Posted By DieHardMets
Going into the 2010 season, the Mets offense seemed like it’d be solid at least. Wright and Reyes were firmly entrenched on the left side of the infield. There outfield looked solid with Bay, Beltran, and Frenchy. The biggest hole seemed to be 2B, where Castillo and his ridiculous contract were firmly entrenched.
It’s the offense that has been their Achilles’ heel.
Second base has been a black hole, as expected. The catcher’s spot has been surprisingly productive, and I’m happy to see Thole starting. First base was a concern after Murph went down, but Ike’s been good in his rookie season. Wright bounced back, as did Reyes. It’s the outfield that had been the biggest let down.
Going into the season, many thought the outfield would be solid. Bay was coming off a great season in Boston. Beltran would be Beltran when he came back (we thought in May), and Pagan would be an adequate fill in until he returned. Francoeur was the biggest question mark, but he was coming off his strong finish to the 2009 season. Every single one of our projected three starters has failed to deliver. Bay, the big offseason signing by Omar to be our big bopper, has a whopping 47 RBI’s and a .749 OPS, and now is on the disabled list with a concussion. Beltran didn’t return until July, and since then he has a mere two homeruns and a .224 batting average. Francoeur, from whom the most regression was respected, started well then crashed back down to Earth, and now is a bench bat for the Rangers. Pagan has been the one bright spot, continuing on last year’s breakout numbers.
I think it’s safe to admit that the season is basically over for our Mets. This being true, let’s look forward to 2011 and how the Mets outfield will fill out. As of now, the starters will probably by Bay, Beltran and Pagan. To me, this sounds like an injury riddled, low power outfield. It also sounds excessively priced, with Beltran and Bay both significantly overpaid.
How can we fix this? I can only think of a few ways, most of which aren’t very likely. Bay is probably not going anywhere. It would be unwise to trade Pagan, as he’s their best outfielder. Beltran is the most likely to be moved. I think two great suitors are the Rays and the Yankees. Both will need DHs this offseason. Beltran to the Rays plus cash might net us a semi decent prospect.
If the Yankees miss out on Dunn, we’ll probably just get more salary relief if we send him across town. These aren’t likely to happen of course.
Something even more fanciful would be Jake Peavy for Jason Bay. Two underperforming players with big contracts who could use a change of scenery, this trade makes some sense. But it will never happen. Met fans get by on dreams though, so I might as well mention it.
There are some outfielders in the Mets minor league system that could get some playing time. F-Mart is always around, if he’s healthy. It’d be nice for him to finally live up to his potential. Captain Kirk (Kirk Nieuwenhuis) is having a good season between AA and AAA, with 17 HR and a .272 batting average in 555 at bats. Lucas Duda, who was recently called up, also had a good year between AA and AAA with a .304 batting average, 23 homeruns, and an OBP near .400 (OPS of .967).
The Mets 2011 outfield will likely consist of Bay, Beltran, and Pagan. Barring any fanciful trades, these starting three will not change. Injuries will let some of the Mets young prospects come up and a get a shot at the show. Hopefully Bay will bounce back like Wright did this year, and Pagan will continue to be a valuable asset. There is really very little the Mets can do, but hopefully their outfield will hold up next year so that they can play games that have some level of meaning.