The New York Mets where the surprise team in the National League this season. Not only did the Mets find a way to win the NL East they upset the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS before sweeping the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS advancing to the World Series. While the World Series didn’t go the Mets way; they lost 4 games to 1 to the Kansas City Royals, it has to be looked at as a successful season. Looking towards the off season; what do the Mets have to do to get back?
The Mets may be the only team in baseball that isn’t going to be chasing starting pitchers this off season. As a matter of fact barring an injury or a trade, the Mets will have the Top 4 in there starting rotation set for years. Matt Harvey, Jacob deGroom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz will in some order be the #1 through #4 starters for the Mets. It looks as though Jon Niese may take the 5th starter spot to round out the rotation. It’s a starting rotation that could scare the national League for a long time.
Every team is looking for some type of bullpen help and the Mets will be no different. While they do seem to have their closer (Jeurys Familia) the rest of the bullpen isn’t set. Tyler Clippard and Bobby Parnell and free agents and who knows if they’ll get anything out of Jenrry Mejía. Mejía is in the process of serving a 162 game suspension and won’t be eligible to return until July of next season. Addison Reed and Hansel Robles did well in set up roles, but someone will have to step up to fill Clippard’s role. Sean Gilmartin was a solid left-hander out of the Mets bullpen and Jerry Blevins should be back from injury to add another lefty to the bullpen. Bullpens are so interchangeable that with the exception of Familia you just don’t know who’ll be down there for the Mets in 2016.
There where some reports that the Mets will look to increase there payroll for next season, but will it go up enough to bring back Yoenis Cespedes. In 57 games Cespedes hit .287 with 14 home runs and 44 RBI’s in the middle of New York’s line up as they won the division. Of course Cespedes didn’t do it alone. He had help from a healthy David Wright; a couple of other veteran acquisitions Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson plus the play of 22 year old outfielder Michael Conforto. Besides Cespedes 2nd base man Daniel Murphy is also a free agent. Murphy had a solid 2015 season hitting .281 with 14 home runs and 73 RBI’s while playing 2nd base in 69 games, 3rd base in 42 games, 1st base 17 times and was even the DH in 1 game. While Murphy struggled at the plate during the 5 game World Series hitting just .150 overall he had a very good post season. Murphy ended up hitting .328 with 7 home runs and 11 RBI’s in 14 games. The Mets have to decide how much Murphy is worth and it looks as though at the least they’ll extend him a qualifying offer. Uribe and Johnson are both free agents, but I don’t think either player will be back with the Mets unless it’s under a very friendly team contract. Last season it looked as though the Mets where in the market for a shortstop before Ruben Tejada took over the job. Tejada was injured by a Chase Utley slide in the NLDS. Tejada suffered a non-displaced fractured right fibula and there is a chance that he might not be ready for the open of the 2016 season. Will Tejada’s injury force the Mets to look at shortstops this off season or can Wilmer Flores hold down the position until Tejada is ready to go. The Mets have shown some interest in Alexei Ramirez who became a free agent yesterday when the Chicago White Sox declined his option for next season. Could Ramirez be a guy the Mets can fit into their payroll?
Every team has questions going into the off season. It looks as though the Mets may be in the same spot they where before they dealt for Cespedes last season. If they can find the hitting with there starting pitching they should contend in the NL East.