New York Mets Off Season Report
- Updated: December 12, 2008
Season Wrap Up
For the second straight year, the Mets had the right tools to make the playoffs, but in the end, failed to reach that goal. 2008 saw the firing of manager Willie Randolph and the tired arm of aging closer Billy Wagner. It also saw a renewed spark from 1B Carlos Delgado, who just a year ago had to be wondering about retirement the way he was hitting. Although they came in second place behind the Phillies, it was a failure on a lot of points.
Holes to Fill
Before the actions of the past few days, I would have said that the main (and toughest) holes to fill would be in the Met bullpen, but as you will see below, they have begun to drastically fill some of those holes already. They might look for a long term replacement at 2B for Louis Castillo and they need a solid # 3 starter and maybe even a # 4, too. There are also some rumors that they are interested in trading for Dodger’s OF Juan Pierre for a corner OF position and there’s always the possibility of them landing Omar Minaya’s favorite left fielder Manny Ramirez. If both deal were done, it would give them an OF of Ramirez, Beltran and Pierre with Manny possibly going back to RF after 8 years away from that corner.
The Mets have 11 players from their 2008 team on the free agent market this off season. LF Moises Alou (42, a type B free agent), SP Tony Armas (30), RP Luis Ayala (30, a type B free agent), 2B Damion Easley (39), SP Orlando Hernandez (41), SP Pedro Martinez (37), 2B Ramon Martinez (36), RF Trot Nixon (34), SP Oliver Perez (27, a type A free agent), RP Ricardo Rincon (38) and RP Matt Wise (33).Out of this bunch, I can see them bringing back Alou if the price is right and maybe even Pedro under the same financial requirements. I would think that they would like to retain Oliver Perez and Tony Armas also, but they can’t sign everyone, or can they? They do open in a new and larger money generating ballpark in 2009 so maybe they’ll spend a bit more this time around. We shall have to wait and see.
With a new stadium, new 8th and 9th inning men and a new manager (2008 interim manager Jerry Manuel) for the 2009 seaon, they should be more of a threat to the defending World Series Champs in ’09 and they may not even be done signing free agents and upgrading via trades yet.
Off Season Moves Made So Far
The Mets signed Free Agent Closer K-Rod for 3 years and $37M and then a few days later, completed a 12-player deal that will probably complete their 8th inning set up duties as well. The Mets sent the Indians Pitcher Joe Smith, then sent the Mariners Pitchers Aaron Heilman, Jason Vargas and Maikel Cleto, outfielders Endy Chavez and Ezequiel Carrera and utility man Mike Carpin exchange for closer J.J. Putz, fellow pitcher Sean Green and outfielder Jeremy Reed, all from the Mariners. It looks as if Putz will be demoted to the Mets set up role for K-Rod. This addresses a definate need for the Mets, but I think it was a move that was no longer necessary as most closers do not do well as set up men if they still have closer like stuff. We shall see…