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What Should The New York Mets’ Priorities Be This Winter?

The offseason has been very quiet so far. Aside from Mike Minor signing with the Texas Rangers, no major free agent has found a new home. Most of the action on the ice cold Hot Stove has been held up by the sagas of Giancarlo Stanton and Shohei Otani, but things should pick up at the Winter Meetings next week. The Mets have a lot of need areas, but they are operating with a limited budget to improve the roster. Keeping that in mind, lets take a look at what the biggest priorities are for the Mets:

Sep 24, 2017; Seattle, WA, USA; Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Bryan Shaw (27) throws against the Seattle Mariners during the eighth inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Bullpen-The Mets need to come out of this offseason with at least one impact reliever for their bullpen. Two would probably be better if they are really planning on leaning heavily on the relievers this season, but the team at least appears aware they need to bulk up the pen. The Mets have been linked heavily to the second tier of relievers that includes Bryan Shaw, Addison Reed, Brandon Morrow, and Joe Smith.
  2. Second/Third Base-The Mets brought back Asdrubal Cabrera to fill one of these spots, but they need to come out of the winter with a legitimate starter at the other. There are a litany of second base options on the trade market, such as Ian Kinsler and Jason Kipnis, and a few free agent fits such as Neil Walker and Eduardo Nunez. The Mets haven’t really explored the free agent market at third yet, but they could be a match for Todd Frazier. Adding one of these players to the infield could be a significant boost to the offense.
  3. First Base/Corner Outfield Type-The Mets have been public about their desire to improve at first base, notably hinting that Dominic Smith hadn’t done enough to earn the job in spring. Smith could still be a part of a platoon at first, but the Mets are looking into a first base type who also has the ability to play the corner outfield. This player would give the Mets an insurance policy in right field, giving them cover if Michael Conforto takes a while to rehab his shoulder injury. The Mets have been linked to guys like Jay Bruce, Adam Lind, and Logan Morrison. Any of them would provide a power boost to a lineup that lost a lot of home runs this year.
  4. Starting Pitcher: This is the Mets’ last priority, which makes sense given their limited finances. Minor got a three year deal worth $21 million to start after spending 2017 as a reliever, which could push the market for mid-rotation starters to a point that doesn’t make financial sense for the Mets. It may be wiser for them to focus on fixing the starters they currently have, particularly Steven Matz and Matt Harvey, both of whom helped carry the Mets to the 2015 World Series. Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland could help in that regard, but if a proven veteran is still looking for a deal around spring training the Mets should pounce on it.