After much speculation by many writers on Rant Sports including me, it is clear to all those who have a pulse that the outfield is the area the New York Mets need to worry about most this off season.
Looking at the Mets outfield of late, you can sense chaos. Jason Bay has agreed to terminate his contract a year early. Lucas Duda has a fractured wrist and it’s rumored he will be moving to first base anyway. Scott Hairston, one of the better hitters in last year’s outfield, is a free agent and so far hasn’t been one of New York’s main focuses. That leaves the Mets with the familiar rotation of Andres Torres, Mike Baxter, and Jordany Valdespin. These three men had a mean batting average of .244 in 2012 and produced a total of 14 HR between them. The majority of their stats from this past season are similarly mediocre.
There is no telling what these players will be able to accomplish next season. All that can be said is that they haven’t produced nearly enough at the plate up until this point. Therefore, it’s safe to say picking up some additional man power in this area is a good option going forward.
The league is teeming with well-tested free agents this off season. The New York Yankees alone have six free agents including Ichiro Suzuki and Nick Swisher. There are many options available that would fit well in the Mets system and could definitely produce. Though one name stands out from the rest: Josh Hamilton.
The 31-year-old All-Star is an offensive weapon of the highest caliber and has proven his worth in the last few years with the Texas Rangers. It would be incredible if New York could manage to pick up Hamilton, but the money he is worth is certainly disheartening. It would be a long-shot indeed.
More plausible options for the Mets that could prove helpful are Cody Ross and Delmon Young. Both of these players posted a batting avergae of .267 last season. Ross hit 22 HR and had a SLG. of .481 in 2012. Young hit 18 HR.
I really like Ross in the Mets system. He gets on base well; he can slug the ball, and he bats people home. These are three qualities that are not present enough in New York. He also is a relatively affordable option considering he made $3 million in 2012. I’d like to see him in New York next season.
Regardless, it is clear there are several options available this off season that make a good deal of sense.