Here you go, more food for thought from Candidate 3.
Who’s got a shot?
While we dream about Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, and Heath Bell this offseason, who can we really expect to see in the dugout come April next season? Whether it’s Alderson, Byrnes, or Harry Houdini, I’m not sure anyone can get the Mets out of the figurative straightjacket that Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo have created. Assuming the future GM will either trade them (eating the salaries) or keep them hidden in AAA (still eating the salaries), we probably won’t be seeing much of either of them on the big league roster next year—especially Castillo.
So that brings us to an interesting discussion. The starting outfield is all but set in stone (barring a Carlos Beltran trade—or maybe Jason Bay will retire?!). Ike Davis, David Wright, and Jose Reyes are obvious starters. Josh Thole looks like he will take at least half of the plate appearances at catcher next season, if not more. So that leaves us with 2nd base.
There has been a void that has been lingering since Edgardo Alfonzo and the 2000 World Series trip. The Mets have tried an over-priced/underperforming all-stars, an ex-shortstop/foreign experiment, a valiant vet, and a couple of no names, but to no long-term success. Alomar, Matsui, Valentin, and now Castillo has all given a decent chunk of time, but I don’t know if we can look back on any of them and say they were what we hoped for.
Please enter Rubin Tejada. Or should I say Justin Turner? Or maybe Reese Havens? Josh Satin?…who…? Oh yeah, and I forgot, Daniel Murphy.
The race is going to be wide open. It is apparent though that there is a very high chance that the answer will come from within. Experts have started to come around on the Mets’ farm system as of late instead of bashing it for the lack of depth. It seems that the Mets actually have some sneaky potential at 2nd base. Nobody’s going to blow the roof off the stadium, but there are some solid options.
Turner (25 years old), Havens (24), and Satin (25) all hit over .300 last season for their respective minor league clubs. Turner did it in AAA, so that gives him the best odds out of the bunch—for now at least. He also hit double digit homers—something the Mets haven’t done since Damion Easley’s enormous 10 in 2007. The hype has been supporting Havens. But, Satin could definitely show up as a sleeper too.
It’s impossible to tell now, but the initial guess is a Tejada/Murphy split. Maybe not a strict platoon because the Mets want to play Tejada for his defense (and he would probably be a late defensive sub on Murphy starts anyway). Neither has proven much though at the major league level, so anything is possible.