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New York Mets 2016 Offseason Needs

The New York Mets did not meet expectations in the 2016 season. They lose their best hitter in Yoenis Cespedes to free agency and they have some holes that need to be filled. If they want to return to the World Series in 2017, they must be willing to spend some money and make some trades this offseason.

New York Mets 2016 Offseason Needs

Re-sign Yoenis Cespedes

Cepsedes has undisputedly been the best bat in the Mets lineup since he came over in a trade in 2015. He immediately made an impact that Mets fans will feel for a lifetime. At the time, the Mets were barely staying afloat; they were only three games above .500. After Cespedes entered the lineup for the final 59 games, he slashed .287/.337/.604 and helped the Mets clinch an NL East title, as New York won 37 of those 59 games.

Last offseason, the Mets were able to re-sign Cespedes to a three-year, $75 million deal, but it included an opt-out for the last two years. With a very weak free agent class this offseason, Cespedes knew he could land a bigger contract. He wisely opted out and is currently a free agent. This past season, Cespedes showed his dominance once again. He hit 31 home runs with 86 RBI while slashing .287/.337/.604.

Re-signing Cespedes is a must for the Mets. He is the piece that makes this whole offense run. It’s not just his production; his presence in the lineup is something not often found. It is not easy to replace someone like Cespedes, and the Mets definitely do not have anyone in their organization who can live up to his production.

Find a Catcher

The Mets catching situation is a mess. When they traded away R.A. Dickey to the Toronto Blue Jays, New York’s main prize was catcher Travis d’Arnaud. The Mets predicted that he would be their catcher for years to come. So far, that has not gone as planned. He has not only been a disappointment on offense, but has horrible defensively. He is also injured too often, and they need someone steady to help out the young pitching staff.

The rest of the Mets catchers, including Kevin Plawecki and Rene Rivera, were just as bad. Offensively, the Mets catchers combined to hit .227/.297/.311, with 10 homers and 49 RBI. That’s a decent season for one player, but it is atrocious for three players combined. Defensively, they were not much better. The opposition combined for 180 stolen base attempts on the three catchers. The Mets threw out 45 of those 180 runners for a meager .252 caught stealing percentage.

The Mets clearly need an upgrade. The only two relevant, available names are Matt Wieters and Wilson Ramos. Wieters is already 30 years old and is not what he used to be. Ramos just tore his ACL at the end of the season and no one knows how his recovery will go. The Mets will need to acquire a catcher via trade. They must do so if they want to take the next step.

Bolster the Bullpen

One of the bright parts of the Mets 2016 season was their bullpen. New York had the sixth best bullpen ERA (3.53) in all of baseball. However, the Mets must add a dominating arm to the back end of the bullpen if they are going to be successful. Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed were a very good 8th and 9th inning duo last year. Reed is one of the best set up men in all of baseball. One can also make the argument that Familia is a top-five closer. However, the Mets do not have the lights-out 7th inning arm that separates good bullpens from dominating bullpens.

Another problem the Mets face in their bullpen is Familia’s domestic violence charge. We do not know what the outcome of the case will be and he possibly faces suspension. If he is suspended, the Mets need someone to fill his void while he is gone. The Mets do not need to make a trade to find a dominating arm. They can go out and spend their money to acquire one.

The three names that come to mind when thinking about free agent closers are Mark Melancon, Kenley Jansen, and Aroldis Chapman. All three will require the Mets to pay out a good chunk of money. However, there are two big reasons why it is worth it. A strong ‘pen can save innings on their young starting pitchers, who already have injury problems. Also, a dominating bullpen is the biggest key to winning a World Series. Facing Reed, Familia, and one of Jansen, Melancon, or Chapman in the 7th-9th innings would be hard to beat. If the Mets want to win the World Series in 2017, they must go out and sign one of these three relievers.

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