I have a lot to say about my favorite teams this time of year, and I plan on writing a blog about each and every one of them this week. Consider it a McNotables 6 days of Christmas. Leave it to me to start off writing about the only team that actually isn't playing a game this week, my beloved New York Mets.
Omar Minaya has already started off the winter with a couple of great moves, revamping the bullpen with Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz. You also shouldn't overlook the acquisitions of both Jeremy Reed and Sean Green. Green is a reliable 6th or 7th inning reliever that can give you 75 appearances over the season. Reed should be the replacement to Endy Chavez, a slap hitting outfielder off the bench with some speed.
But hopefully Mr. Minaya realizes he is not done. The Mets are set at the corner infield spots, as well as shortsop and centerfield. Fans are clammering for a new 2B, most notably Orlando Hudson. While Hudson would look great turning two with Jose Reyes, the Mets can honestly get by at 2B without going outside the organization. While I, like most fans, are tired of Luis Castillo and his constant injuries, the Mets could do worse. Though I think they're best option is to continue with the move of Daniel Murphy from the outfield to second, and have Murphy play everyday and bat in the 2 hole.
Catcher is another position where it looks like the Mets will have to do with what they have. Brian Schneider is a decent receiver, though his bat leaves something to be desired. Ramon Castro looked like he would be the hitting part of a lefty/righty platoon at backstop last year, but he came down with Andruw Jones Syndrome (injuries and cheeseburgers) and never got going. It looks like the Mets will have to give this platoon another try in '09, though knowing Minaya, don't be surprised if he makes a pitch for Ivan Rodriguez.
The corner outfield spots are a pressing need. Well at least one of them. I think a Ryan Church/Fernando Tatis platoon in RF would prove quite productive. Both can hit, and I think platooning would give both men needed days off and keep them fresh. LF is another story and this is where Omar Minaya and Fred Wilpon should start opening the checkbook. I hate the Phillies as much as the next Mets fan, and who better to hate than Met-killer Pat Burrell. But Burrell would be a perfect fit in LF on opening day at TaxPayerField...uhh I mean BankruptcyField...oh wait CitiField, yeah thats it. For starters, you keep Burrell out of the opposing clubhouse, which wins the Mets at least 3 games a year right there. Burrell has averaged 31 HRs and 99 RBIs the past 4 years, and honestly, from your number 6 hitter, what more do you need? The Mets shouldn't overpay, but they should try do to as much as they can to have Pat Burrell in Port St. Lucie to start the spring. That would leave you with a projected lineup of:
SS- Jose Reyes
2B- Daniel Murphy
3B- David Wright
CF- Carlos Beltran
1B- Carlos Delgado
LF- Pat Burrell
P...oh now we need to address the starting pitching. It's a concern that needs to be addressed for sure, but not as bad as some people think. Your Top 3 of Johan Santana, John Maine, and Mike Pelfrey is not too shabby. There is talk of rookie Jon Niese in the 5 slot, or resigning Pedro Martinez, which as your number 5 starter, isn't the worst thing in the world. So really the Mets just need a reliable number 4 starter. There has been talk about resigning Oliver Perez, but I feel like he's going to want more than he's really worth. There was talk about acquiring Jason Marquis from the Cubs and bringing him home to New York, and I would welcome that. Marquis is the odd man out in Chicago and needs to go somewhere, and the Mets would be a nice place, though I'd rather see him as the Mets 5th starter.
There are two names out there on the free agent market that I think would look great in the Mets rotation...Brad Penny and Jon Garland. I know, Penny is built like Homer Simpson and completely imploded last year. But I think a change of scenery will restore some of the luster on the 250+ lb pitcher. And Garland, despite his near 5.00 ERA last year, notoriously hits 190 innings every year and a 4.47 career ERA entirely in the AL is not bad. A move to the NL could easily make him a 3.50 pitcher. Neither name is sexy, but I believe both would drastically improve the Mets rotation.
So here it is Mr. Minaya, the McNotables Mets Christmas Wish List :
Make it happen and we'll actually see you in October in 2009.