Thinking about the Mets 25-man roster…

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

In early November, while discussing his plan for the off-season, Sandy Alderson said he hoped to acquire a few new players for his starting lineup in 2014.

“You cannot have two or three holes in your lineup and live with five guys trying to generate offense,” he said to WFAN’s Mike Francesa, insisting he does not want to go into next season with too many internal candidates at starting positions.

He went on to commit $55 million to OF Curtis Granderson, who will obviously be a starting corner outfielder. He signed OF Chris Young, who told reporters that he expects to get 600 plate appearances playing mostly corner outfield, with a chance of playing center field. Alderson later signed Bartolo Colon to anchor his rotation during Matt Harvey’s rehab from Tommy John surgery.

They’re all smart, quality moves that will help. However, the rest of the roster is still very much a mystery…

Question MarkIn all likelihood, Ruben Tejada will be Alderson’s starting shortstop, assuming he does not acquire Stephen Drew. This is fine, but awkward since Alderson spent much of the winter telling media how Tejada had slacked off during the last year. Similarly, the starting first baseman could still be Ike Davis, who Alderson has been been quite open about trying to trade. It’s also possible neither of these men are in the starting lineup, but in either case, it will be an ‘internal candidate’ at those positions.

The bullpen will likely star Bobby Parnell, Vic BlackJeurys Familia, Gonzalez Germen, Scott Rice, Josh Edgin and Carlos Torres, and eventually Ryan ReidJoel Carreno, Jack Leathersich and Jeff Walters may make appearances. I have no idea what to make of this bullpen, though. I like the strategy of relying on various parts and pieces to fill out the bullpen, because I see it repeatedly work for the Rockies, Padres, Red Sox and others. I just don’t know yet if this is the right mix of guys. We’ll see… but, again, it’s a mystery yet defined.

I assume Omar Quintanilla will join Josh Satin and Eric Young Jr., on the bench. However, anyone from Lucas Duda or Andrew Brown to Davis to Anthony Seratelli to Juan Centeno, Anthony Recker or Taylor Teagarden may be sitting next to them. Where does Wilmer Flores land? It all depends on Drew, Tejada and whether or not Ike hits with power. In any case, it’s looking like a third of the 25-man roster will be earning the league minimum. Again, it’s a mystery…

That said, I like Juan Lagares. He reminds me of Carlos Gomez when he was with the Mets. Lagares, Granderson and Young give the team an incredible and entertaining outfield defense, which the pitching staff will adore.

The rotation is Alderson’s strength, especially if Zack Wheeler improves upon his 2013. It’s very good, with the potential to be outstanding if the middle infield can step up its game behind them.

In the end, the way I see it, knowing what we know of about the markets, off-season and likely roster, 2014′s success likely comes down to Travis d’Arnaud‘s development, sound play at shortstop and second, and Parnell and Black becoming a dominant 1-2 punch in the bullpen.

And, seriously, thank God for David Wright

115 comments
flmetsfan
flmetsfan

I'm still not sold on Chris Young.  Frankly, him spouting off about how many plate appearances he is expecting to get is making him sound even worse.  I just can't seem to get excited about a career .235 hitter who hasn't had 600 plate appearances the last two years.

kappyesq
kappyesq

For once I finally agree with you, Matt. I believe that the success of the 2014 Mets is going to come down to d'Arnaud living up to his hype & production out of the SS position. For that reason, I believe it is imperative the Mets sign Drew because they cannot rely on Tejada. He is an average fielder - regardless of the meaningless UZR stat - and even if he hits .280, he doesn't have enough power, nor is he aggressive enough on the bases to make that .280 worth anything. I also believe that Ike Davis is a HUGE cog in the wheel of success for the Mets this year. If we are stuck with Duda being the everyday 1B, I can guarantee you that it is going to be a long season.

