Offseason, What to Expect?

79-83… That is how the 2014 NY Mets ended their year.  With the roster the way it began the year and how the season progressed do you consider 79-83 a success or disappointment?  I see it as a success.  This team is not ready to compete with the likes of the Nationals, Dodgers, Giants, and Cardinals.  However this team is not very far off either.  The Mets played above .500 ball the second half of the season without a healthy David Wright, without Curtis hitting and pretty much without a LF.

2014 brought us a glimpse of the future, a glimpse of the present and really not to many negatives.  The Mets need to strike while the iron is hot and take NY over, well as much as the Mets can from Yankees.  The Yankees are in decline, and don’t let their spending fool you, money won’t fix their issues in the day where young talent is being locked up quickly.  The Mets have young talent, young pitching and are a few pieces away from being the headline baseball team in NY.

2014 Positives:  Lets look at what went right this year:

  • Lucas Duda – After being slow to make a choice, the Mets choose Duda and re responded with 30HR, 92RBI and over .350 OBP.  His defense was average if not better.  Put some power behind him in line-up and I believe he can repeat.
  • Juan Lagares – Gold Glove center fielder, batted .280.  If he can stay healthy and bat .280 he is nothing but a major asset to this team and the pitching staff.
  • Jacob DeGrom –  Do I really need to say anything.  Outside of Kershaw he was possibly the best NL pitcher in second half.  This is your #3 starter….
  • Bullpen – What was a major issue to start the year was a strength come game 162.  Familia, Mejia, Black, Edgin and Torres are all young, under control and look strong for 2015.
  • Travis – His 2nd half showed us why he was the top catching prospect in baseball.  If this kid cleans up his defense, hits .275 with power Mets fans will be happy for a long time

2014 Negatives: Yes there was some:

  • Short Stop and left field continues to be a sore spot.  Tejada and Young were not the answers and by August the Mets made the change.  Flores may not be a SS but the kid will hit as he continues to mature.
  • Terry Collins – Despite 4 straight losing seasons Terry looks to be back in 2015.  He needs to clean up his decision making and bullpen handling.  I believe Met could have been a .500 team with some better decisions from Collins.  Should he be back in 2015?  I say no, but not totally against it.  The team played hard for him this year even in bad stretches.  He never lost that team.

2015 Offseason Outlook: What should we really expect:

All indications are the Mets will not increase payroll and bring in a high price player.  With that you are looking at a 40-man roster that will have some new faces, just not the Tulo, CarGo you are all hoping and waiting for.

Starting Pitching:

The Mets go into the offseason with almost 9 deep in the starting rotation for 2015.  They have Harvey, Colon, Wheeler, DeGrom, Neise, Gee, Montero, Syndagaard and Matz (yes I threw him in).  Trades is the way to improve this team, but teams are going to ask for Syndagaard and DeGrom right off the bat.  I would say no to DeGrom for sure. The trade bait in this group is going to be Montero, Gee, Colon and possibly Neise. That is not going to bring back a great starter in LF or SS.  Syndagaard and Matz should start year in AAA, Montero is major league ready and should start.  This leaves Gee, Neise and Colon as trade chips.  I don’t think teams are breaking down doors for those 3.

Positions:

The Mets have 6 of 8 positions locked in for 2015, or do they.  Right off the cusp you have Duda, Travis, Wright, Granderson, Lagares and Murphy… Wait Murphy… Does he fall into the “trade bait” group from above.  If the Mets can trade Murphy Flores would fit nicely at 2b with Dilson waiting at AAA.  Dilson is a half a year away, Flores is ready.  That leaves SS and LF.  The Mets once again will not spend heavy on SS or LF, so this is where is gets interesting….

2015 Line-up and Starting Pitching:  If I had my way and based on the Mets lack of spending this is how I would see 2015 playing out.  I believe with the below the Mets would not be very far off from competing for a playoff berth.

2015 Line-up:

  1. Lagares – CF
  2. Bruce – LF (Trade)
  3. Wright – 3B
  4. Duda – 1B
  5. D’Arnaud – C
  6. Granderson – RF
  7. Flores – 2B
  8. Hardy – SS (FA Signing)
  9.  Pitcher

Bench:

  1. Tejada – SS/2B
  2. Campbell – 3B/1B
  3. Recker – C
  4. Nieuwenhuis – OF
  5. Right Handed Hitter – OF

2015 Starting Rotation:

  1. Harvey
  2. Wheeler
  3. DeGrom
  4. Colon
  5. Montero

Let the offseason officially begin!

