MLB New York Mets

5 Players The New York Mets Could Sever Ties With This Offseason

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5 Players The New York Mets Could Sever Ties With This Offseason

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets are definitely in re-build mode, but they aren’t too far off from being a serious contender. The Daniel Murphy project is looking like a success as the second baseman finished second in the National League in hits this year and his defense has improved. They also have some electric young pitching. Indeed, every fifth day was a holiday in Queens when Matt Harvey took the hill. His season was tragically cut short due to injury and Tommy John Surgery will keep him out for 2014, but he’ll likely (and hopefully) come back as strong as ever after sitting out a year.

Still, there is work to be done in Flushing. Much of what the Mets do will depend on how serious a player they are in the Jacoby Ellsbury sweepstakes. If they do sign the center fielder they would have a legitimate leadoff hitter and a premier defender in the endless sea of grass that is the outfield of Citi Field. He would also add a dimension to the team that was a tremendous part of its success in 2006 which it's lacked ever since: a base stealer. Though Ellsbury has a tremendous upside, he’s always been extremely injury-prone. With the Mets' terrible history of injuries derailing players’ careers (Johan Santana nodding his head) and the money they’ll have to fork over to sign him, Ellsbury might not be worth pursuing.

The organization will no doubt have a busy offseason as rumors swell about trading for Giancarlo Stanton and potentially bringing Jose Reyes back to the team where his career began. There are many decisions to be made, especially because acquiring established players such as these will mean giving up younger prospects through trades or by simply releasing them to make room for new acquisitions.

These are five players the New York Mets could sever ties with this offseason.

James O’Hare is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @JimboOHare, like him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Daniel Murphy

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Say what you will about his defense, but Daniel Murphy can flat out hit. A third baseman by trade, he had to find a new position because of a guy named David Wright. The Mets tried him in the outfield and first base before he finally settled in as the starting second baseman.

He batted .286 this year with 13 long balls and 78 RBI and finished second in the NL in hits with 188. He’s finally developed into a quality Major League player, but with greater needs elsewhere the Mets are reportedly taking offers.

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4. Bobby Parnell

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Like Murphy, Bobby Parnell struggled early in his career but has recently emerged as a legitimate Major Leaguer. Also like Murphy, the Mets could possibly trade him.

In fact, he probably would have been dealt this year if not for a neck injury he suffered on July 30. Though several contenders needed bullpen help (Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles), no one was going to trade for an injured closer.

It might be unwise to trade Murphy and/or Parnell. They’ve finally developed into solid players – why let another team reap the benefits of the time and hard work that the Mets devoted to develop them? Murphy is more replaceable, but why trade a bona fide closer? Especially after seeing the Texas Rangers come one strike short of a championship in 2011 and the Detroit bullpen blow the 2013 ALCS despite stellar starting pitching.

Despite his recent success at a position that has become crucial in the modern game, Parnell remains a potential trade piece for the Mets.

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3. Ike Davis

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Ike Davis was exciting when he first came up in 2010. He made ridiculous catches diving into the first base dugout, and the hitch in is swing was weird but seemed to work for him so nobody cared. He was supposed to be the first baseman of the future and provide some left handed power to the lineup. He was to the Mets what Anthony Rizzo is now to the Chicago Cubs.

After an injury-shortened 2011 and respectable 2012, he had the worst year of his career in 2013. He couldn’t hit a slider to save his life, and it was in the back of his mind which then made him late on fastballs. To make matters worse, his struggles at the plate began to affect him in the field.

He batted .165 in April, .160 in May and .150 in the first week of June before being sent down to the minors. He was recalled in July and managed to get his batting average up to .205 (including a .290 BA in August) before a strained oblique ended his season.

His second half comeback was too little too late for the fans who were already disenchanted with the lefty, but it might have been enough for an AL team to believe in his potential as a DH. The Mets may trade him for whatever they can get and target a free agent first baseman this offseason, like Kendrys Morales, Justin Morneau or James Loney.

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2. Lucas Duda

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Lucas Duda provides all the strikeouts of a power hitter without the home runs.

He’s a first baseman by trade but was often relegated to right field duty because of Davis. Though he spent much of 2013 in the minors, he was given the chance to play first base after Davis’ injury. It was the perfect opportunity for Duda to win the starting job for 2014, or at the very least gain some serious consideration – but he blew it. He batted .200 in September with four home runs, 10 RBI and 30 strikeouts.

If the Mets don’t sign someone through free agency they’ll likely stick with Davis at first – which means Duda will be demoted to Triple A or released.

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1. Ruben Tejada

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Ruben Tejada is a Quadruple A shortstop. He has a weak bat and his defense is nothing special. Though poor performance left him in the minors for most of 2013, he did get a chance to play in the Show at the end of the year. In 208 at bats he had a meager .202 BA with a .259 OBP. A broken fibula suffered on September 18 was the cherry on top of the crap sundae that was Ruben Tejada’s 2013 season.

With free agents like Stephen Drew, Omar Infante and Jhonny Peralta available, as well as rumors of a trade for Jose Reyes, Tejada may have played his last game with the Amazin’s.