Re-Inventing Your Mets Team

We all grow up, playing alone in our backyard, making believe we are about to become the hero for our favorite team. In my case, it was the front yard, playing stoop ball, and I was Gil Hodges for the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was always bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and I always hit a grand slam home run with that last toss against the point of the bricks on the second step.

Power was always how we defined our teams. Hit a lot of home runs and you will win a lot of ball games. But, that simply isn’t the team being built these days in Citi Field, even if the building wasn’t exactly planned.

I know for a fact that the Mets brass wanted a pitchers park to replace Shea Stadium, but no one expected what they wound up with. Lost in all the turmoil and injuries of last year was the fact that the Mets top power producer, Carlos Delgado was gone, and all of a sudden there wasn’t that 3-4-5 threat the team has had throughout the 21st century.

Mets fans are watching the transformation of what is going to make this a winning team, not only this year, but for years to come. The three main ingredients, in no particular order, will be speed, youth, and pitching. No long will games be won with power. No, this team will more resemble the 1975 LA Dodgers (Ron Cey, Davey Lopes) than the Mets teams of the past. Games will be won with a single, a stolen base, a sacrifice, a fly out to center field, and giving up less runs to your opponents.

This changes everything on how to operate from this point on.

All of a sudden, you’re not looking for a future center fielder. You already have a speedy, spray hitter, who is under thirty years old, and who can play excellent defense. The resigning of Angel Pagan a couple of years ago is quickly becoming one of the best moves Omar % Co. has done during their regime.

All of a sudden, you’re not looking for an SP4. You have a 35-year old knuckleball pitcher, which is like having a 22-year old fastball pitcher. R.A. Dickey could easily give this team 13+ wins per season for the next five years. I finally got to see him pitch last night and didn’t realize he, not only still throws a conventional high-80s fastball, but has three speeds on his knuckler. This is a dangerous pitcher.

All of a sudden, you don’t need a second baseman. Ruben Tejada is quickly proving he has the defensive skills, speed, and spray hitting prowess to someday be the teams #2 hitter in the lineup (imagine a whole new approach here… Jose Reyes, followed by Tejada, and Pagan). And, if Tejada doesn’t work, Reese Havens is right on his heals.

Add to this some assumptions… assume Reyes, David Wright, Jason Bay, Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Ike Davis, and Jonathan Niese remain Mets (as well as productive Mets) through the 2015 season… you’re now talking about a need in the next four years of… one outfielder, a catcher, and one starter. The rest are relief pitchers and utility players.

This changes everything on the farm. Trading four or five prospects for a starter will in no way destroy your system. Frankly, that what most of the kids are for.

Another assumption… let’s assume no one currently on the DL has any trade value right now. That means Daniel Murphy, Zach Lutz, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis will not be part of a package deal for someone like Cliff Lee.

Remember, the Mets don’t need a first baseman, so players like Nick Evans, and Stefan Welsh are expendable.

Don’t need a second baseman… add Jordany Valdespin, and Josh Satin to the list.

Don’t need a shortstop, especially one that can’t run… and especially one that will be converted to the outfield and still can’t run… add Wilmer Flores to the list, but hold back Wilfredo Tovar for 2015+.

Ditto third base… add Jenry Marte to list, hold back Aderlin Rodriquez.

Outfield wise, you can add Brahiam Maldonado, Fernando Martinez, Lucas Duda, and Eric Campbell.

And starter wise, throw in Jenrry Mejia, Eric Niesen, Dillon Gee, Mike Antonini, and Robert Carson.

Does a package of Mejia, Flores, Evans, Carson, and Campbell get you either Lee or Roy Oswalt?

You bet it does.

Now, all you have to do is wire a boat of money to Carl Crawford’s home in the off-season, promote Josh Thole to backup Rod Barajas next season, and we can move on to 2012.


Mack's Mets © 2012