Over the last few years, the Mets have caught quite a bit of flack from fans for skimping on payroll. Rightfully so, as for most of that time the Mets have operated in the largest market in the game like a dirt poor small market club. Naturally, after a World Series berth, fans assumed spending would rise. When fans assume spending will rise, they typically assume that means throwing money at a big star in free agency. Couple that with last year’s second half hero for the Mets, Yoenis Cespedes, still being available, and that call is amplified. Regardless of what happens with Cespedes, who we’ve already nixed as a fit for the Cardinals, for once the Mets are catching more flack than they deserve.
Let’s take a look at some of the people they’ve brought in this offseason:
• Asdrubal Cabrera
• Neil Walker
• Bartolo Colon
• Alejandro De Aza
Do any of these guys set the world on fire? No, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be a big help to the Mets. Lets take a look at the infield. Cabrera quietly had a nice bounce back campaign with the Rays last year, hitting 15 homers with a .744 OPS. His defensive reputation isn’t great, but he had a respectable year in the field in 2015. His days of 25 homer pop are likely behind him, but Cabrera does plug a gaping hole for the Mets at a crucial position. More importantly, it moves the defensively challenged Wilmer Flores (who hit 16 long balls in 2015) to a reserve role. Given David Wright’s health history, Flores will get plenty of reps.
At second base, the Mets replaced David Murphy with Neil Walker. Murphy’s otherworldly post season has caused him to be a bit overrated as of late. Not to say Murphy isn’t a good player, but Walker is a lateral move at worst, an upgrade at best. In the outfield, Alejandro De Aza was signed to offer a cheap platoon option with Jaun Lagares in center. Veteran innings-eater Bartolo Colon will return after two solid seasons with the Mets to provide stability at the back of the rotation.
Lets not discount the upgrades the Mets can look forward to internally. Last year saw the debut of 22-year-old top outfield prospect Michael Conforto who hit very well in 56 games down the stretch. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud hit 12 homers and drove in 41 with a .340 in 67 games after recovering from injury. A full year of Noah Syndergaard and the return of Zach Wheeler will help as well.
This isn’t the flashiest offseason, but it is one that will get the job done.
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