We have just finished burying another Mets losing season and already the fans are dreaming of 2014, a team dream team that contains the likes of Jose Abreu, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, and maybe even the return of Carlos Beltran or Jose Reyes. Well, none of those players will wear the blue and orange next year. They will be far too expensive for the stingy Mets, whose purse strings remain as tight as Kim Kardashian’s sweaters. So it is time to be realistic and look at players who actually have a chance of landing in Flushing.
It is believed Sandy Alderson will follow the Red Sox playbook and sign several mid-priced free agents, probably at around $6 million each. There are plenty of players who will likely fall into that price range, allowing the Mets to fill their holes with quality bats and finally field a team that can be competitive.
Reports say the Mets insist on going with some combination of Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Josh Satin at first, but that is a recipe for disaster. Instead, the Mets should consider James Loney. He had a solid season with the Rays and while he will not bring the power the Mets need, he has a career .285 batting average, so he knows how to hit.
If Daniel Murphy is traded for a big bat, the Mets have Eric Young ready to go at second.
David Wright. Enough said.
Jhonny Peralta would look good in a Mets uniform. He is coming off a Biogenesis suspension, but he is redeeming himself with a strong post season for the Tigers. It is worth a chance that he was not a creation of PEDs.
Travis d’Arnaud. Let’s hope he stays healthy.
Juan Lagares mans center field.
Corey Hart and Mike Morse are intriguing free agents. Hart missed all of 2013 with surgery on his knees, but before that he was a masher. Morse had a poor 2013 but killed the Mets while he was with the Nationals. Either should provide the power the Mets need. Both of them also play first base, so they could be options there as well.
The Mets could also trade for an outfielder. The owner of the Rockies said Carlos Gonzalez will not be dealt, but there are reports out of Toronto that the Blue Jays could move Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion. And then there’s always Andre Ethier. These guys would cost more than the $6 million budget, but if Murphy and his expected $5 million salary are moved in such a trade, it would even out.
This plan turns over half of the Mets everyday lineup without busting the budget, filling the roster with proven players who can hit. And this is exactly what the Mets need — an overhaul. The Mets will not win anything with the likes of Davis, Duda, Satin, Ruben Tejada and Mike Baxter playing every day. They haven’t before; why would things ever be different? It is time for Sandy Alderson to take some risks and deliver a competitive team that the loyal fans deserve.