With that being said, I wholeheartedly expect d'Arnaud to flourish this year & hit .275 with 20-25 HR & 90-100 RBI. I also expect Davis to rebound & return to his 30 HR form. He won't hit for a high average, but Young & Granderson will help him exponentially if not in a tangible way, then definitely in a mental confidence way. However, I don't think the Mets will sign Drew & they will go with Tejada. I think that is a bad move that could be the difference between the Wild Card & going home for the playoffs. He may only provide 2-3 wins over Tejada, but Drew's leadership & veteran presence is invaluable. Additionally, those 2-3 wins could be the difference between a 92-win, Wild Card season, and a 89-win, non-playoff year. It's time the Mets make moves, I think we've been patient enough.

mike23
mike23

Mets were cheap once again, no way around it they did what they had to do to make it appear they were making major changes to the roster and wanting to win now etc.... but they could and should have done a better job of putting a winning team together for 2014, the year they kept saying things would change... now we are here and the payroll is in the 80's far too low for a supposed big market team in NYC, mets talked the talk but didn't walk the walk as usual. Organization isn't just second class in NY but they are around the league. WIlpons had a chance to step up for 2014 and thus far have failed. 

Michael Suna
Michael Suna

Mets should have traded GEE or Niese for Trumbo. I consider them better than Santiago. And used the money spent on Young toward another Pitcher...

Alex Plaza
Alex Plaza

why sit eric young jr? he got the most steals last year and he can get the ball in the field and make plays. in my opinion. the chris young pickup was a waste. his BA has been well below average. In my opinion, there are two options for eric young jr. Have him start the outfield at one of the corners, or have him at 2B. In that case, you can move murphy to first, who i think is more than capable of doing so. At the end of the day, would like anything else other than chris young or ike davis on the field.

Jova1931
Jova1931

I've never seen someone who loves using ellipses more than Cerrone.

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

"seriously, thank God for David Wright"

Yup. You have streak-y Murphy, likely reliable as a whole Granderson and a bunch of question marks. 

eric88
eric88

Too bad the Mets Payroll will be $170 million below Yankees when you add in luxury taxes, or roughly a third as high. We do beat the Yankees in one aspect, HIGHER TICKET PRICES. In 2013 the average Mets ticket was $77.10, while the Yankees were $74.69. While on the subject of the Yankees, As Mets fans were getting Yanked !

tommets
tommets

They should have like the Hunger Games to see who's fit for 1st. Best all-around player for that position wins. It really should be Flores.

Ricardo Ronda
Ricardo Ronda

Selig - forget him - he forced Dodgers to sell but hooked up Wilpons - thanks Bud - lousy commish.

As for the Mets, I Love this team, I thought last 5 years were hard but with Harvey down it's even worse.

Only hope is our young guys get better,

That’s why I say give Flores a shot, Ike is a 21st century Kevin Mass, Duda is a batting practice hitter, let Flores play




ifti99
ifti99

I hate to play devil's advocate but....


1. I agree the team is roughly equivalent to last year. The lineup loses Byrd and Buck but gains Granderson and Young. Lagares should be better. Ike might return to form. Overall, a wash. D'Arnaud is the wildcard. He contributed little last year, but his minor league stats were awesome. Of course, there is no guarantee he will duplicate this in the majors. 


2. The starting pitching loses Harvey, but gets Colon and Wheeler looks ready to blossom. I think this is an upgrade. This should a source of strength for the next several years with Harvey, Syndy and Montero.


3. The bullpen should be better with Black, Torres and Familia playing significant roles.


Of course, I would have hoped for an upgraded player at SS and FB, but the mets won't spend. Hardly Sandy's fault. 


If things break well, I could see us possibly winning 80-82 games next year. 

slainte2
slainte2

I think Sandy is great, tho i am disappointed in failure to pursue Jose Abreu ... interested to see how that one turns out.  I will also be disappointed if they don't sign Drew, who is falling into laps at this point, and would make team better.

Victor Triguero
Victor Triguero

In other words...Sandy and the mets bs'd everyone again. But people wanna bash minaya yesterday on being a horrible gm. I will say this...He made mistakes but he never bs'd the fan base year after year. I believe nothing they say any more

straka82
straka82

All we were told since sandy has been here is wait till 2014 . Wait till 2014. And what do we get???

40 yr old pitcher

.200 hitting of

And a good player in granderson !!

This team has done nothing but lose since 09 and how do they respond ?? I cannot believe that we have to have another year of Lucas duda , Ike Davis and Ruben tejada !!

Ed Renner
Ed Renner

This is a very disappointing job by Sandy. I watch MLB channel on TV and they hardly ever mntion the Mets. They have made it to complete irrelovancy and they play in the biggest city in the country. I've been a fan since 1962 and am considering changing teams...sad.

