When it comes to the 2015 Mets, I want to be optimistic…I really do. However, as a fan of this team for 45+ years, I’m not seeing anything that would suggest this team is a contender in its current state. GM Sandy Alderson and Mets owndership has made at least ten mistakes this off season that will result in another non-playoff season. Here now is my list of ten errors made this past winter.
1) Troy Tulowitzki – Yes, there were injury concerns, and there is a ton of money owed to the star shortstop, but the acquisition of Tulowitzki would have turned this team into an instant contender. Wilmer Flores is actually going to be adequate and fans should be prepared for a nice season. But he’s no Tulowitzki. I don’t blame Alderson for not going after players like Lowrie and Cabrera to fill the position, but Tulowitzki would have made an immediate impact.
2) Bartolo Colon – Is Colon starting because he is one of the five best pitchers on the staff, or because of his inflated contract? It is clear that the Mets should be giving his turn to Montero or Syndergaard, but because he is being paid $11 million, he “automatically” gets the nod as the number five starter. Signing him was a mistake last season. Keeping him this season is even worse.
3) Dillon Gee – Gee can pitch, and it was no surprise that he was the odd man out, but was there no team willing to take on Gee? We heard all Winter that the Mets didn’t like the offers from other teams, yet other pitchers of similar caliber were traded…yet Gee remains, and will now head to the bullpen barring a late Spring deal. What’s worse is that as a former starter, he is probably heading for mop up duty.
4) Michael Cuddyer – When he was first signed, it looked like a solid no-nonsense move. Little did we know that his signing would be it for the Mets. Cuddyer wouyld have been a great compliment if adding more talent. The Mets did not add talent. Cuddyer is oft-injured, which makes him a risky sign.
5) Finances – It’s time for the Wilpon’s to come clean and admit they are broke. Then we can accept the lack of spending. But if they have the resources, and simply choose not to spend it, then shame on them. They deserve to lose their fans. Come clean and be honest if there are cash flow issues. The fans will understand.
6) Terry Collins – Sorry, he’s a good guy, but he’s not the guy to lead this team to the playoffs. His in-game skills are still in serious question. Perhaps more troubling, is that if he is fired this Summer, you get the sense Backman will be passed over in favor of a bench coach from another team. This team should have started the season with a new manager.
7) Sandy Alderson – You get the sense he was hibernating all winter. He couldn’t bring in a shortstop, he couldn’t trade Gee or Colon, and he couldn’t acquire decent bench players. I’m concerned that because of his ties to Selig, and now Manfred, that the Wilpon’s will never fire him out of respect for the commissioners office. I can’t see them pulling the trigger on Alderson…can you?
8) The bench – This is perhaps the saddest issue and most troubling of all. The Mets bench consists of Recker, Campbell, Herrera, Tejada, denDekker, and Nieuwenhuis. You mean to tell me that no upgrades were required? Who did the Mets sign to minor league contracts and invite to Spring Training? The most notable name is Scott Rice. In contrast, the Nationals, already strong and talented, are bringing in Mike Carp, Ian Stewart, Heath Bell, Kila Ka’aihue, and Dan Uggla to name a few players. When the starters suffer an injury, the bench will kill this team. If Cuddyer suffers an injury, the same team as last season will be trotting out onto the field.
9) Outfield Fences – For a Mets team that is relying on pitching, it’s strange that the outfield fences would be brought in to increase the chances of a homerun. This move reeks of desperation. Instead of trying to appease fans and players by moving in the fences, they should have brought in a player who could actually hit homeruns.
10) Juan Lagares – Yes, he’s exciting with the glove…I get that. He also hit 4 homeruns last season. Those are not centerfield hitting numbers. He could have been upgraded with Lagares being used as a late inning defensive player and occasional starter agaianst southpaws. If you are into the WAR stat, he’s a keeper. For those of us who have watched baseball for close to half a century, he’s a weak hitting outfielder.