By Matt Paone
The New York Mets are in yet another difficult offseason, following yet another disappointing regular season. There has been way to many times where the Mets disappoint their fan base and hopefully themselves. Do not be fooled and think everything will change in just one off season, turning the Mets franchise as a whole around might take several seasons. However there is always that chance that a couple right moves in the offseason and one might get that quick fix and be a playoff contender yet again, like the 2010 Atlanta Braves.

There are five moves that the Mets should make this offseason to have a chance of contending for a playoff spot in 2011.

1) Do not trade David Wright or Jose Reyes. Reyes and Wright are not the problems that the Mets have; it is the supporting cast around them. They both are franchise type players that you can build winning teams around, hence 2006-2008. Yes, they might have choked in 2007 and 2008 but they were still in a position to do something.

2) Sign John Buck. Buck will bring a veteran presence to play some catcher. Buck and Thole could battle it out for the everyday catcher position. Another scenario would be just having Buck and Thole platoon at the position, Thole bats against right handed pitchers while Napoli bats against left hander pitchers. Buck is a proven power hitter considering his position. He would definitely be a welcomed addition to the Mets organization.

3) Sign a starting pitcher; maybe Hideki Kuroda, Jon Garland, or Kevin Correia. These pitchers are not ace material but they could be dependable number three pitcher that the Mets could use. Currently if everyone was healthy their starting rotation would look something like this; Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, John Niese, and maybe Jenrry Mejia. They would be better suited putting Mejia in the minors for 2011 and let him develop. The rotation would have better depth which is always a must in the long baseball season.

4) A) Try to sign Brandon Webb to a high incentive based deal. Webb is a former CY award winner but is coming off severe injuries the past two years. He is a capable of being a front line starter in any rotation and for the right price is definitely worth the risk. Maybe a 5 to 7 million dollar base deal with an innings incentive to bring it closer to 10 million for the year.

B) Sign Kerry Wood. Wood is a free agent after spending this year with the Indians and Yankees. He will be a terrific set up man who can handle the pressures of New York as he proved this year with the Yankees. Wood could also try to earn the closer job if Francisco Rodriguez pitches poorly or if the Mets decide to trade Rodriguez during the season.

5) Keep Luis Castillo unless you can find a team who will trade for him. Castillo is under contract for this year so even if the Mets do release him they will still have to pay him and won’t gain anything from releasing him. However if you can find some team that has a player with another bad contract make the deal in a heartbeat. One player that the Mets should inquire on is Gil Meche from the Kansas City Royals. Maybe a one for one swap of the players or Castillo and a low level prospect in return for Meche. Meche would have the chance to help the Mets out in the rotation or out of the bullpen.


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