Link Roundup: Playing Carnac

Carnac the Magnificent

The 2013-2014 offseason (for the Mets and other non-playoff teams, anyway) is almost two weeks old, and Mets fans are abuzz with speculation about what the Mets will do to improve their team.

Trying to predict the future can get kind of repetitive. The same names keep coming up – because those names will be available via free agency, or are widely believed to be trade candidates. But there’s only so much you can say or write about until deals actually start to happen.

That doesn’t stop us bloggers from trying, however.

The most talked-about name on the blogosphere is Shin-Soo Choo. He’s going to be the most sought-after free agent in a relatively weak free agent class. He would be a great fit for the Mets – a high on-base guy who can hit for extra bases, 20-ish home runs, and can steal a bag or two.

But then again, his agent, evil genius Scott Boras, will probably ask for a $100 million dollar deal for a guy who’s 31 years old and struggles against left-handed pitching.

Jose Abreu, a Cuban defector, drew some scouts from several MLB teams (including the Mets) during a recent workout. He plays first base, and has a ton of power. That’s what we know. We don’t know about his other skills, or how much money he’ll ultimately demand. Jeff Passan estimated the number at about $60 million.

The Mets also have a sizeable gap at shortstop. Stephen Drew and Jhonny Peralta will be available this winter. They have similar stat lines, and play competent defense, but Drew struggles against lefties, and Peralta has PED baggage. Although, the latter wasn’t an issue when the Mets signed Marlon Byrd before the 2013 season.

Speaking of Marlon, he had a very good season with the Mets before being traded to the Pirates in August, and at age 36, could be a bargain possibility once again. The same holds true of another former Met, Carlos Beltran. Both players have been open to a return to Queens.

Beltran was red hot in the first half with the St. Louis Cardinals (.309/.346/.533 with 19 homers), but cooled off in the second half, particularly in the home run department (.277/.329/.429 with 5 homers). The postseason has awakened him a bit, however, as he slugged .611 during the NLDS.

As with Byrd, his age (37 next April), and his knee problems will probably keep his cost down, but it also presents a note of caution. How many good years do Byrd and Beltran have left? Despite that, the Mets won’t be the only team interested in these players during the offseason.

Here’s a look at some other outfielders the Mets could go after.

Rockies owner Dick Montfort stated that he does not intend to trade his outfielder, Carlos Gonzalez, or his shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki. Some Mets fans were advocating a trade for one of them, but it seems unlikely.

Speaking of old Mets, Wally Backman has been linked to the now-vacant managerial position with the Cincinnati Reds, although it is just rumor at this point.

If he’s healthy, Johan Santana could be the stop-gap veteran starting pitcher the Mets are looking for in 2014, but how effective will he be?

And finally, the city council approved a Willets Point redevelopment project. The plan seeks to replace chop shops with chop houses and affordable apartments. I think it would be great for fans to have a place to gather before and after games, like they do in Wrigleyville, Boston, LoDo Denver, and other places.

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About the Author

Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.

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