Shortly after trading National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson insisted that his team is still "not punting on 2013."
However, the start of spring training is only six weeks away, and the Mets do not have anything even resembling a competed roster. With many top names off the market, the Mets still need to sign at least one outfielder, at least one reliever and likely a starting pitcher to replace Dickey. They are the only team that has not yet inked a free agent to a big-league deal.
"There's a lot of time between now and when we report to spring training, so we do expect to do some other things," Alderson said recently. "We do expect to acquire some other players. We recognize we have holes to fill ... but we will address those."
The top priority for the Mets remains a right-handed outfielder who can at least platoon in a corner position. The Mets continue to look at Scott Hairston, who is seeking a two-year deal, to complement new acquisition Collin Cowgill. The four outfielders currently on the roster are Cowgill, Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
As for the rotation, which was not an issue heading into the offseason, the Mets are scouring the free agent market for a starter to replace Dickey.
Then again, perhaps "replace" is not the right word.
"We're not going to replace him with a No. 1 starter in return, but we're going to have to find someone who can give us some of those wins," Alderson said. "We also have to hope the team improves in other areas to offset R.A.'s loss."