As the Mets and Marlins get ready to begin the 2011 season tonight, I can’t help but think that the Mets team is going to look very different when this season ends. The financially struggling Wilpons didn’t bring in Sandy Alderson, J.P. Ricciardi, and Paul DePodesta to stand pat like they did all winter. There are going to be moves this season and probably some big ones.
Ike Davis looks like he’s on his way to becoming a solid, if not spectacular everyday player. David Wright is the face of the franchise and locked up in a contract until 2012 with an option for 2013. After that, things are much more in question. Is Josh Thole an everyday catcher? Will Jose Reyes sign an extension, get traded, or just play out his contract with the Mets? Are Brad Emaus or Daniel Murphy going to solidify second base?
Angel Pagan looks like a solid center fielder on the rise in his career. Scott Hairston and Willie Harris look like capable fourth and fifth outfielders. The other two-thirds of the outfield are question marks. Does Carlos Beltran have anything left that could justify all (or even a small portion) of his $18.5 million salary for this season? Will Beltran waive his no-trade clause at some point during the season? Will Jason Bay do anything productive for the Mets or is he another big free agent bust?
Reclamation projects Chris Young and Chris Capuano have spots in the rotation. Can they stay healthy for all or most of the season? Was R.A. Dickey a flash in the pan last season? Can the Mets stay out of the NL East basement without their best (and highest paid) player Johan Santana? Can Mike Pelfrey really match up with every other team’s ace start after start and be successful?
Can the no-names in the Mets bullpen hold up over a full season? Can K-Rod’s declining velocity still get the job done? And can he refrain from beating the crap out of people at Citi Field? Bobby Parnell has velocity, but is he enough of a pitcher to stand up to the late innings in the big leagues?
It’s a safe bet that this roster is going to turn over pretty heavily over the next year. Between the team’s financial status, the new front office, and the recent poor performances by individuals and the team as a whole, the team should look very different at the end of the summer.