Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fixing the Mets: First Base

The most glaring hole with the Mets, outside of starting pitching, is what to do with first base. I'm sure Adrien Gonzalez's name will be bantered about this offseason, but the reality is the Mets probably won't be able to get him if they plan on trading for a top notch pitcher.

So you have really three options.

Option 1: Do nothing
With this option Daniel Murphy is your 2010 first baseman for better or worse. Maybe you sign a veteran backup/pinch hitter to relieve Murphy on occasion or you resign a guy like Jeremy Reed who's an OF/1B. You're hoping hear that Murphy develops into the player we dream he can be. The free agent market for first baseman is rather thin so you keep Murphy instead of paying big bucks for a Paul Konerko or the often injured Nick Johnson. The Mets would be power weak at first base and have a mediocre glove. Going with this option requires an upgrade in left field to make up for the power drought at first.

Option 2: Trade/Free Agency
I've seen several writers talk about the need to get Nick Johnson. Has this past season taught us nothing? The guy's as fragile as they come and hasn't played a full season this decade. Sure he can hit and he's an ok glove, but he's not worth the risk given the Mets experience this year. Free agency is very light on the first base front and I don't even want to hear the words Bobby Abreu. The only trades that make sense for the Mets is if you can get a young, proven player like an Adrien Gonzalez or a James Loney. These guys are few and far between and probably cost you more than the #2 pitcher the Mets desperately need. Option 2 is not a good one.

Option 3: Sign Carlos Delgado
My first reaction to this option is I'm against it. The ghosts of Moises Alou still haunt me at night so why take a chance on another aging hitter who's already shown he's not longer a spring chicken? Delgado is a motivated guy and I think he'd be willing to sign a one year deal packed with incentives to prove that he's not done. Delgado's days of playing 7 games a week are over so you'd allow Murphy to fill in as the backup and still get a decent number of at-bats over the course of the year. Delgado is the power hitter the Mets have missed and may potentially be the best first baseman available that won't break the bank. I believe Delgado enjoys New York and wants to make up for this past season. If Delgado gets injured again, then you're back to Option 1 but at least you gave it a shot.

Unless Omar Minaya can work a miracle trade for a young stud first baseman, I honestly believe signing Delgado to a one year deal is the way to go. Then you position yourselves for going after a Gonzalez in the 2010 offseason or a Morneau in 2011 with some other pieces coming off the payroll to make room for a big acquisition. 


Mack Ade said...

Good post.

My money is play Murphy in 2010 with Carter as backup.

2011 begins the Ike Davis era.


Unknown said...

I hope the hype around Ike Davis is for real too. I still think Delgado is a better option with Murphy as the backup but it still leads to 2011 being the year of Ike Davis.