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

"This is fine" -- not really. I want a better starting SS.

I think most of the slots are clear. Not sure about fifth starter, perhaps a few bullpen arms, we have to see what happens at 1B and SS (please please) and a couple bench players. Four starters, various bats and various relievers are locks. 

drmetfan
drmetfan

Here is your 25 man roster


PITCHERS:

Colon

Wheeler

Gee

Niese

Mejia

Parnell

Familia

Germen

Torrez

Edgin

Rice

Black


POSITION:

Wright

Granderson

Murphy

EYJ

Lagares

D'Arnaud

Recker

Davis

Young

Tejada

Satin and/or Duda

Flores 

AND Drew (He will end up with the Mets)

Joe Kruk
Joe Kruk

This team is going to be terrible.  I hope the 2015 draft has some good top players because we're about to be getting a top 5 pick.  Can the mets pay attention to the Yankees..they know how to re-tool.  I can't believe I spent 500 bucks for Subway Series Tix

zoddie
zoddie

No one is sold on Young. That's why he only got a one year deal.

zoddie
zoddie

EYjr can't get on base. He's a nice 4th outfielder, but that's all. He's also not great defensively, despite his speed.

Murphy isn't a good enough hitter to play first. At second, his bat plays quite well.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@Joe Paulson Some of them aren't good enough to be question marks.  Unfortunately they are known factors.

bockers
bockers

@ifti99 Yeah, if Tejada,Ike and D'Arnaud have break out years. I see th Mets at 70-73 wins.

zoddie
zoddie

The calculus obviously changed when Harvey went down. 2014 became 2015 as soon as that happened.

That being said, didn't the Mets spend almost $90 million this off-season? I wouldn't count that as nothing.

ifti99
ifti99

@straka82 The Mets won't spend. that's pretty obvious. What exactly would you like Sandy to do?

Robert Hess
Robert Hess

@Ed Renner I agree.  On almost any given day of the YEAR Newsday devotes at leat 2-3 pages to the Yankees and one column, if that, to the Mets.  Could Matt & others stop with the BS?  This is not a good team. SS is a mess, first base is a mess, catching is tentative, and backup players in case of injury are nonexistant.  Met fans deserve more and the Wilpons should be called on the carpet - but who's going to do that - their shill Selig??

eric88
eric88

@drmetfan Wow your right, only 4 new players and one is a big if.

mets2014
mets2014

@drmetfan alderson said they would sign a closer type to a major league deal so you would have to remove one of your relievers perhaps germen or familia...mejia could be lannan...duda over satin because they will not pay duda $1.6M to play in the minors...maybe satin over flores...well done doctor

fhc1224
fhc1224

the Yankees know how to retool?  why, because they threw insane money at a few players?  lets look at the retooled Yankees.  Infield - Kelly johnson at 3b.  he has minamal games played there, is not really an everyday player and would barley be league average.  Jeter at ss.  40 years old, missed last season with a severe ankle injury which probably turns his limited range into standing like a statue.  he has had a great career and defied the odds many times but if he hits more then .265 it will be his greatest accomplishment yet.  Roberts 2b.  great player before his injuries but the yankees do not have a time machine.  if he plays 80 games the yankees will be fortunate.  1b texeria.  probably the most solid infielder the yankees can bank on but even he is loaded with questions.  his numbers have started to decline plus he is coming back from a major wrist injury which more then likely limit his power for at least the first half of the season - remember delgado?.  mccann at catcher.  again big money for a players downside.  his numbers are declining plus he is starting to breakdown physically.  I like the guy but even though yankee stadium is made for him, I highly doubt he is a 125 - 135 game catcher anymore.  the of - the best outfielder they have is gardner and he may get the shaft as far as playing time.  if they are smart, he is in the outfield somewhere everyday because ellsbury will be exhausted trying to cover the ground soriano & beltran can't.  soriano had a revival after coming to ny last year but at his age is he capable of doing it again?  I love beltran but he needs to get more time at dh then the of at this point. if his knees hold up he should be solid - not great.  Ellsbury has the potential to put up great numbers.  doubt he hits 30 homers but yankee stadium should help him get to 15-20 with 50sb's.  this is if he stays on the field which is certainly not a given with his track record.  SP - is sabbathia able to bounce back and be a true #1 or #2 guy or has the innings he has piled up in his career left him as a mid rotation fill in?  it has just as good a chance to go either way.  kuroda is back but which kuroda?  the 1'st half guy or the second half?  at 39 years old, which would you bet on?  nova - has potential but at this time does not even have a track record equal to dillion gee.  tanaka - by all scouting accounts, he should be good but is he darvish good or maybe nomo good or is he igeawa or irabu?  can anyone be sure until he actually pitches in the AL east pressure cooker?  who is the 5th starter?  seriously who is it?  Bullpen - no one replace mariano but robertson is fine but who takes his role? and who replaces logan?  the yankee bullpen has more questions marks then the mets bullpen which is really saying a lot.  in short, the yankees did not retool a championship club.  if everything breaks perfect for them they can win 90-92 games and possibly a wildcard.  more then likely, all they did was stave off a disasterous collapse for a season or two, may stay competitive for about 2/3rds of the season before fading and finishing with a win total in the low to mid 80's.

