- Last Updated: 4:23 PM, August 2, 2012
- Posted: 3:19 AM, August 2, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO —The goal is to create an outfield of greener pastures. That will be quite the challenge for the Mets. While Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler brighten the pitching landscape, the outfield continues to be a wasteland in many ways.
Provided the Mets cannot dump Jason Bay for someone else’s headache, Bay, at best, will wind up platooning in left field next season with Lucas Duda, if he is still a Met. In center, the Mets would love for young Matt Den Dekker to take over next season, preferably around June, but he has a long way to go.
Den Dekker is struggling at Triple-A Buffalo, hitting only .197, but that’s his history, it usually takes a little bit of time for him to get going, but once he gets his feet under him, he takes off.
That’s the best possible scenario, the worst is that he doesn’t take off at all, and a veteran on the downside like Andres Torres remains the center fielder.
At this point, Jordany Valdespin is getting time in center due to Torres’ right thumb injury. Valdespin is not looked upon as a major league starter, but more as a super utility player, the Mets’ version of Eduardo Nunez.
In right field, solid Scott Hairston, who is a free agent, figures to return to team with super sub Mike Baxter, who will play against certain right-handers. If that outfield future doesn’t excite you, that’s the way it is for now.
A possible solution was playing across from the Mets last night. Melky Cabrera will be a free agent and would love to return to play in the East, according to a close friend, but it is highly unlikely the Mets will be able to spend the kind of money it will take to sign him.
If Cabrera does not stay with the Giants, the Phillies would be a fit. That way he could stay in the National League, where he has enjoyed so much success this season.
“We do have a need,’’ one Phillies official told The Post.
Cabrera was presented with the Heart and Hustle Award by Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda before the Mets beat the Giants 2-1 last night at AT&T Park. Cabrera leads the majors with 142 hits and 47-multi-hits games. The Giants, in the thick of it in the NL West, went out and added Hunter Pence at the trade deadline.
The biggest problem for the Mets is, of course, Bay, and they are investigating every avenue to unburden themselves, including having had trade talks with Miami that essentially went nowhere, according to Fox’s Ken Rosenthal.
“Bay has lost something in all parts of his game,’’ a rival general manager said. “You see him in the outfield and he is having trouble out there, too.’’
Bay had another rough game last night on Jerry Garcia Night. Garcia could have been singing about Bay after Bay signed that $66 million contract
Bay’s average has plummeted to .157. Against lefties, he’s batting .136. He is hitting .064 with RISP and is 1-for-22 (.045) on the trip. He left seven men on base last night, although he did line into a double play his final at-bat. At this stage, it’s really not fair to continue to play Bay ahead of other teammates.
Bay was in left, Valdespin (3-for-21) on the trip was in center and Baxter in right, that’s 12 home runs, total. You cannot survive as a team with that kind of production from big-production positions.
The outfield has to be the heart and soul of your lineup. The Mets are only kidding themselves if they think they are going to get anything out of Bay the way this is going. They have to acquire a legitimate outfield bat.
Bay was supposed to be that, but he is a shell of the player he once was and the Mets need to make changes before next season or they will be in the exact same mess.Follow @NYPostsports