This is my first crack at the changes the Mets need to make in order to be successful for the entire season next year. With this entry, I am going to try to contain my comments and opinions only on the bullpen, because that will be the area of the Mets that will look very different next year. Now there are several problems with the pen. The first is the lack of a closer. Could Billy Wagner helped down the stretch? It wouldn't have hurt but there were a lot of games that were lost in the eighth inning. That brings us two problem number two, the Mets need a setup man.Going along with that, lets call it problem 2.5, the Mets need a bullpen with definite roles. There were more roles with Manuel than Randolph, but that went downt he toilet when Wagner went out with injury. The third problem with the pen is that there are two many Minaya guys in there, we need new Minaya guys.
With Problem 1, the solution that makes the most sense is K-Rod or Fuentes. Now K-Rod might be too expensive for the Mets, but the Mets really need that to be a big goal in the offseason. Let that be the prime signing of the offseason. If not, then the Mets will have to try through trade.
The reason Problem 1 needs to be sovled by Free Agency, is becauese the Problem 2 needs to be solved via trade. What the Mets trade chips are probably the older guys in the pen we need to get rid of. At this point in the offseason, I am not sure who will be available. This will probably be more clear come December. With that, Problem 2.5, is role assignment. Felciano was so good in 2006 because he has Bradford. Solution there is we have Smith as a right hander, so make him that role. Don't leave Feliciano out for the whole inning, thats when he gets burned.
Problem 3 is pretty simple, in the pen, the only people that should be back without a doubt are Feliciano, Smith and Stokes. When it comes to players like Parnell and pitchers like him, they will have to go through the hoops again. They will have to go to Spring Training and earn their spot in the pen. The reason being is that some of them, like Parnell, have great stuff, and they shouldn't be rushed through the system. Now about Minaya's guys. In 06, Minaya brought in a bunch of guys who ended up doing a good job. The problem is we are now attached to them. These Minaya guys, including ones that were around before Minaya, but now he's attached to them, have to go. These are pitchers like Schoenwies, Heilman, Sanchez, etc. We gotta go back out there, find those gems like we did back then, these guys are cheap, and they are good. Lets do it again.