Finally, the Mets are heading in the right direction. Gone are the idiotic signings of overrated aging players and risky moves. Sandy and his minions have gone with the low-cost, high-reward route. They have taken a smart and pragmatic approach to this team's re-tooling. Omar left them with a mess and slowly, but surely, they'll clean it up. The moves they made this off-season are a small start. Let's take a look...
The Mets have added Chris Young and Chris Capuano to the rotation. These are not top-of-the-rotation guys, but rather backend guys who hopefully will allow them to hold-the-fort while Santana properly recovers. Young is coming off surgery, but ended the year healthy going 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings. He's still young(pun intended). The Mets can't expect 34 starts, but 25 may be enough here.Capuano is a solid pitcher, who if healthy, could be a nice backend guy and if Young prospers and Santana returns, can slide to long relief. Both are fairly cheap and could prove useful in 2011 and perhaps beyond. Nice moves here.
The Mets have also done a nice job adding bench help and a possible starting 2B this off-season. They've added 2 solid bench players in Met-killer Willie Harris and Scott Hairston. Both can play all 3 OF positions and Harris can even play 2B. The Mets know Beltran is an injury waiting to happen and they're not going to be unprepared. Harris and Hairston both have pop off the bench and are excellent defensive players who can replace a Bay late for defense or fill-in incase Angel or Beltran go down short-term. Brad Emaus is a prospect Ricciardi drafted and is high on. He will compete for the 2B job with Murphy and they may platoon or Brad may win it outright. Imo, Castillo isn't even going to get a sniff at winning this job and that's fine with me and just about 90% of Mets fans. Chin-lung Hu was added to back-up @ SS and 2B. He's purely a glove. In other words, the 25th guy. Ronny Paulino was another solid move. He'll catch against lefties and has some pop. If Thole falters, he can step-in and play everyday. He also came fairly cheap. A very nice move. He's a huge upgrade over the 40 year-old(going on 50) Blanco. Murphy may also be on the bench as a utility guy. The bench is so much better this year.
The Mets have lost 2 very solid bullpen pitchers in Feliciano and Takahashi. I'm not going to diminish their worth, but both were grossly overpaid this off-season. The Mets have added DJ Carrasco who can set-up as well as be used as a 7th inning guy. Taylor Tankersley will be a situational lefty and has good numbers there. Paul Beato was added as a rule 5 free-agent and could stick as a reliever. Tim Byrdak and Blaine Boyer will also compete for a middle relief role and will at worst provide AAA depth. Taylor Buchholz could be a solid move if he regains his velocity. He's a possible set-up guy as well. The key to the pen of course will be Parnell and Rodriguez. This pen could be better than people believe and is much deeper than last year.
Lastly, the coaching staff is superior. Gone are Manuel, Shines and Hojo. The former were simpletons and Hojo is simply not a good hitting coach. The Mets have Terry Collins who knows the organization having run the minor leagues and is a disciplinarian which Manuel wasn't it. He won't give fundamentals lip-service, but will hold players accountable if they lack them. Ken Oberkfell( new bench coach) was a terrific minor league manager and was a hard-nosed player. He's managed most of the young Mets as well. Dave Hudgens is the new hitting coach. He managed Thole @ Caracas in the winter league and Thole speaks glowingly of him and his obsession with hitting. Lastly, Mookie Wilson returns to coach 1B. Who was a more exciting base-runner than Mookie? Who is more beloved? He replaces the worst coach in MLB. Just by Shines not showing up, the Mets are better. The Mets are much improved here as well.
The Mets are being run by intelligent, pragmatic professionals. It's a 180 from the incompetent, unprofessional Minaya and his minions like Bernazard and Manuel (among others). This off-season illustrated the differences between pros and amateurs. 2011 will be better and the future is much brighter. The dark ages are over. The Mets Renaissance has begun. Who better than Alderson, a renaissance man to run it?