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Mets Can’t Forget Veteran Leadership

In Marc Carig’s Newsday post-mortem on the 2017 season, he detailed how the trades of Jay Bruce and Neil Walker helped deteriorate the clubhouse.  With the Mets so heavily invested in Amed Rosario to be not just a big part of the 2018 season, but the next decade, the Mets need to make sure they bring in character guys this offseason to not only improve the clubhouse culture, but also provide the leadership that Rosario, Dominic Smith, Brandon Nimmo, and other Mets young players could benefit.

The hope is that David Wright could help serve that role in some respect, but with his health issues, no one can be sure he can provide anything next year.  Fortunately, for the Mets, there are plenty of other guys available this offseason.  Better yet, they could serve roles beyond providing leadership:

OF Curtis Granderson – Granderon was seen as a leader on the Mets clubhouse, and he helped a young crop of Mets players reach their full potential helping them win the 2015 pennant.  Putting Aprils aside, Granderson is as reliable and clutch a player as the Mets have ever had.

RHP Bartolo Colon – Even with Colon having a poor year last year, there were signs his leadership among the pitching staff was missed.  One area that was pointed at was walks.  From 2015 to 2016, Mets pitchers gave up the fewest walks in the majors.  Last year, the Mets gave up the fourth most.  In terms of leadership, Colon could help, but the Mets need to be cautious to not promise him anything more than a chance to compete for a spot on the team as the soon to be 45 year old is nearing the end of his career.

3B Todd Frazier – In addition to his being a clubhouse presence, Frazier is a plus defender at third base posting the third best DRS among MLB third baseman with over 1,000 innings at the position.  He’s also in the top half of batters per wRC+ and OPS+. Additionally, with his first base experience, he could serve as a platoon partner for Smith, or even take over if Smith should prove not ready to play a full season at the MLB level.

UTIL Howie Kendrick – Kendrick put a tough 2016 season behind him, and he had one of his better offensive seasons, albeit an injury prone one.  With the Mets having a number of holes, Kendrick could slot into any number of them.  That includes RF with the uncertainty as to when Michael Conforto could begin the season.  In addition to that, Kendrick has been long considered a positive presence in the clubhouse.

DH Carlos Beltran – It’s not likely Beltran is going to play next year with him being over 40, coming off his worst season, and with him already having won his World Series ring.  Still, if he’s available, and the Mets have struck out other fronts, the team should consider a reunion with a player who had a profound impact on a young Astros team. He could do the same with the Mets playing the 1984 Rusty Staub or 2006 Julio Franco role.

Overall, the Mets have viable veteran options to help the team.  If not one of these players, the Mets need to find another player who could serve that role.

4 thoughts on “Mets Can’t Forget Veteran Leadership”

  1. Gothamist says:

    I like Houston’s approach.
    MAINLY – Draft three studs at CF SS and 3rd
    Then have intl pool money accumulated like $5 M for the Japanese Babe Ruth (or an Altuve signing from South America)
    Sign a proven commodity from the Japanese leagues.

    IT IS SAD

    When the Mets hitters fail to protect leads in innings 6-9 the starters will eventually get demoralized and their individual proformances will regress as the season progresses games become more and more unimportant ….

    I guess you can build an impregnable bullpen?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Houston developed some great players. Mets did as well. Difference is Houston didn’t blow the World Series.

  2. Five Tool Ownership says:

    SADNESS?

    Dan Warthen signing as an asst. pitching coach vs staying with the Mets in a key role….

    I PRAY TO THE GODS
    THAT WITH JAKE OR NOAH ABOUT TO GET $150M CONTRACTS

    THAT THE METS OFFERED THE MAX
    NOT FOR A PAYOUT FOR DAN BEING THERE NEARLY YEN YEARS
    BUT IT WOULD HAVE BROUGHT AT THE MINIMUM SUCH POSITIVES, FEEL GOODS FOR THE EXISTING PITCHING STAFF

    And build up not only a nucleus of experts, potential stand ins but SANDY could have said that that the new skipper had to pick his own pitching coach and that Dan was extremely valued by the organization…

    HOW ARE THEY GROWING THE METS FAMILY?
    would he have helped with draft eval or scouting for minor league trades?

    If the gave him a modest offer THAT WOULD BE SO MISGUIDED, SO PETTY and a tragedy of epic proportions.

    IT WOULD SCREAM OUT AND SAY WE ARE OUT OF TOUCH!

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Once the Mets hired Callaway and Eiland, there was no place for Warthen here

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