By: Joe Messineo

Have the Mets Done Enough This Offseason?


With a National League Pennant in hand and a loss in the World Series fresh on their minds, the Mets entered this offseason with clear and limited goals. They needed to shore up their defense, improve at shortstop, replace departing star Daniel Murphy at second base, and improve in the outfield. Midway through the offseason, we’ve seen the Mets meet with mixed success as they’ve tried to accomplish these goals. They missed out on key free agent Ben Zobrist, but then re-made their whole middle infield. They’ve been relatively quiet in the outfield. The Mets are probably close to finished with their offseason – but have they done enough?

Those Middle Infield Changes Are Better Than They Look

With the disappointment of the World Series loss still fresh on their minds, Mets fans had to deal with yet another disappointment this offseason: Ben Zobrist, the one free agent who the Mets practically promised they’d sign, ended up elsewhere. Zobrist is a “super utility man” who would have helped to improve the Mets defense while giving them flexibility in their lineup.

Zobrist signed with the Cubs instead of the Mets, forcing the Mets brass to spring into action and go with their plan B. They traded pitcher Jon Niese to Pittsburgh to bring back 2B Neil Walker, and then they signed free agent SS Asdrubal Cabrera.

These acquisitions didn’t impress a lot of Mets fans, most of whom expected the better-known Zobrist to be the big splash of the Mets’ offseason. But upon closer inspection, this plan B does enough for the Mets’ middle infield – and may even be better than their plan A.

The key is that, unlike Zobrist, these players don’t represent a major commitment in terms of years or dollars. The Mets have replaced the now-pricey Murphy with the cheaper Walker, who is nearly identical to Murphy statistically, and they’ve upgraded their defense at shortstop by signing Cabrera to a two-year deal. Cabrera isn’t a huge improvement offensively, but he got two years fewer than Zobrist cost the Cubs.

The Outfield Still Needs Work

The Mets have done enough to accomplish three of their four major goals: they’ve improved defensively, replaced Murphy, and upgraded (albeit only slightly) at shortstop. But they’re still behind the eight ball in one key area: the outfield.

The Mets would ideally like to sign a relatively affordable free agent to platoon with Juan Lagares, who has bad lefty/righty splits. There are still these types of players on the market, so look for the Mets to sign someone like Denard Span.

Of course, there’s also still the potential to make a splash. Outfielder and 2015 Met Yoenis Cespedes is available, as is young but pricey free agent Justin Upton. If the price comes down on Cespedes or if the Mets convince themselves that Upton’s youth justifies giving him a long-term contract, a bigger signing could be an option.

The Mets would probably prefer the cheaper route, and that’s fine – but they need to do something. Until the Mets sign another outfielder, they haven’t done enough in this offseason.

About Joe Messineo

Joe is a co-founder of Rukkus, a web & mobile marketplace for sports tickets. As a former Division I pitcher, he has a deep love for sports and a passion for writing.

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