2014 outlook: New York Mets

2014 outlook: New York Mets
January 23, 2014, 2:00 pm
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2013 record: 74-88, 3rd place in NL East
Manager: Terry Collins, 4th season
Estimated 2014 payroll: $85 million
Key additions: RHP Bartolo Colon, OF Curtis Granderson, OF Chris Young, LHP John Lannan
Key losses: LHP Johan Santana, RHP LaTroy Hawkins, OF Jordany Valdespin, IF Justin Turner, RHP David Aardsma

Projected lineup
RF Chris Young
2B Daniel Murphy
3B David Wright
LF Curtis Granderson
1B Ike Davis
CF Juan Lagares
C Travis d'Arnaud
SS Ruben Tejada

Projected rotation
RHP Bartolo Colon
LHP Jon Niese
RHP Dillon Gee
RHP Zack Wheeler
LHP John Lannan/RHP Jenrry Mejia

Top relievers
CL Bobby Parnell
RHP Gonzalez Germen
LHP Scott Rice

Biggest questions entering 2014
1. Can Bartolo Colon fill the Matt Harvey gap? Just when Mets fans had legitimate reason to get excited, young ace Harvey had Tommy John surgery that will knock him out for all of 2014. (The similarities to Stephen Strasburg's debut and injury in 2010 are striking.) Knowing they need somebody to take Harvey's place atop the rotation, the Mets signed the 40-year-old Colon to a 2-year, $20 million deal. Colon was great in Oakland last season, but does he have anything left in the tank? And even if so, will it be enough to offset the loss of Harvey?

2. Can Curtis Granderson anchor the lineup? The Mets' biggest offseason splash was the signing of another veteran to a 4-year, $60 million deal. Granderson enjoyed back-to-back, 40-homer seasons with the Yankees in 2011-12, but he was just one piece in a loaded lineup in the Bronx. In Queens, he'll be hitting cleanup, with David Wright in front of him and … Ike Davis protecting him. Not quite the same. The Mets desperately need big numbers from Granderson, because they've invested a lot in him, and they simply don't have much else in the way of offensive production.

3. What happens to Ike Davis? Last year was a complete disaster for Davis, who struggled so much he was shipped to Class AAA Las Vegas. The Mets have actively tried to trade him all winter, but to date haven't been able to complete a deal. Might they actually keep him, and if so, what can they honestly expect from him at the plate?