And I no longer think Carlos Beltran is in the picture.
I previously wrote that I could see him having a reunion with the Mets on a two year deal. With the postseason that Carlos has had, that’s not going to happen. He’s going to get a three year contract from someone and I can’t see the Mets from going beyond two years. Length aside, Carlos has also put himself into excellent position to get a much fatter per-year deal than he likely would have gotten one month ago.
I really don’t think the Mets will do a tremendous amount on the free agent front, and I’m okay with it. They may surprise me, but the building blocks are there. Even with Matt Harvey gone in 2014, they have a solid core in the rotation to start spring training with right now. They’ll likely pick up a middle tier starting arm to fill out the rotation (like Marcum last year, but hopefully with better results). There will be some re-tooling in the bullpen (like every other team in the majors does every year). They may even make a minor free agent signing or two… but I think they’ll let the kids mature. Yes, they did struggle offensively, but until David went down, they were middle of the pack in the National League in runs (before falling off significantly while he was on the DL). D’Arnaud will be there all year and should hopefully get past the rookie struggles. If Lagares is back in center (if he’s not traded for an established player), he should improve with the bat. I still think Josh Satin is a really good major league hitter that can bring some stability to the position after three seasons of uncertainty following Ike’s rookie season (even without the pop). Holes will still need to be plugged at short and at a corner spot – but that may not be an opening day task, rather a mid-season address if the team is showing signs of contention.
I don’t think 2014 will be a playoff season, but I do think we’ll be back to .500.
So if the big splash isn’t made this offseason, in the immortal words of Douglas Adams – Don’t Panic. Signing a big free agent for the sake of signing a big free agent isn’t always the wisest move (see Bay, Jason). Sometimes it’s the moves you don’t make. The team will be OK. Even though the record didn’t reflect it in 2013, a big step forward was made. 2014 will be another step forward.
We’re not that far off. We’re really not.