Filling The Holes

According to Fox's Dayn Perry, there is still alot to accomplish this offseason before the Mets and Omar can begin patting themselves on the back, alot of holes to fill, alot more reality to sketch into this situation comedy:

"Sign Ramon Hernandez. The Mets sorely need a catcher, and Hernandez is clearly the best one on the market. He's Piazza's clear superior with the glove, and he'll approximate Piazza's decline-phase level of production with the bat.

Kaz Matsui isn't passing muster as a regular. Make him a utility infielder and trade for someone like Julio Lugo or Todd Walker, or sign D'Angelo Jimenez on the cheap.

Execute the rumored Kris Benson and a prospect-for-Javier Vazquez swap. Vazquez has exceptional command indicators, and going to Shea from hitter-friendly Arizona will help his numbers greatly.

Sign Jacque Jones. The Mets have a fly-ball staff, and they need another capable outfield glove to replace Cameron's. Install Jones in right and religiously platoon him with Nady or Victor Diaz. Jones is a gifted fly-chaser who can man center if needed, and he's also a career .294 AVG/.341 OBP/.488 hitter against right-handed pitching. However, he should never see the light of day against lefties.
Accomplishing the above goals will be pricey, but the Mets have the revenues and payroll latitude to pull them off. Make the above moves, and the Mets will have a lineup without a weakness (so long as Willie Randolph ceases and desists from batting Jose Reyes in the leadoff spot) and a solid rotation from top to bottom to join a capable bullpen."

Others with more prescient qualities, like Mr Metsradamus, advocating the reeling in of Mr Alyssa Milano in a bing-bang, botta-boom sort of trade that might solidify the moorings of a starting rotation which, with the likes of Pedro the Lion whose rotator might just go snap in the night on any night and the 300-or-bust ageing wonder Tom Glavine, not to mention Mr Anna Benson and a tin can trail of homely and unpredictable candidates rolling in the road behind them, might prove by season's end despite all these manoeuvres, to be the ultimate Achilles Heel that bursts our collective bubble of optimism.

For the record, I agree with signing Ramon Hernandez over Benjie Molina but the gaping hole, the thus-far unsortable problem is finding a leadoff hitter who can get on base more than a mere 30% of the time. Yes, we need more bullpen help and yes, we need a second baseman who is not a defensive faux pas waiting to happen, but if we don't get someone who can actually get on base from the lead off position, well, all sorts of ugly things might start happening, like alot of empty base homers from Carlos Delgado, for instance.

So you out there, put your thinking caps on and find us a leadoff hitter, preferably one who plays in the outfield or second base and can field like a wizard. If it takes the soon-to-be-oft-injured Cliff Floyd to swing it, by jove, I think it should be swung.


Anonymous said...

I think that guy is an idiot - what do we need Vasquez for? Look how he choked in the pressure of New York with the Yankees!

jdon said...

leadoff hitters are only guaranteed to lead off once a game. I do seem to remember reyes doing it a lot more than that, though, I must confess. Still it is only a given once a game. however, i think team OBP is a much better stat. I wanted he Mets to improve there in the off season and they did with Delgado's .399. now if Beltran can improve his (and he should be able to if he is more settled next year) we might see a marked improvement. Now having said all of this I do believe Reyes will improve. His batting average should improve and his walks should improve. They did in the second half. If he hits .290 and gets 25 mor walks he would at least be reasonable.

adenzeno said...

Why is noone talking about Diaz as an OF- he can HIT! and is also young- Stick him in RF and let him play every day.

Jaap said...

Jdon, you're right about the leadoff hitter's diminishing importance as "lead off" hitter perse. If Reyes hits .290 and walks 25 more times, given his speed and his ability to create once on the basepaths, he might just be one of the better leadoff hitters in the NL (as I also expect his power to increase with age as well) -

Jaap said...

adenzeno, I wonder how much Diaz's lack of fielding prowess in rightfield last season has people not confusing him with the regular RF position next season. That and the big strikeouts. Granted, RF isn't his natural position and another year's seasoning might help but frankly, he was a defensive liability quite often out there. I'd rather see him moved back to 2nd.