Today is Halloween, a holiday that is uniquely American. The highlight of the day is for the kids, who get to wear costumes and go trick or treating for candy. The New York Mets are about to go trick or treating in the free agent market in a few days as they hope to improve on their 74-88 record in 2013. With that in mind, the Mets 101 staff has put together some helpful hints for the front office on how to avoid getting tricked this winter. Here are some of the scenarios they will face and whether they are receiving a trick or a treat.
1. Matt Harvey Says He is Ahead of Schedule Following Tommy John Surgery
Trick or Treat: Trick
While Matt Harvey's bravado is nice, the odds of him making a meaningful contribution for the 2014 season are slim to none. Harvey would have to become baseball's version of Adrian Peterson to recover from Tommy John surgery in October and be on a major league mound in less than a calendar year, which is extremely unlikely. The Mets wisely are not expecting anything out of Harvey this season, so the Mets will not get tricked by this development. They will likely treat themselves by signing a veteran pitcher this winter for rotation depth.
2. The Mets Will Add an Impact Bat This Winter
Trick or Treat: Treat
One area that has really hurt the New York Mets over the last two years has been their lack of a cleanup hitter. The Mets have circled 2014 on their calendars as their target to improve the ballclub, and with payroll restrictions lightening up the Mets can address their issues. The impact bat is at the top of their shopping list, and fortunately there are a lot of targets out there for them. The Mets can't afford to come out of this offseason without a guy to protect David Wright in the lineup, and they will find someone to improve this offense. This is an easy treat.
3. The Mets 2014 Shortstop is Currently on the Roster
Trick or Treat: Trick
Shortstop has been troublesome for the Mets since Jose Reyes departed following the 2011 season. Ruben Tejada looked poised to take the job for good with a strong 2012 campaign, but he lost it in 2013. Tejada arrived out of shape and didn't perform, leaving the job to capable gloveman Omar Quintanilla. Quintanilla's glove was solid, but his bat was not major league caliber. Neither man is well suited for the role full time, and the Mets' prospects (such as Wilfredo Tovar and Gavin Cecchini) are at least a year away from contributing to the big league roster. The Mets need to treat themselves to a veteran shortstop in free agency to hold the fort until the kids are ready.
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