While it is still very early into the MLB off-season, despite the Mets late start thanks to their World Series appearance, the work behind the scenes best be in full swing, unless they want to be left holding nothing more than a 2015 NL Championship banner.
Many people will jump the gun and say the Mets need to go all out to replace the likes of Murphy, Cespedes, Clippard and Colon, but I don’t think that many moves (or that much money) should be required to get back to the promised land next October.
Here are 3 guys I really feel the Mets should make a priority this off-season:
While, at 31, Span may not be the difference maker he once was, he still has above average defense, speed, and on-base skills and would be a welcome addition to the spacious center field in Citi Field and atop of the Mets lineup. Despite Lagares’ glimpses of success in the post season, he took a giant step backwards last season, on both sides of the ball. If a deal isn’t in the works for Lagares, at least he proved he is an above average 4th outfielder, and with Span’s injury history and Granderson’s age and lack of arm, he is not a bad piece to have coming off the bench in the 7th inning or later of games. The best part regarding Span is that he is not tied to a compensatory draft pick and won’t require more than a 1-2 year deal coming off a multitude of injuries.
It is well known that shortstop has been a sore spot for the Mets since the departure of Jose Reyes, but Desmond is the perfect candidate to provide some solidity to that position for the next few seasons in Flushing. Coming off of an up-and-down season that saw a strong finish, Desmond enters free agency having just turned 30 and still in his prime. While he has never been a stud defensively, he brings leadership and power from a position usually void of that ability. While I firmly believe that Flores can hold his own in the majors and at multiple positions, it is clear he is more of a plus at second base and Desmond would be a nice stable fixture for this up-and-coming pitching staff knowing his veteran leadership was behind them. While he won’t come cheap, thanks to his disappearance throughout the first half of last season, he is more in line for a Granderson type deal of 3-4 years at $15 million per then the expected 5-7 years at $120 million plus that most expected entering 2015.
Many probably don’t remember that O’Day was a Met (Rule 5 pick) for all of 5 minutes back when he was beginning his journey, but he sure has turned in some career to this point. His unorthodox delivery coupled with his ability to retire hitters from both sides of the plate make a great fit right in between Addison Reed in the 7th and Familia in the 9th. While he is 33 years old, relievers these days seem to have longer shelf lives. His success in hitter friendly Baltimore should translate beautifuly to Citi Field and would be the perfect 8th inning bridge to the Mets shut down closer. The only question surrounding O’Day is what it would take to lock him up. I have seen speculations of 2 years and $18 million up to 4 years and $54 million. Ultimately, O’Day will cash in somewhere in between and I would be completely comfortable and on-board if the Mets were to offer 4 years at anywhere between $28-32 million. If that would be enough to land him is a completely different story.
Sources: O’Day asking for four-year deal in $28M to $36M range. Most accomplished reliever on open market.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 18, 2015
Feel free to comment below and chime in on who you think the Mets should prioritize this off-season and stay tuned for my top 3 off-season trade targets for the Mets.