With no playoffs in sight for the Mets, it’s not too early to start thinking about how the Mets could improve their team this offseason. The Mets will sure be in the market for any bargain player they can get, but one guy that has been mentioned for the Mets has been Rays centerfielder BJ Upton.
Of course, a guy with Upton’s athleticism and potential would make him desirable to any team. The Mets are in desperate need for another bat and an upgrade in their outfield, but don’t hold your breath waiting on them to sign Upton.
There are so many reasons as to why the Mets should make Upton their starting centerfielder for 2013. For one, if he were to sign with the Mets, he would be their best outfielder; and it wouldn’t even be close. Not only would he bring youth to a position that currently has Andres Torres and no real depth behind him, he brings a solid glove that can cover a lot of ground in the Citi Field’s center field.
He would also be the fastest guy on the Mets, a team that is starving for anyone to possess any speed. Entering Monday’s game against the Nationals, the Mets only had 66 stolen bases as a team with their best slugger David Wright leading the team with 12.
To put that in perspective, former Met Jose Reyes recorded 78 stolen bases in 2007. Upton is currently leading the Rays in stolen bases with 29 and has only been caught stealing six times.
BJ Upton could be number one on the Mets wish list this off season but it could take a lot to get him in blue and orange next season. PHOTO COURTESY: DON JOHNSON/CREATIVE COMMONS
Upton also has some pop but that could make him a dangerous sign for the Mets. Upton has 21 homeruns so far this season which would make him second on the current Mets roster. However, Upton is not playing in Citi Field, and for some reason, guys tend to forget how to hit homeruns in this park.
The upside to signing Upton is obvious. If he were to come to the Mets, he would be the team’s second best position player behind Wright (who is also a childhood friend of Upton’s growing up together in Norfolk, VA). The problem that the Mets will face is money, and one thing they can’t afford to do is overpay any person they intend to sign this offseason.
Upton, who just turned 28 years old in August, will be looking for a multi-year deal. A multi-year multi-million dollar deal is something that the Mets will have a hard time bringing on, especially if they want to bring back Wright and pitcher RA Dickey. Locking up Wright and Dickey should be their first priority and this makes bringing in Upton an even bigger challenge.
Besides that, what is to say that Upton or any other big time free agent would want to come to the Mets? To go along with their money woes, Queens hasn’t been the most desirable destination over the last few years. The Mets face the difficult task of trying to improve their major league team with no money to spend on free agents and a farm system that isn’t overflowing with top prospects.
So, although Upton would improve the Mets on both offense and defense significantly, it just might not be possible for the Mets to bring him aboard. The Mets need to be smart now more than ever and unless they can get Upton at a reasonable price, he won’t be playing in New York next season.
Unless of course the Yankees sign him; and you never know with them.
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