There are reports Friday that the Mets are still hanging around in the chase to land free agent shortstop Stephen Drew. While this would not be a major upgrade at the position, the Mets biggest problem is not at shortstop — it is at first base, and the Mets do not seem inclined to address it.
Ruben Tejada had a miserable 2013, amid injuries and talk that his work ethic is somewhat suspect. But it was only two years ago that the Mets thought so highly of him, they let Jose Reyes walk away. He will never be the player Reyes is, but at just 24 years old, Tejada still has a chance to turn things around.
If the Mets could sign Drew to a reasonable contract or trade for a better shortstop without giving up any of their young pitchers, then fine. If not, having Tejada out there to start 2014 would not be the worst thing.
No, the worst thing would be seeing Lucas Duda standing at first base when the Mets run out to their positions on Opening Day. But that is apparently what will happen.
The Mets seem intent on trading Ike Davis, and that is not a terrible thing. He needs to fresh start somewhere else after disastrous beginnings in each of the past two seasons. But if it means having Duda at first, they might as well keep Davis and jettison Duda, the far inferior player.
The Mets apparently did not even consider making a change at first. Free agent alternatives such as Corey Hart and Mike Morse have signed elsewhere on reasonable one-year deals, likely without even a cursory call from Sandy Alderson. Perhaps the Mets did not see these players as any better than Davis, but they are certainly better than Duda.
After the way Duda has performed over the past two seasons, it is nearly incomprehensible that he is being given another chance. Then again, this is the same general manager who a year ago was making jokes about his outfield, only to go into 2013 with the same lame group.
The Mets have missed an opportunity here to upgrade at first base. Lucas Duda (possibly in a platoon with Josh Satin) will be a disaster, his spot in the lineup the same black hole it has been for two seasons now.
With all the attention paid to the shortstop position, it would have been nice if Alderson at least gave a little bit of it to his putrid first base situation.