Halfway There

Merry Christmas everyone. While the past few years with the Mets have tempered my enthusiasm for baseball somewhat (OK, greatly) this time of year does signal that we’ve reached the halfway point in the offseason. I think “halfway there” also describes the current state of the Mets offseason. FWIW, I do approve of both the Bartolo Colon and Curtis Granderson signings. I am also willing to remain optimistic that Chris Young can actually contribute. Kudos to Sandy Alderson (and the Wilpons) on this trio of moves.

But then there is this:

“Well, I think it is more likely certainly than it was a couple of months ago, let’s say,” (Alderson) said. “But we’ve improved the team at other positions. And so giving Ruben (Tejada) a chance to reestablish himself as an everyday player isn’t such a bad thing. But we’ll continue to monitor what’s there from the trade market and conceivably free agency, although there really isn’t much left there. There are two or three teams that are possibilities.”

Oh boy. This sounds like the usual doublespeak from the GM. It looks like we are not only stuck with Tejada again, but some combination of Ike Davis and Lucas Duda at first base. If that is indeed the case then the Mets are at essentially Hold Serve, or another 74 win season.

In my estimation, what this flurry of moves really did was buy the regime a little more time this offseason. At this point, waiting for the market to come to them may not be the worst of strategies. I think holding out for a good pitching prospect for Ike is a sound plan. Either Nick Kingham or Tyler Thornburg would be a solid return. In a perfect world, Ike comes to Spring Training still a Met, launches a few moonshots, builds his value and gets dealt at the price Alderson is asking for (and apparently not getting) right now. They would then need to resist the notion that Davis is “back,” but that is another post.

Unfortunately for the Mets, the ideal shortstop for them currently plays in Toronto and is never coming back here. Stephen Drew is a nice enough name and if Sandy’s “let the market come to us” strategy makes Drew a Met I won’t be too upset. But, let’s go back to Alderson’s quote for a moment. What if one of those “two or three teams” is the LA Dodgers? They do have Joe’s long time fave Dee Gordon, a shortstop with the speed to hit leadoff. Gordon is blocked by Hanley Ramirez and LA’s ranked #2 prospect is SS Corey Saeger, so Gordon is likely available. Maybe a straight swap of Gordon for Tejada? (Or even Ike?) This might be the classic “change of scenery” deal that helps both clubs. I understand that Gordon has underwhelmed so far, but this is probably the year to take a chance on him.

Imagine a Met lineup with speedsters like Gordon and Eric Young Jr. at the top of it. Also it might help the strikeout prone CB Young and Granderson see more fastballs if one or both of these guys can get on base (the BIG if, I admit) and are in motion. Putting David Wright in the three hole, Grandy four, CB Young five, some 1B combo of Ike, Duda or Daniel Murphy six and TDA seven creates a nice right-left balance in the order one through seven; maybe all the way to eight if Matt den Dekker starts in center.

Something to ponder this week while you sip your eggnog and watch the Bowl Games.

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. Captain Video December 24, 2013 at 9:05 am
    Merry Christmas to you too. Nice article Dan. Well thought out. “Half way there” is a nice summation thus far.

    I still don’t understand the desire to trade Ike other then the perception of a log jam at 1B. I think both Ike and Lucas Duda should go to Spring Training, fight it out and the winner is your guy to start the year and the other goes to Vagas or get’s traded. Josh Satin makes a nice RH complement. 25 HR /85 RBI’s/ 70 R/ .270 BA would be realistic production from that group. All in all I think Ike has the most upside and going into his age 27 season I’d take one more chance on him hitting 6th behind Wright, Granderson and C. Young.

    I was on the Dee Gordon band Wagon too until “Christian” over at MMO pointed out how horrendous of a fielder he is. The speed is intriguing but his defense could out-way that. A trade for Chris Owings from ARZ could be possible. ARZ needs a starting pitcher. Jenrry Mejia would be a nice even up trade. I’ve seen some say Dillion Gee but I’d want more then just Owings for Gee.

    I do have to ask…What has Matt den Dekker done to make you think he’ll start over Juan Lagares?

    • Dan Capwell December 24, 2013 at 9:27 am
      Nothing really, I am not 100% sold on Lagares and the thought of a left/right march through the batting order is intriuging.
  2. Vilos December 24, 2013 at 9:41 am
    Upon reading your post two things come to my mind. First Reyes not only is not coming back but worst of all, he’ll probably hook up with Beltrán winning a WS. Second is that with that in mind, maybe the yankees back off Drew and open up an option SA likes.
    Just a thought
  3. Andrew December 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm
    Has it occurred to anyone else that trading Ike may not in fact necessarily mean handing the 1B job to Duda but quite possibly paving its way for Wilmer Flores instead?

    I realize Flores is RH and LH is probaby preferable at 1B long term…but surely SA et al see what everyone else sees, which is that Duda is not an everyday major leaguer. On the other hand, Flores is going to hit – and hit a lot. Where else but 1B do you get him in there?

    Anyway, ten bucks says this is the master plan. Flores at 1B – and I for one think its a good plan.

    • Captain Video December 25, 2013 at 12:45 am
      There’s only one thing I see flawed in that plan…Dominic Smith. What do you do with Flores if Smith pans out?
  4. john December 25, 2013 at 3:33 am
    I don’t agree with any of the moves. They were a waste of money Grandy and Young. Strike out a 140 times a piece. We could have had Raja Davis and Delmon Young paid Granderson and had a true outfield Davis in left and Young in right. The extra money we could of used to sign a lefty say Kazmiar, admit we made a mistake that would give the rotation balance. 2 lefties 2 righties lets be realistic. We still would of had a extra 8 million left! Now you take that and sign Colon to a one year 11 million dollar contract with a option. This is too simple that’s why Alderson will be a loser, just like the it meant to be again wait till next year! And yes this was all possible. They just decided to say face and sign just too sign. Granderson will be the next Bay! And while this was all possible they should trade Duda not Ike, also Murphy and Montero for Profkar, get it done!!! Nahh it’s too easy being a loser. This is fools gold, remember what I said here today! We signed GARBAGE! Also we would give our own 5 year and 15 mil Reyes , but we gave it too a strikeout KING like Granderson. freakin CRAZY!!!!
  5. john December 25, 2013 at 3:37 am
    AKA let me run by spellcheck. Lol Merry X’mas……..