Don't you wish the New York Mets were a winning baseball team? Of course you do, if you're a Mets fan like myself, but let's start with reasonable ideas and work our way up. Here's my off-season wish list for the Mets, who finished in fourth place in the National League East with a record of 74-88.
Extend Wright -- It's going to cost them, but the first order of business for the Mets in the offseason should be to extend David Wright's contract (the team holds an option for next season). Simply put, the homegrown Wright is the face of the franchise. This past season, he became the team's all-time leader in runs scored, base hits and RBIs. Letting him get away would be a crime against the fans.
Extend Dickey -- Like Wright, Dickey deserves a contract extension. He became the team's first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1999 and set a franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings (32.2). Furthermore, he finished in the top three in the National League in every major pitching category. He'll be 38-years old by Opening Day, but age is just a number for a knuckleball pitcher.
Eat Bay's Contract -- Jason Bay will make $16 million in 2013, the same amount he collected this season to hit .165 -- .122 with runners in scoring position! -- with eight home runs and 20 RBIs. It's easy for me to ask the Mets to eat his ludicrous contract, but having the injury-prone Bay around has become detrimental to the team. Either release him or pay another team to take him, please!
Fix the Bullpen -- If the Mets don't address their bullpen needs, I'm not watching any games next season -- ok, I'll watch, but only the first seven innings. The Mets bullpen had the fourth-most losses (29), the second-fewest wins (16) and the worst earned run average (4.65) in the Major Leagues. Sadly, the Mets had decent starting pitching, but it all went to waste once the bullpen door opened.
Make an Effort -- The Mets may have limited financial flexibility, but they must be active this offseason or risk alienating a fed-up fanbase. I'm not asking the organization to make a big signing. Take care of Wright and Dickey and use any left over money to bolster the bullpen or lineup. And there's nothing wrong with making a trade or two, as long as it doesn't involve any top pitching prospects.
What's your offseason wish list for the Mets? What should be the club's top priority? Let me know in the comments section below.
Adam Martini is a freelance sportswriter who grew up in Queens, N.Y. with a view of Shea Stadium from his bedroom window. He spent many nights in the upper deck at Shea rooting for the Mets. Adam follows back Mets fans on Twitter @PegCitySports.Sources