardinals. Seems like he would have been a pretty good piece in the Mets' bullpen. But with that ship having sailed, I'll give you my hopes for the Mets' off-season, as well as some predictions about what will probably happen, based on the Mets' history in player moves:
Clearly, the bullpen is a disaster. And some of the names from the bullpen, like Luis Ayala, as poorly as they played, are also free agents. So the Mets are down in talent and numbers. And then there's Aaron Heilman, who now is demanding a trade if he doesn't get moved into the rotation. And the fact that Billy Wagner is hurt, so the Mets need a closer. Yikes.
My Pie in the Sky:
I've already mentioned that I think Kerry Wood is worth a flier. At the very least, he would fit the bill as enticing possibility who doesn't live up to the expectations. At the most, he continues what he built upon after his return last season. But I've started to think that the Mets' answers to their bullpen woes lie in the folks they already have in their system: I'd like to see John Maine get a shot at closing, just to see what would happen. He is effective the first time through a lineup, and he has a tendency to throw too many pitches early in a game. Maybe he's cut out to be a reliever rather than a starter.
And watching what has happened with the likes of Jonathan Papelbon, Joba Chamberlain, and David Price, the Mets might have their own types in their own minor leagues. Like Bradley Holt (maybe now he's Brad Holt), 33rd overall choice in last year's draft. Holt pitched 72 innings last year for the Brooklyn Cyclones, and had 96 strikeouts, with a 1.87 ERA. I know it's a big jump, but other teams have seen players succeed making that jump. I'd like to see him at least get a shot.
The Mets will probably end up adding spare parts like Ron Villone to the bullpen, and I fear there will not be the necessary improvements solely because there isn't much talent to go around.
The problem, if the Mets move players around from within, is that they will end up being short in the rotation. Johan Santana is set as number one, but there's not much left after him. I wouldn't mind seeing Oliver Perez back, but I don't think he's worth the numbers he's going to be asking.
My Pie In the Sky:
I know the Mets aren't going after CC Sabathia (although, didn't they drop out of the Johan Santana race - albeit a trade - in the earlygoing only to become the team to land him later...), but I'd love to see them go after one of the marquis strikeout guys there, like A.J. Burnett, or maybe even Brad Penny. That's why I think it's better to find the closer solution from within, so that the Mets could spend the big money on another starter.
I'm afraid the Mets are going to land Derek Lowe, who we've mentioned time and again in separate articles (do a search, I'm not going to bother linking them) as the biggest headcase in the league. As such, I don't think Lowe + New York = a good fit. But he might end up either with the Yankees or the Mets - the newspapers will end up having a field day, but fans will not end up being pleased.
Moises Alou was a disaster. When he played, he was awesome - an excellent hitter. But he played too few games and they were too far between. So good riddance to the walking wounded. Now the Mets need to fill that hole:
My Pie In the Sky:
I liked what Nick Evans and Daniel Murphy brought to the team. So I wouldn't be devastated if the Mets didn't do anything here - but I find a couple of options intriguing. I like Mark Kotsay (who also could play first base when Carlos Delgado comes nowhere near repeating what he did in the second half of last year) and also Bobby Abreu - Abreu because I'd rather see that outfielder on base 40% of the time instead of on the DL 85% of the time.
So help me God the Mets had better not sign Manny Ramirez. I actually feel like they're probably going to go after (and get) Raul Ibanez. I think there are worse things.
WOULD BE NICE, BUT NOT NECESSARY
I'm not even sure if this is a popular opinion, but I think Jose Reyes has to go. I feel like things need to be shaken up to a point (after the past two Septembers) that this is the right amount of shaking up. So I say trade Reyes, and then the Mets would need to fill the shortstop position. And Argenis Reyes did a nice job in his major league stint last year.
My Pie in the Sky:
I read something recently that the Orioles are thinking about moving Brian Roberts to shortstop because it's easier to fill the second base hole than a shortstop one, until they find a long-term solution at shortstop. They also said George Sherill could be had for the right price. What if the Mets could swing a deal with the O's, Reyes for Sherill (and maybe some minor leaguers), solving the Mets' bullpen need and Baltimore's shortstop need. And the Mets get plenty in return (high prospects, hopefully) for this ultra-valuable trading chip.
I doubt Reyes is going anywhere. I say Reyes is destined for another September, and hopefully an October, where he starts popping the ball up because he's pressing, and he doesn't do the types of things that make the team successful for most of the season.
There's plenty of free agency action already taking place. The Mets have been awfully quiet. I feel like after the season they had, they should be making a lot of noise. We'll keep a close eye on it.