After the 2007 season, Mets fans were left heartbroken after one of the greatest collapses in baseball history. All embarrassed Mets fans were left to do was hide all winter, waiting for their team to make a move. But as spring training grew closer, and closer, the New York Mets still had yet to make that impact move that would make the memories of 2007 disappear. But then the day came when it was announce that the Mets had aquired Johan Santana in a trade with the Twins for Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey, Deolis Guerra and Phil Humber. On top of that, Santana signed a 6 year extension with an option for a 7th year. Mets fans then came out of their hibernation and began to look to 2008 with optimism. Santana pitched fantastic as expected, but once September had ended, history had repeated itself. Again the Mets had fallen just short of reaching October. The question now is, what will the Mets do this off season to insure that another collapse does not occur again? Here is a look at my predictions of what the Mets will do at each position to improve their team.
Catcher: Although catcher was one of the Mets weakest offensive positions, don't expect to see the Mets make much of a change behind the plate. Expect to see a platoon of Ramon Castro and Brian Schneider like we saw in the midsummer before Castro went down with an injurt that kept him out until the middle of September.
First Base: Expect the Mets to pick up the 12 Million Dollar option on Carlos Delgado's contract. Delgado got off to a dreadful start, but eventually found the old Carlos Delgado deep down inside of him and had probably the best offensive second half in all of baseball.
Second Base: Second base is on of the largest issues the Mets will face at Second base this off season. Luis Castillo is aging fast, but under contract for the next 3 years. Look for the Mets to attempt to trade Castillo and take a loss, or to possibly platoon him with a player like Daniel Murphy.
Third Base: Many Mets fans have been demanding to have this young man traded this off season. But even though David Wright struggled in the clutch down the stretch, the 25 year old slugger still hit 33 HR, and drove in 124 runs, tying a Mets club record. Dont expect to see the all-star third basemen in anything but a Mets uniform for a long time.
Short Stop: Jose Reyes had arguably the best offensive season of his carear, leading the Nation League with a 200 hit season, and scoring over 100 runs and stealing over 50 bases once again. Although like David Wright some fans are demanding Jose Reyes be traded, the young Short Stop is one of the best in the game, and will not depart from the Mets anytime in the near future.
Left Field: Left Field was a vacant position pretty much all year for the Mets. With the Departures of Moises Alou and Fernando Tatis, look for the Mets to either sign a Raul Ibanez type player or a platoon of Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans.
Center Field: Carlos Beltran is coming off of another above average season in center field. For the third straight year, Beltran belted over 25 homeruns while driving in more than 100 runs. And to no surprise, Beltran played stellar defense as usual. Expect another strong season from Carlos Beltran in center field in 2009.
Right Field: Ryan Church got off to a hot start in right field for the Mets, but then went down with a concussion that cost him almost half of his season. But the Mets have seen what Ryan can do, and hope that if he can stay healthy, he can be a very productive player for the Mets in right field in 09. Not to mention he has a cannon for an arm.
Starting Rotation: The Mets starting rotation was one of their stronger points in 08.
But now that they are loosing both Oliver Perez and Pedro Martinez, they have some holes to fill. Johan Santana, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey will all be back, leaving the Mets with 2 vacancies in their rotation. Expect the Mets to pursue Aj Burnett, CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets, while possibly giving young starters Bobbt Parnell and Jon Niece a shot to crack the rotation in spring training.
Bullpen: The bullpen was easily the Mets biggest weakness in 2008. It was the main source of two consecutive collapses, and it is obvious to everyone that after blowing 30 saves it could use some serious remodeling, especially after loosing Bill Wagner for the all of the 2009 season. Expect the Mets to heavily pursue free agent closer's Francisco Rodriguez and Brian Fuentes, while maybe looking to sign a guy like Darren Oliver. Also look for the Mets to shop relievers Aaron Heilman, Scott Shoenweiss, and Pedro Feliciano.