With Zack Wheeler making his MLB debut Tuesday in Atlanta and with many Met fans I believe reading my articles I thought I would do an article of where the Mets are at as organization in a brief summary.
The good news is the Mets are pitching deep as it seems. On the major league level they have Matt Harvey & Jonathan Niese to start their rotation and now Wheeler gets added. Most people will tell they expect Wheeler to be at least a front of the rotation starter (at least #2). Later this summer Met fans should see Travis D'Arnaud (part of RA Dickey trade) as he gets his feet wet this season and to take over the #1 catching position for the Metropolitians for the next few years. D'Arnaud has a very good bat and should be a middle of the order type of player which is much needed as those who watch the Mets these days can attest to. With Ike Davis trying to find himself in AAA Las Vegas the Mets really only have two hitters in Wright & Daniel Murphy going forward who are currently on the MLB roster. The Mets are praying that Ike finds himself and at least can be counted on going forward as a good 1B while provide power and hit around .250 and be at least a hitter who can bat 6th in the lineup. The Mets need a Shortstop, all 3 Outfiled Positions, depth in the starting rotation and most certainly depth in the bullpen. Other than Bobby Parnell the Mets bullpen is a disaster area.
The good news is the Mets do have depth in starting pitching with now the addition of Wheeler, Rafael Montero just recently getting promoted to AAA, and with Noah Syndergaard doing very well in High A. I think you could see Montero get a couple of starts for the Mets come September if he does well in AAA. Syndergaard I can see getting promoted to AA soon but I would think all goes well for him the earliest we would see him pitching at Citi Field is this time next year. Both Montero & Syndergaard the Mets believe can at least be middle of the rotation starters.
The top position prospects in the Mets organization are still at least 2 years away if not more with their 1st round picks the last 3 years in Brandon Nimmo (OF - 2011), Gavin Cecchini (SS - 2012), Dominic Smith (1B - 2013). All 3 players when taken were high school kids. Nimmo is in A ball, Cecchini is about to start his season in low A for the Brooklyn Cyclones & Smith is close to being signed but I believe he has not even celebrated his 18th birthday yet. The Mets have no other position prospects prior to the 2013 draft that can be counted on to be everyday players going forward.
Some good news is the Mets have a lot of money coming off the books with the contracts ending for Johan Santana, Jason Bay, John Buck & Frank Francisco at the end of this year. The Mets have estimated committments to next season of 55 Million Dollars in Payroll. It is expected for the Mets to have a payroll between 90 and 100 Million dollars for next season.
This is not a good free agent market coming up. The Mets obviously need outfielders and the two top free agent outfielders are Jacob Ellsbury & Shin Soo Choo. Both by the way represented by super agent Scott Boras. GM Sandy Alderson believes in using the present day free agent market by signing a number of good players at good contracts instead of investing in the mega contract. That could be a problem with that philosophy and signing guys like Ellsbury & Choo this off-season. There will be other options such as Michael Morse, Curtis Granderson, Nelson Cruz, Corey Hart & Hunter Pence.
The Mets could do a mixture of using the free agent market as well as the trade market. However while the Mets have some top prospects their system is not very deep and it's very hard to make trades for quality estblished players under 30 when you don't have a deep system. I have heard the Mets would love to get Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins but even if the Marlins were willing to trade within the division the Marlins would conduct a trade market search in the off-season for Stanton and you can bet at least half the teams in MLB would be lining up to get a deal done for Stanton. A Met deal would have to start with Wheeler and it would still cost a lot more than that.
Met fans there are some positives coming but there also a lot of issues to deal with as well. I firmly believe what the Mets do between now and next Spring Training will decide how competitive the Mets will be for the next few years.
Follow me on Twitter @ TheNLKing
NL King - C.Lizza