So we are out here at Citi Field tonight. There’s a nice crowd of an announced crowd of 27,729 and the Mets have their meaningless game against the Astros.
Sure, it’s tough to get excited about the Mets right now, with even 80 games out of the question after Houston’s 3-1 win, but you still have some signs that this team will be pretty good next year.
Terry Collins will be back, but Wally Backman may be added to the staff as third base coach with Tim Teufel moving to hitting coach. The starting pitching looks like it will be up to snuff next season, and the bullpen, which started out as a weakness is now a strength.
But still there’s some work to be done by Sandy Alderson.
Even though he has tempered expectations of a Met spending spree this off-season, Alderson must still fill the holes in the lineup. A shortstop and a left fielder are musts if the Mets expect to contend next year.
However, don’t expect the team to spend for a high priced free agent at that position, such as J.J. Hardy. They will have to contend with the Yankees, who have their own hole to fill at the No. 6 spot in the field.
Rather, the Mets may have to dig into the farm system and trade a few good prospects to acquire a shortstop, who can have a better showing than Wilmer Flores or Ruben Tejada. Think Starlin Castro of the Cubs more than Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies and you can get the picture.
Left field is more muddled. Alderson may try to find a cheaper alternative than a high priced free agent, since that didn’t work out too well this season with Curtis Granderson or Chris Young or Jason Bay back in day. A stopgap until Brandon Nimmo is ready, say the middle of the year, maybe the way to go.
This may not be the excitement the fan base expected when they envisions someone like Carlos Gonzalez coming in, but if Alderson is true to his word, he will probably only go after one pricy player and that’s if they can dump Bartolo Colon and or Daniel Murphy off in a trade.
It’s not sexy or what everyone wants to hear, but that is probably the way the Mets will go.
That said, expect right center to come in a little bit. The Mets are looking to make that 375 sign a thing of the past so that Granderson, David Wright and Lucas Duda have better chances of hitting homers.
It’s a smart move, since their pitching may be good enough to keep more balls in the park.
Now, even with the changes no one knows if next year is the year, but with it being Year No. 5 of the Alderson regime, the team needs to make some significant strides in order to keep the fans at bay.
Or the Mets will have a final series next year that will make this 27,729 look like a sellout comparatively.