30 Days for 30 Teams: New York Mets

BY ZACK BECKER

2013 Record: 74-88 (3th Place NL East, 22 GB)

For the fifth straight season, the Mets failed to cross the 80-win plateau. But after August 24, with the team already far out of the wild card chase, a .500 record was the least of their worries.

Last year’s NL All-Star starting pitcher, Matt Harvey, went down with a torn UCL that resulted in offseason Tommy John surgery. Odds are he won’t see Major League action this year.

So, odds are Mets fans won’t see much action on the field either.

Key Acquisitions

RF Curtis Granderson  (4yr/$60 mil)

P Bartolo Colón  (2yr/$20 mil)

OF Chris Young  (1yr/$7.25 mil)

Granderson has played the last four seasons in New York, now he switches teams but remains in the Big Apple with the Mets. We know he can mash  in a homer-friendly park like Yankee Stadium, but we’ll see how he adjusts to Citi Field’s more spacious boundaries. Luckily for him, the Mets recently brought the field’s dimensions down a bit in hopes of producing more home runs.

Colón’s contract sure is baffling. Giving a multiple-year, eight-figure contract to a guy in his 40s worked for the Yankees and Mariano Rivera, but Colón isn’t exactly the best of all time at what he does. Sure he impressed last year in Oakland with an 18-6 record alongside a 2.65 ERA that earned him sixth place in Cy Young voting, but c’mon — how much longer can he keep that level of production up? This is the same guy who went missing in 2009 while on a rehab assignment with the White Sox. He may prove me wrong, by all means, Bartolo, please, prove me wrong, but I can’t see a future where this contract works out for both parties.

 

Key Losses

Honorable mentions: RF Marlon Byrd and C John Buck — The Mets traded Byrd and Buck to the Pirates late last season, but his production in right was a bright spot in an otherwise ugly 2013 for the Mets. He’s replaced by Curtis Granderson, who the Mets think will be a more-than-adequate successor.

Remember when Buck was neck and neck with Justin Upton for the Major League lead in homers for the first two weeks of last season? That was weird. Needless to say, he didn’t keep up his torrid pace and tapered off to a respectable 15 homers and 60 RBIs with the Mets. His departure allowed top prospect Travis d’Arnaud to get some MLB reps before he slides into the starting lineup this season.

P Matt Harvey (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/harvema01.shtml) — It looked like the lowly Mets would have something to be happy about again last year after R.A. Dickey took home the Cy Young Award in 2012, but Harvey’s chances of keeping the award in Flushing evaporated when he tore his UCL mid-season. Before his injury, he was one of the two most dominant pitchers in baseball (2.27 ERA, 0.93 WHIP), along with Clayton Kershaw. In all likelihood, he’ll miss all of 2014 rehabbing in recovery from Tommy John surgery.

PLAYER TO WATCH

Ike Davis. In 2012, Davis made up for his putrid .227 batting average with 32 home runs and 90 RBIs to boot. However, last season he wasn’t so lucky. His power numbers dwindled significantly over the season and ended up with a measly 9 homers and 33 runs batted in. Davis needs to avoid another power outage to convince his team’s front office that he is the guy at first base going forward.

His replacement if things don’t go well? Backup OF/1B Lucas Duda, who’s got 83 career appearances at first base to Davis’ 426 — Oof.

Projected Opening Day Lineup

mets opening day

A lot can change in a few years — in 2008, the Phillies, Mets, and Marlins finished 1-2-3 in the NL East. Now, they’re all among the bottom third of the league looking way, way, WAY up at the Braves and even the Nationals.

Granderson and Young will inject some pop into the lineup to help out David Wright, but this team is not built for success just yet.

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