It’s 13 degrees out. February is just around the corner, folks. Jets are out of the playoffs. Let’s turn our attention towards baseball season. Pitchers and catchers report on February 16. The New York Mets have made a ton of moves this offseason. Let me help catch you up…

Although the Mets have avoided making the “big splash” that many teams set out to do in the offseason, they have signed some interesting names over the last few months. Below are the players they have added to compete for a 2011 roster spot:

1. Chris Young, SP: Certainly an interesting pickup. With Johan Santana out indefinitely, the Mets are strapped for arms in the rotation. After missing countless starts over the last three seasons with injuries, there are many doubts about the 31-year old right hander. However, if he stays healthy, he can put up a season similar to that of 2006 (11-5 3.46 ERA) or 2007 (9-8 3.12 ERA) with the San Diego Padres. If anyone has a chance to challenge Mike Pelfrey as ace of the staff it is Chris Young. Let’s hope he can gain back some mustard on his fastball, though. Grade: B+

2. Chris Capuano, SP: Some more insurance for the back of the rotation. Capuano, who has never really tickled my fancy by any means, has a chance to break camp as a number five starter or lefty out of the bullpen. Like Young, he’s a low-risk, high-reward type investment, so let’s see if he can bounce back from elbow surgery and provide some spark at the back of a less-than-stellar rotation. Grade: B-

3. Ronny Paulino, C: With the sudden confidence in backstop Josh Thole, the Mets needed to find a right handed bat to complement him. Ronny Paulino was their guy. The soon-to-be thirty year old has done a terrific job in both the starting and backup role at catcher during his career. Though his career numbers won’t jump out at you, he has performed very well against southpaws (.338) versus his production against right handers (.245). I expect Paulino to see a lot of at-bats this season against lefties. With that said, this could be the perfect catching tandem going into the 2011 season. Grade: B

4. D.J. Carrasco, RP: Who? I must admit I was a bit confused as to who he was when the Mets first inked him, but his consistency over the last three years speaks for itself. It’s pretty hard to find quality relievers these days, and more often then not their success will turn each season. The one thing Carrasco provides at $2.5million over two years is depth. He’s a crafty right hander that could slot into a 7th or 8th inning setup role. Grade: B-

5. Chin-Lung Hu, SS: I have had a lot of fun with his name so far (Hu’s on first? No, he’s at shortstop). I don’t know much about Hu, but I’ve been told he has a nice glove. If Reyes hits the DL at some point in the season, who is an option to fill in? Yes, exactly. Grade: C

6. Taylor Buchholz, RP: No, unfortunately he is not related to the pitcher on the Red Sox. Sorry to possibly get your hopes up. After being quite the disappointment as a starter, Buchholz made the transition to the bullpen in 2007, and in 2008 pitched to a solid 2.17 ERA through 66.1 innings. He hasn’t pitched much since then, and will be looked at as a serious bullpen option. Grade: C+

7. Scott Hairston, OF: I really like this add. He comes from a family of utility players, including his dad (Jerry) and his brother (Jerry Jr.). The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But this is an area where the Mets have struggled ever since they dealt Endy Chavez away to Seattle. The Mets finally have a solid utility outfielder that can slot in when necessary. Grade: B

8. Pedro Beato, RP: Chosen in the Rule V draft from the Baltimore Orioles, the tall righty will join a cast of many others in competition for a bullpen job. Beato had a fairly dominant season at Double-A Bowie in 2010 (2.11 ERA) and is known as a hard thrower. There are only so many bullpen spots, though. Grade: B-

9. Brad Emaus, 2B: Another Rule V draft pick from the Toronto Blue Jays. This guy reminds me a lot of Dan Uggla, who also broke into the Majors as a Rule V draft selection with the Florida Marlins a few years back. Emaus has some serious competition at the position, though, with Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner, and Luis Castillo as alternative options. If all goes right with him, we will be coining him “Famous Emaus” by the All-Star Break. Grade: B

10. Taylor Tankersley, RP: This is the arm I’m pulling for in the Spring. He had an impressive rookie season with the Florida Marlins back in 2006, in which he had 22 holds and a 2.85 ERA. He’s lost his stride ever since, but I believe that he will be the lefty specialist when it is all said and done. Throughout his career, he has struggled against right handed hitters, but has done a good job versus lefties. Maybe a nice change of scenery *cough cough, CitiField, cough cough* will serve him well. Grade: C+

Oh yeah, and then we have the Tim Byrdak’s and Boof Bonser’s of the world that I wish not to discuss.

My Thoughts:

Even though I chose not to give out any A’s, the offseason hasn’t been a complete bust. All of these players have tremendous potential and I believe Alderson has done a terrific job with the little budget he’s been given. The bullpen will take care of itself, while someone will run away with the second base job right out of camp. The starting rotation has question marks, but a lot of upside. We are just about set with only a few weeks from pitchers and catchers.

What do you guys think? Which of these players will be smoking the Dickey pipe this season? Where do we still need improvement?