By: Marc A. Kaplan

How The Mets Can Sustain Their Success In 2016 And Beyond


Up 6 games on the Nationals with 29 contests left to play, the Mets appear to be a good bet to make the 2015 postseason. A playoff berth for the first time in almost a decade is certainly an exciting prospect, but what can the Mets do to sustain this success for years to come? With a dominant young rotation in place, it’s important to build a team around them that can compete for the pennant over the next ten years.

Without delving into the possibilities of the 2015 offseason there are two moves the Mets can make this September to plant the seed for long-term success.

First, management must afford Michael Conforto the opportunity to be an everyday player. Recently, there has been talk of the rookie outfielder platooning with Michael Cuddyer in order to get the surging veteran more at-bats. While Cuddyer has played very well since returning from the disabled list, his playing time can’t come at the cost of Conforto’s development. Since joining the Amazins the 22-year-old has batted .311 with 5 homeruns and 17 RBIs while reaching base at a .396 clip. Conforto’s defense, which had been a suspect part of his game before joining the Mets has actually been a positive to his game thus far. Going forward, the 2014 draft pick should be starting in leftfield 5-6 times a week.

As for Cuddyer, his ability to patrol both corner outfield spots in addition to first base should be taken full advantage of. With both Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy both currently nursing injuries, the veteran should be the primary first baseman until either comes back. When that time does come, the 36-year-old veteran should still find himself in the lineup 2-3 times a week during rest days for Yoenis Cespedes, Curtis Granderson, Michael Conforto, and Lucas Duda.

Having your biggest offseason acquisition on the bench probably isn’t what the Mets had in mind when they signed Cuddyer to a two year deal last November. However, this move is indicative of a wealth of competent hitters, a problem they would have gladly signed on for in early July.

Second, the Mets must re-sign Yoenis Cespedes by any means necessary. Not since Carlos Delgado have the Mets had a hitter capable of striking fear into opposing pitchers whenever they stepped to the plate. In 30 games with the team thus far, the Cuban outfielder has batted .292 with 10 homeruns and 30 RBI, his slash for the season now sits at .293/28/87. Since coming to the United States in 2011, Cespedes has been a rolling stone, making stops in Oakland, Boston, Detroit, and now Queens. It’s time to convince the 29-year-old that this is where he belongs for the prime of his career.

Striking a deal with Cespedes is easier said than done however, in most part due to his oddly worded contract which stipulates that the Mets must release him following the World Series. Rather than letting it come to that, the team could make an offer that their slugging outfielder can’t refuse. Hopefully, Cespedes’ hot start since joining the club, paired with the Mets potential for future success and of course a generous contract offer, is enough to convince him to sign on for 5+ years. Adding $20-27 million annually sounds intimidating, but with both Bartolo Colon and Daniel Murphy slated to come off the books this winter perhaps a deal is a little less ridiculous from a financial standpoint.

Looking back on June and July, it’s apparent that the Mets must put forward a capable lineup if they hope to win on a regular basis. Both Conforto and Cespedes could be linchpins to a formidable 2016 lineup which would also include Wright, Granderson, Duda, Flores, d’Arnaud and Tejada. It’s easy to get caught up in the 2015 hype, but it’s also important to realize the long-term potential that this team has.


About Marc A. Kaplan

Marc A. Kaplan has been writing for DailyStache since joining the staff in early 2015. He is currently a senior broadcasting major at the State University of New York at Oswego. Contact Marc at [email protected].

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