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Mets appear on 'least-improved' list

The Mets have yet to sign a free agent to a major league contract this offseason -- the only team yet to do so, according to the Post's Joel Sherman. And ESPN's Jayson Stark lists the Amazin's among the five least-improved teams in the majors this winter -- at least with respect to the 2013 season. The Mets are joined by the Miami Marlins, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles on the list.

The article projects the Mets with a 66-96 record based on losing R.A. Dickey and, at least for now, Scott Hairston.

Writes Stark:

Among the teams that got multiple votes: the Rockies, Brewers, Mariners and Yankees. But the Mets sneaked in here, even though they got rave reviews for the return they got in the R.A. Dickey deal.

"If you're asking are they going to be improved down the road, I'd say yes," said one AL executive. "But if you're asking are they improved next year, the answer is obviously no. I mean, you've lost your No. 1 starter, a guy who won the Cy Young Award. The bullpen looks kind of shaky right now. They haven't re-signed [Scott] Hairston, so what's their outfield? And I'll go back to this: You're taking away your No. 1 [starter], a guy who really impacts your club. That's a big hit."

Maybe, in seven weeks, we'll have a different feeling about all of this. But that's a discussion for another day. For now, that'll do it for our offseason halftime show. Now back to the hot-stove action!

Read the full article here.