metstastic
metstastic

They know how to retool? You mean spend money? Their starters are all over the hill and I believe their minor league system is in shambles.

Steven Matregrano
Steven Matregrano

Murphy is our second best hitter... What team are you watching? Pretty sure his natural position is first base.... Um?

Alex Plaza
Alex Plaza

@zoddie i would take my chances with muprh & EYjr over chris young, ike davis, and lucas duda. cannot understand how they got as much money as they did, in my opinion murph and EYjr have a lot of potentiol in NY as long as they have a good structure around them

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

@zoddieDo you expect Chris Young to get on base, or drive in runs?

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

@Hodges14 I think overall the main ones are question marks. This might be too optimistic for 1B. SS my hope is that the question mark is who will actually start there. Drew still seems quite possible there.

Stephen Giangrande
Stephen Giangrande

So if our three main weaknesses have breakout years, which means they will play well and be at least better than league average we will only have 70 wins? No way. If they play BREAKOUT, then we will at least get 83. Now I don't think they will but regardless.

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

@bockers@ifti99So, the team is going to do WORSE than last year? Why? Note they were lousy last April in part because certain pieces like Wheeler weren't there yet. To do worse, the newbies at best will break even, those lousy last year have to be as lousy and no one will be better to balance things out. All this happening is as likely as all things working out great. It's a negative perfect storm.

mike23
mike23

@zoddie You are the type of fan the mets love because you except their excuses etc... just because Harvey went down for 2014 doesn't mean they had to settle for another bad year, they could have added another quality free agent arm such as Garza to help the rotation plus adding Colon but they settled and did little so of course in your eyes we might as well wait for 2015 now, but what if another starter goes down in 2015 than we have to wait until 2016... no this is a big market team or it is supposed to be if a highly rated starter goes down you go and get a solid replacement but they settled for a 40 year old instead of going after Garza etc... mets were cheap once again and did what they had to do to make it appear they want to win now. 

Victor Triguero
Victor Triguero

I would like sandy to stop talking out hi a s s and act like 2014 was the big turn around. In reality it wasnt....AGAIN

Hodges14
Hodges14

@metstastic and yet they have a winning record every year and will again in 2014.

zoddie
zoddie

@Steven Matregrano The Mets.  Murphy is not our second best hitter.  Last year it was Marlon Byrd.  This year Granderson and Duda will likely hit better than Murphy (and theoretically Ike, but who knows with that guy).


Murphy has value precisely because he can play second.  At 2nd, he is a good hitter.  At first, he sucks.  He's also become a very good baserunner.


For all the Duda haters, last year he had a better OPS than Murphy.  He also has a better career OPS.


And like half the guys on the Mets it seems, Murphy's natural position is THIRD base.  Um.

zoddie
zoddie

@Alex Plaza@zoddie It seems you do not understand how arbitration years work.  In short, they did not get a lot of money.  As for Chris Young, he got a fair deal at $7m/1 year.  No security, but a chance to play himself into a bigger and better deal.


