In the immense clutter that surrounds the New York Mets organization throughout this off season, it proves difficult to sift through the constant reminders of resigning fan favorites like R.A. Dickey and David Wright and arrive at the ever-so-important question: what to do in the outfield?
The media’s attention up to this point seems to be continuously focused on contract negotiations with star-players like Wright or injuries plaguing key team members like Lucas Duda. Yes, the Mets need to strike a long-term contract agreement with their star third-basemen. Yes, resigning Dickey would be a solid bonus, if they could manage to do so while still finding affordable players to supplement their slugging percentage. Yes, Duda’s fractured wrist is going to hurt the Mets going forward.
These are all serious concerns for New York and as such they deserve a good deal of attention. I just want to know more about what the Mets intend to do about their lacking outfield and their non-existent big-bats.
In the past few weeks I’ve heard a few names tossed around as possible sparks in this dormant outfield. A recently reinstated Melky Cabrera was among these names. Cabrera, who had a very strong 2011 season and was on track for a phenomenal 2012, will most likely not be pursued by the Mets in the near future. Although he certainly has the batting ability to solve at least some of New York’s offensive shortcomings.
Other noteworthy possibilities are veterans like Raul Ibanez and Jonny Gomes . Ibanez, 40, has been in the league for about 16 years and hit 19 HR in 2012 while posting a SLG. of .453. Gomes, 32, has been playing professional baseball for more than 12 years and homered 18 times in 2012 with a SLG. of .491. The abilities of players like Gomes and Ibanez are obviously waning as the years pass by, but the one reassuring element here that most baseball fans can appreciate is that these two players are seasoned veterans. At the right price both of these players are sound options.
That said, do I believe that an old wily ‘vet’ will be an effective solution to the Mets dilemma? No, I don’t think so. If New York is going to head in that direction, they need to first secure some promising prospects. The Mets need to stop the bleeding and stitch the wound. They can’t simply throw some gauze on it and hope for the best.