One of the first decisions Mets GM Omar Minaya needs to make is which of the 13 Mets eligible to become free agents to try to re-sign. The list includes Jose Valentin, Luis Castillo, Moises Alou, Marlon Anderson, and Paul Lo Duca. Tom Glavine is also a free agent, declining his option year contract.
Whom the Mets re-sign will reveal what Minaya thinks their needs are. Though Mets fans and the media seem to believe that the Mets bullpen needs a major overhaul, the Mets management may not share that view. For example, Willie Randolph attributed Guillermo Mota's poor 2007 performance to "Buzzard Luck" rather than his pitching ability, implying that Randolph would welcome Mota back to his bullpen for 2007.
What the Mets shouldn't do is to sacrifice the best prospects in their farm system for one established player, as a number of discussion board posters want them to do to get Johan Santana. If Minaya's made up his mind that the Mets must get Santana, I'd offer Jose Reyes for him. Reyes may have a higher upside, but he also has a higher downside.
But then, Minaya might believe that he doesn't need to make a blockbuster trade, that the current team's nucleus is good enough to win.
What the Mets do — and don't do — this off-season will reveal a lot about Minaya's opinion of this team and his skill as a GM.