The Mets Have A Big Offseason Ahead
While the New York Mets have an influx of young talent making their way to the majors and they finished the season in third place in the National League East, they won 74 games for the second consecutive year. Matt Harvey is gone. Tommy John surgery will end his 2014 campaign months before it would have ever began. Any dreams of trading young pitching for a game-changing slugger—i.e. Carlos Gonzalez—much like the Mets did in the late '90s with Mike Piazza are all but dead.
What Sandy Alderson and Co. will have to do this Winter is be active in the free agent market and maneuver a smart trade or two for complementary players. It's been no secret that the Mets have had interest in free agent-to-be outfielder Shin-Soo Choo after a terrific year for the Cincinnati Reds, but with Hunter Pence getting a $90M extension from the Giants, Choo's price tag, already set around the $100M mark by agent Scott Boras, may be higher than the Mets are willing to pay.
These days in free agency, you have to overspend. Less and less franchise players ever reach the open market as teams are giving long extensions to keep their homegrown talent. Players like Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Tim Lincecum and Cuban defector Jose Abreu are the top guys in this Winter's free agent market. If the Mets want to contend in 2014 as they've alluded to for years, they'll have to spend—wisely—and get creative in the process.