Joel Embiid Should be Considered an MVP Candidate
It is only January and a lot of people are talking about either James Harden or Giannis Antetokounmpo to win the MVP, but what about Joel Embiid?
The New York Mets did not qualify for the 2018 postseason. This is the second consecutive season they have missed the postseason. New York finished with a 77-85 record and 13 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East standings.
The New York Mets had a hot start to 2018, but then they faltered in the middle of the season. New York played well towards the end of the regular season. What's on the agenda for this offseason?
The first agenda for them this offseason is to find a general manager. They need a mind in the front office who will sign key free agents and scout young players very well in order that they develop properly in the farm system.
New York should hire a guy like the Houston Astros associate general manager or the Atlanta Braves associate general manager. The Mets have many candidates for this job.
Sandy Alderson had to take a leave of absence in June because of cancer. He is 70 years old and he has been the New York Mets general manager since the 2010 offseason. There were several guys that filled the role of general manager in his absence.
The Mets need to nail this general manager spot. De Jon Watson will be interviewing for the job on Wednesday. He's a special assisant with the Washington Nationals. His name has been recommended for a general manager job before when he was running player development with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Last offseason, the New York Mets needed to find a new manager and they decided to hire Mickey Callaway. He was the pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians from 2013-2017.
The New York Mets should try and pursue third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado or outfielder Bryce Haprer in the offseason, but they probably won't get either of them.
Heading into 2019, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Zack Wheeler will be the top three starting pitchers. Steven Matz and Jason Vargas struggled for most of the season. Prospects Justin Dunn and Franklyn Kilome could be a part of the starting rotation at some point in 2019.
Speaking of prospects, Peter Alonso could make an immediate impact for the New York Mets next season at first base. Dominic Smith may not be the answer for this team in the long run.
Jeff McNeil played well at second base during the end of the year. He should be the starting second baseman next season. T.J. Rivera missed the entire 2018 season, but he will be under going pre-arbitration this offseason. If Rivera is healthy next season, he will be a key utility player.
Amed Rosario should be the starting shortstop and Wilmer Flores or Todd Frazier will be the starting third baseman.
Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and Jay Bruce will most likely be the starting outfield. Juan Lagares returns from injury and it is possible Yoenis Cespedes does not play at all in 2019.
Third baseman David Wright will most likely retire after playing in a game on Saturday September 29 at home against the Miami Marlins. He was pulled before the start of the fifth-inning and Wright was on the field before hand. He received a stand ovation from the fans and he played alongside Jose Reyes for one final time. Reyes will also not be back next season.
The two biggest concerns for the New York Mets is the catcher position and the bullpen. Devin Mesoraco played good ever since being traded from the Cincinnati Reds, but he isn't the answer long term. Travis d'Arnaud is always hurt. Kevin Plawecki is alright, but he isn't the long term answer either. Jose Lobaton is a backup at best and Tomas Nido did get reps at the end of the season, but he may not be ready for the everyday catching duties in 2019.
Lobaton and Mesoraco will both be free agents and I don't expect the Mets to re-sign them. They could go after Wilson Ramos, Jonathan Lucroy, Drew Butera in free agency.
The New York Mets don't have a true closer. They traded Jeurys Familia to the Oakland Athletics before the trade deadline. Robert Gsellman was the closer for some games this season. Seth Lugo is a solid mid-reliever. Paul Sewald should not be on the roster next season. Daniel Zamora has potential to be a very good reliever one day for New York.
This is another big offseason for the New York Mets. Will see how they respond and get ready for 2019. They are still looking for their first World Series title since 1986.