These next few months will be the most critical for the Mets in a long time. Coming off a 77-85 season, the Mets have some big decisions to make. What kind of offer will they make to Jose Reyes? What will they do to bolster the rotation? What about the bullpen? Here is the top of Sandy Alderson’s to-do list this winter.
1. Make a 6-yr, $110 MM offer to Jose Reyes
This is obvious. Not everyone will agree with the years and not everyone will agree with the money or signing him in the first place. Personally, I’m not quite sure whether this is the right move. The man is a beast when healthy, probably the best shortstop in the majors. However, it all comes down to staying healthy. If the Mets feel he can stay healthy, or even if they aren’t quite sure, they will make Jose Reyes a very good offer. He might go off to sign with the Giants for $30 MM more, but if he’s loyal like he says, he will accept this offer and stay in New York.
2. Make a 5-yr, $75 MM offer to C.J. Wilson
After an awful year, the Mets need to drastically improve their rotation, and what better way to do that than to land the best pitcher in the free agent market? Wilson is not quite an ace, but he is very close. Over the last two years, Wilson is a combined 31-15 with a 3.14 ERA and 367 strikeouts. He has filthy stuff and he can eat a ton of innings. He pitches well in close games. He gets better as the game goes on. Wilson would fit perfectly at the top of the rotation. A five-year, $75 MM offer would probably land him, too, depending on which teams are involved, so the Mets would be getting a decent price for him. They ma have to go a little higher, but no more than $100 MM. I know this sounds like another contract that could go bad, but he hasn’t struggled at all since being converted into a starter. Also, he has been pitching well in Texas. In one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball, and he is still putting u big numbers. He did give up 16 home runs this season, but the move to Citi Field could cut that number in half.
3. Sign or trade for a decent closer
In order to rebuild a bullpen, which the Mets desperately need to do, you need to start with the ninth inning. Every winning team has a good closer. Bobby Parnell is clearly not the answer to the Met prayers like they thought he was, so they need to go out and grab a closer. They don’t need to spend big money on him, either. They could go after a guy like Matt Capps, who would likely only cost $6-$7 MM in a one-year deal. Or, if they want to spend big money or if they can’t sign Jose Reyes, Jonathon Paplebon could be the answer. What about Chad Qualls? Octavio Dotel? Fernando Rodney? There are a bunch of cheap options out there that the Mets could choose.
More to come in part two…