Baseball's Winter Meetings kicked off today at the Walt Disney Swan and Dolphin hotels in Orlando, Florida and there figures to be a flurry of activity. After some big dominoes fell in both free agency and the trade market last week. baseball executives will look to shape the rest of their offseason at the meetings. The New York Mets, after signing outfielder Curtis Granderson last Friday, come to the meetings with a new lease on life and are looking to fill some more holes on their roster this week. With that in mind, here is a look at some of the top items on Sandy Alderson's wish list this week.
1. Improve the Starting Rotation: After the Mets addressed their outfield dilemma by adding free agents Chris Young and Granderson, the next biggest area of need for the team is their starting rotation. The Mets have three starters locked into the rotation for 2014: Jonathon Niese, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee. The Mets have plenty of young pitchers in their farm system, including prospects Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Rafael Montero, but they would prefer not to rush these arms to the majors. With that in mind, the Mets are prepared to dive into the market in search of at least one innings eater for their rotation. One name to watch here is Bartolo Colon, whose representatives met with the Mets today according to WFAN's Sweeney Murti. The Mets would like to address their rotation, but according to Mets Blog contributor Robert Brender Alderson would like to avoid a multi year deal for pitching since the Mets have a lot of young pitching in the pipeline.
2. Deal Ike Davis or Lucas Duda: The Mets will also look to deal from their surplus of big league quality first baseman at the meetings, with both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda drawing interest from other clubs. The Mets are highly unlikely to move forward with Davis, Duda, and Daniel Murphy all on the same roster since they all can fit similar roles. Davis appears to have drawn more interest on the trade market than Duda, and the Mets could use Davis to address their current hole in the starting rotation. Nothing is imminent on the trade front, but you can take it to the bank that Alderson will be working the phones to try and ship one of them out.
3. Look for a Shortstop: The Mets acknowledged yesterday that Ruben Tejada could be a viable option for shortstop next season, but it is a far from ideal fit. While Tejada does have potential to improve off his awful 2013 season, his long term potential is not that high. The Mets could stand to add depth at the position at the very least, since Wilfredo Tovar is the only other shortstop currently on the 40 man roster. The Mets are expected to continue monitoring the market for Stephen Drew, but with Scott Boras as his agent Drew may not sign anywhere for a long time. The Mets may also look to the trade market to upgrade the position, with names such as Jed Lowrie and Yunel Escobar being linked to them in discussions. The Mets may end up having to wait until after the meetings to address shortstop, but it won't be for a lack of effort.
4. Add to the Bullpen: An item that is a little down the list for the Mets is adding an extra bullpen arm. The Mets lost their main set up man when LaTroy Hawkins signed with the Colorado Rockies to close for them. The team is seeking a veteran arm to take some pressure off of Bobby Parnell and Vic Black in the later innings, but they are not going to break the bank for relief help. The Mets will likely end up signing a lower cost veteran or two to minor league deals with invites to spring training to compete for jobs.
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