The holiday season is quickly approaching and, before you know it, pitchers and catchers will be reporting to spring training. The New York Mets have an interesting offseason on their hands as their two best players in 2012 (pitcher R.A. Dickey and third baseman David Wright) both have one year left on their respective deals and are currently looking for long term contracts. Can the Mets retain both players?
With any further adieu, here is a top 10 list covering the New York Mets’ wish list as they enter the holiday season.
1. Sign David Wright to a contract that keeps him with the Mets for the remainder of his career.
David Wright is the face of the franchise and the Mets need to keep him in order for their fans to have faith (whatever may be left) in the team going forward. Hopefully the Mets can come to an extension that is fair for both sides: perhaps something like $120 million over 7 years.
2. Sign R.A. Dickey to a two year extension.
A two year extension would keep the National League Cy Young Award winner with the team for the next three years. The Mets cannot afford to give a huge contract to the knuckleballer because of his age so a two year extension would be ideal.
3. Acquire a right-handed hitting catcher.
The Mets desperately need to upgrade their catching situation. Unfortunately for them, there does not seem to be a lot of options out there. Even though the Washington Nationals are in the same division, the Mets should look at one of their catchers as the Nationals have depth at the position. Josh Thole would be a fine backup for the club.
4. Make a trade for a right-handed power hitting outfielder.
David Wright is the only right-handed power hitter for the Mets. The teams need to get more production out of that side of the plate and out of their outfielders, in general. Josh Willingham would be a good target for the club.
5. A fully healthy Johan Santana.
The Mets will not be able to trade Santana. As a result, the best they can hope for is that he is fully healthy entering 2013. He could be a nice back of the rotation pitcher for them next year.
6. Sign Sean Burnett as a left-hander out of the bullpen.
The Mets need another left-hander to go with youngster Josh Edgin. Burnett has pitched well with the Nationals and is obviously familiar with the division.
7. Sign Brandon Inge and use him as a utility player.
Brandon Inge is a versatile player and still has some pop left in his bat. It is important to have a guy who can play catcher in a pinch in the National League and Inge can do just that. He could be an ultimate backup for the club.
8. Sign Matt Diaz to a one year deal.
As the Mets know, Matt Diaz has always done well against left-handers (he has hit .324 against them for his career). Play him against southpaws.
9. Sign a backup outfielder who can play all three outfield positions.
The Mets will be downgrading their outfield defensively through these scenarios so they will need a good glove to come into the later stages of games. Former Met Endy Chavez and Dewayne Wise are both free agents and fit the bill.
10. Do not do anything stupid.
The Mets cannot afford to lose any more fans. Let the New York Jets continue to have the back pages for all the wrong reasons.
Sources: Free agents found at http://sports.yahoo.com/news/mlb–2012-mlb-free-agent-tracker–position-breakdown.html and statistics found at http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/
Michael Pellegrini has lived in New York his entire life and was born into a family full of huge Mets fans.