The Mets began 2015 with a $103MM payroll, and they will likely pursue their second consecutive NL pennant with a similar Opening Day figure, writes Marc Carig of Newsday. In lieu of splashy acquisitions, GM Sandy Alderson will have to carefully tweak the current roster. Free agents Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy are expected to sign elsewhere which could create a need for more offense. The team could try trading pitcher Zack Wheeler, as they attempted in the nixed Carlos Gomez deal. Carig runs down the club’s various needs and potential solutions in detail. In addition to offense, shortstop, second base, and reliever top the list.
- If they feel the need to acquire a shortstop, the Mets should consider trading for Javier Baez of Jurickson Profar, opines Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Sherman notes that Mets shortstops – namely Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada – led New York to the 10th best shortstop WAR. While the fans have long asked for an upgrade at the position, statistics suggest it’s unnecessary. However, with the influx of top prospects at shortstop, there is a growing sentiment that a first division club should have a young stud at the position. Baez has well-known strikeout problems, but they’re the only thing between him and All Star quality production. Profar was once as hyped as Carlos Correa or Francisco Lindor, but he’s missed a couple seasons with a shoulder injury. For what it’s worth, I think the Mets are well served with by their current cost effective options. They should focus their resources on more gaping wounds like second base or a cleanup hitter.
- Outfielder Michael Cuddyer had surgery on Thursday for a core muscle injury, reports Carig. Cuddyer struggled in the first season of a two-year, $21MM contract. The team also forfeited a draft pick to ink him. Cuddyer, owed $12.5MM in 2016, could see a reduced role in 2016. Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson are expected to man the outfield corners with Lucas Duda at first base. Since all three are left-handed, he should at least have a regular platoon role. It’s also possible the Mets will view him as a trade candidate.