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Is Future Bright? – Post All-Star Stats

The Mets now have a total of 23 games left in the 2014 season.  To refresh your memory they went 45-50 in the first half and are currently 20-24 in the second half, good for 9 games under .500 for the year.  They are on pace for about 76 wins which in falling very short of the .500 season we all hoped for based on the roster.  Lets be honest, no one thought 90 wins was plausible with this roster and management.  So with 23 games left to look at Flores, Herrera and some of the other kids lets see what we have going into 2015:

Positions Locked In for 2015:  The Mets are not going to go out and become the Mets of the early 2000’s.  They will again have a payroll under 100 million and possibly once again under 90 million.  So based on that below is what we can lock in for positions for 2015.  I am only looking at the second half stats to base my 2015 insights. 

1B – Lucas Duda: Lucas has a line of .240/.324 with 12HR and 28RBI in the second half.  He has had a tough go of it over the last 2 weeks that have hurt these numbers.  If Lucas can put together another season in 2015 as he has in 2014 the Mets are in good shape at 1B.  Put a few better hitters around Lucas, plus consistency of his position in the order and as everyday first basemen he could thrive.

3B – David Wright: David has had a horrible second half of the season.  He has a line of .228/.281 with 0HR and 14RBI.  He had a great game last night that actually helped those numbers.  Overall David is playing hurt and that has robbed him of his power and hitting.  If David can get healthy in the offseason he can return to his 20HR 80RBI player he should be at this stage in his career.  David is the face of the Mets, and is not going anywhere.

C – Travis d’Arnaud: Travis has a second  half line of .264/.307 with 6HR and 14RBI.  If you avg those out over a full season you are looking at close to 20HR and 70RBI.  If you can get that production out of your catcher the Mets will be ahead of the game.  If Travis can start 2015 as he is ending 2014 he will have more confidence, be more patient and continue to be the top catching prospect in baseball. 

RF – Curtis Granderson: Curtis has a second half line of .155/.240 with 2HR and 6RBI. First off lets be honest, the Mets are not releasing him, trading him of benching him.  Curtis will be the Mets everyday outfielder in 2015.  With that we can hope Curtis bounces back in 2015.  Mets signed him hoping he would bounce back in 2014 from injury, but as we see that did not happen.  Curtis needs to be back in the middle lower half of the line-up with some more protection around him.  He is no longer an option in the top 4-5 slots. 

CF – Juan Lagares: Juan has a second half line of .267/.315 with 2HR and 21RBI.  If you look closely that RBI total is 2nd on the Mets in terms of RBI since the break.  Juan is 25 years old an many will argue the best center fielder in baseball.  If Juan can hit close to .280 and play stellar defense any team would kill to have him play 162 games.  The key to Juan is the Mets putting better players on the field with him.  This way his offense, which is not awful would not be a topic anymore.  Juan could be a very capable 6 or 7 hitter in this line-up and leadoff if needed.  He is showing some speed on the base pads this last few weeks and has hit .286 in the leadoff spot in 122 at bats.  Juan should have a star next to his name as a keeper for years to come for the Mets.

That leaves us with multiple positions of question:

2B: Where do the Mets go?  Do they act like a small market team and trade Murphy to free up money?  Is Dilson really ready to play 150 games for the big club at age 20/21?  Can Flores hit as he is doing now and carry the fulltime load in the offense left by no Murphy?  All questions that need to be answered.

SS: Lets just say this, the Mets cannot come into 2015 with Tejada as even a back-up option to be the starter.  If they fail to acquire a SS then give the job to Flores and live with it.  The options on the open market will cost the Mets money, Matt Reynolds is having a great year, but is viewed as a utility player.  How the Mets fill this spot will shape 2015 and the hopes of competing in the fans mind.

LF:  Basically see SS write-up and repeat for RF.  The Mets have no internal options ready at this time to even think of slotting in.  The current group they are throwing out there would be good 4th or 5th outfielders.  I will repeat my SS line; “How the Mets fill this spot will shape 2015 and the hopes of competing in the fans mind.”

Finally Manger:  Terry Collins has kept this group playing hard for him and has not lost the dugout, which says a lot for him.  However with the 4th straight losing season and failure to get this group to .500 a change is needed.  Terry has made some very questionable decisions in 2014.  My biggest one is how he uses the bullpen and the current line-up.  With the exception for the last week, he continued to truck out Curtis in the leadoff spot.  Now he continues to put him in the 2 hole.  It is time to shake things up and he manages as if every move could lose the dugout and front office support.  In 2015 he would be under insane pressure and that could hamper his already shaky decisions.  I don’t have the answer on the new manager, but believe it is time Terry is shown the door.  Good job Terry, just not good enough.