Are The Mets Ready To Contend? Wilpon Says ‘We’re Still Building’
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Mets have added two outfielders this offseason to bolster their offense, first inking center fielder Chris Young to a $7.25 million deal and then making a statement by luring former Yankee Curtis Granderson.
The three-time All-Star signed a four-year, $60 million pact, the largest contract that general manager Sandy Alderson has handed out since taking over as GM following the 2010 season.
The Amazin’s still have holes, and there is certainly more work to be done before Spring Training, but is this club ready to contend in 2014?
Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon is still taking things slow.
“I think we’re still building,” Wilpon said. “I mean, we’d like to win next season, of course. I know everybody feels it’s slow in coming, but these things sometimes take a little bit of time.”
First and foremost, the Mets could use a new shortstop. Manager Terry Collins has intimated that Ruben Tejada could be the starting shortstop on Opening Day, which isn’t exactly encouraging considering the 24-year-old hit .202 last season and played shoddy defense.
Is free-agent shortstop Stephen Drew, who will likely command big money, a realistic option for Alderson?
“Sandy hasn’t come to say, ‘Gee, we have to go sign Stephen Drew,’ or anybody else for that matter,” Wilpon said, according to The Wall Street Journal. ”They’re looking at things on the whole, so it’s not financial at this point.”
And with ace Matt Harvey out for the 2014 season, New York is also looking for a starting pitcher or two to round out the rotation.
Expectations for 2014 aren’t what they should be for the Mets with Harvey, who emerged as one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2013, on the shelf.
Wilpon can’t help but acknowledge that not having the All-Star will handicap his club’s chances of making the playoffs.
“You’d like to say no,” Wilpon said, according to the newspaper. “But if he was going to be out there for 200 innings, you’d think the results would be pretty good. So taking away those 200 innings is definitely an issue.”
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