In comparison, James Loney got $21m / 3 years.  Those are just the costs of free agents.  It is why farm systems are more important than ever.  Most free agents aren't very good and those that are good get PAID (see: Choo).

zoddie
zoddie

@flmetsfan Get on base?  No, probably not.  Drive in runs?  Hopefully, yes.  But Chris plays MUCH better defense than Eric.  Chris had by far his worst year last year and still had a higher OPS than Eric Young.  Chris Young has been an all-star.  I'm not betting on an all star season, but his ceiling is higher.


For what it is worth, I doubt either player will be all that great next year.  Ideally they'd both be 4th outfielders on a good team, I just think Chris will be slightly better and have more upside.

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

@Hodges14@Joe PaulsonSo, you have to in effect assume that no one else will have that sort of short term streak while the team would be as bad as they were most of the first six weeks. It's a negative perfect storm.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@Joe Paulson They also had Buck hitting everything that was thrown to him early last season.

zoddie
zoddie

@mike23@zoddie I'll also add that I don't love the Wilpons.  I think they're mediocre owners at best.  But when they had money, they spent it.  Period.  Ideally they'd sell the team to a group that has money and use the proceeds to pay their debts.


But that won't happen.  We all know that. 

zoddie
zoddie

@mike23@zoddie First, importantly - the Mets aren't cheap.  They're broke.  Crucial difference.  They, like a lot of other people, got suckered in the Madoff disaster.  Now Sandy Alderson is doing what he can with a limited budget.  When the Wilpons had money, to their credit, they spent it.  Are the years 2000 - 2010 too long ago for people to remember?  The Mets were in the top 6 in payroll EVERY YEAR for 11 years.  In 2011 they dropped to 7th.

They didn't settle.  They spent $90m this offseason.


So your plan is to spend money on another starting pitcher in a rotation that this year, projects to be: Wheeler - Niese - Colon - Gee - Mejia, with DeGrom and Montero ready to come up in a matter of weeks or months.  Who are you bumping from that rotation?  

More importantly, who are you bumping in 2015?  You worry about injuries, which makes sense.  In 2015 our rotation can be Wheeler, Harvey, Colon, Montero, Niese.  Syndergard after a few weeks, too, makes 6 starters.  That already bumps out Mejia AND Gee AND Hefner from the rotation.


So, yeah, I'll take Colon on a short term deal vs Garza on a long term deal.  Doesn't hurt that Colon's been a better pitcher the last couple of years, too.

zoddie
zoddie

First, they were a 78 win team if you look at their runs scored vs against. That is a better predictor of future success.

Second, they also lost the best closer in baseball, the best second baseman in baseball, whatever they got from arod, and Andy Pettitte.

Third, almost every player they have is over 30. Ask the Mets how that works out with injuries and performance dropoffs.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@zoddie So you're saying that Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran and Tanaka don't make a difference in their win total?  How about Texieira coming back?

zoddie
zoddie

I wouldnt even say that's true. They won 85 games last year. This year I'd put them at 85-90. May be good enough for a wild card, may not be.

Listen, I'm not knocking the Yankees payroll. I *wish* the Wilpons didn't get caught up with the Madoffs and could spend like they did 6-10 years ago, but I'm also not about to hold the Yankees up as some model franchise in 2014. The cardinals? The red Sox? Sure. Not the current Yankees.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@zoddie

The mid 90s was 20 years ago.  They've sustained success long after most of those players have come and gone.

Say whatever you want about their minor league system, the free agent system, etc... they are the most improved team in MLB this off season.

zoddie
zoddie

Their model was based on good drafts in the mid-90s and building through free agency. Both those things will not be sustainable for them going forward.

More teams have money now, so there is more competition for free agents. Also, fewer stars even get to free agency because teams sign their own guys more now.

Their minor leagues are a mess. No stars, no depth. They HAD to sign Tanaka. And even with that signing they are barely a wild card team.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@metstastic @Hodges14 


The Yankees have missed the playoffs twice in the last 19 years.  They've proven that their model is sustainable and successful in a big market, despite Bud Selig doing everything he can to change the rules to slow them down.

metstastic
metstastic

@Hodges14@metstastic Once you miss the playoffs the record doesn't really count. They traded Beltran, RA, Buck/Byrd near the end of the season for Wheeler, Thor, TDA, Black so it was a success. You can't compete if your all stars are gone.