The New York Mets were presented with an offseason with so many holes to fill, and not a lot of certainty on how to do it. They did it, and did it well.
By Aniello Piro
The New York Mets ended their 2015 season in defeat, and had one goal in mind: Finish what they had started, and the teams front office knew they had alot of work to do in order to complete that mission.
Well, they did, but not without a little drama.
Lets break down all the major moves the Mets made this offseason.
- Trade for Neil Walker
- Retain Bartolo Colon
- Sign Asdrubal Cabrera
- Sign Alejandro De Aza
- Sign Antonio Bastardo
- Sign Yoenis Cespedes
All the moves the Mets made this offseason make them a better team than they were in the postseason last year.
Neil Walker is an upgrade for the Mets at second base. Compared to former second basemaen, Daniel Murphy, Walker is just a better overall player, with a career WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 15.4, which is superior to Murphy’s 13.8.
The Mets gave up Jon Neise (which you could also argue is addition by subtraction, bit that’s another argument), a serviceable pitcher that did not have as spot with the Mets.
Retaining Bartolo Colon was probably one of the smartest moves the Mets made all offseason.
Colon is set to make just over $7 million dollars in 2016, and will serve an important role for the Mets in 2016. As Zack Wheeler rehabs from Tommy John surgery the team needs someone to bridge the gap until he can come back.
Once Wheeler returns, Colon will likely be shifted to the bullpen, a role he excelled in late last year. Aside from his pitching, Colon is a clubhouse favorite, and brings veteran leadership to a young Mets ballclub.
The Asrubal Cabrera signing caught many Mets fans off guard, but the move was a smart one.
Shortstops are in fairly high demand, so the Mets opted to go with a player who knows the position, and can fill in around the diamond if necessary.
The club signed Cabrera to two-year $18.5 million dollar deal early in the offseason. It will allow Wilmer Flores to serve as a super utility player, and depth to the Mets 25 man roster–something they sorely lacked last season.
The Mets didn’t overpay for Cabrera, who will also lengthen the lineup. There’s no easy out batters one through eight.
The Alejadro De Aza signing was a random, and a rather unexpected one for the Amazins’.
De Aza is a serviceable Major League player, but seems to be nothing more than a bench player for the Mets.
De Aza signed a one year $5.75 million dollar deal with the Mets.
The De Aza signing gives the Mets depth, and flexibility which is something clubs always like to have.
The Mets had been in search for bullpen help all offseason, and they got the guy they wanted in Antonio Bastardo.
Bastardo is a veteran arm that has had a solid career, and has been good at retiring left handed hitters.
Lefty’s own a career .178 batting average against Bastardo, which is key for a Mets team that lacked a true lefty specialist all last season.
Bastardo owns a career era of 3.58, and will help bolster the back end of the Mets bullpen.
The Mets gave Bastardo a two-year deal worth $12 million dollars.
Last, but certainly not least the contract signing of Yoenis Cespedes.
All the moves the Mets offseason were great, but they looked so much better when the team resigned Yoenis Cespedes.
Cespedes, and the Mets agreed upon terms for a 3-year deal worth $75 million. The deal includes an opt out clause after the first year.
Cespedes was a major factor in the Mets pursuit of a championship in 2015, and is the big bat the Mets have been persuing for sometime now.
2015 was the best season of his career. Cespedes had a slugging percentage of .542, an OPS of .870, 35 homeruns, and 106 RBIs. All were career highs for the Cuban Slugger.
Yoenis Cespedes won over the hearts of Mets fans, and has now solidified the Mets lineup as one of the best in the National League.
The offseason has been great, but none of it would have happened without the brilliant mind of General Manager Sandy Alderson.
Mets fans have been begging for the team to make moves, and spend money.
Alderson did that, and some.
The Mets opening day payroll in 2015 was $100,133,953, and now looks to open near the $140 million dollar mark. This was a pipe dream for most fans when the offseason began.
Mets’ payroll now is about $140 million. The Wilpons would like their apology now.
— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) January 23, 2016
So, the misconception surrounding the Wilpon family, and how they do not spend can be put to rest (for now).
The New York Mets have upgraded their middle infield, added outfield depth, bullpen help, and resigned their slugger all in one offseason.
All the moves the team has made make the Mets favorites to win the NL East, give them good odds to reappear in the Fall Classic.
mets middle of the order looks much, much better tonite. they are clear favorite in nl east. not even a question.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 23, 2016
The Mets offseason grade is an A+. They did everything, and then some to make their team far more competitive than it was a year ago.