As the 2013 MLB season nears its completion, teams in both the National League and American League are fighting for the opportunity to participate in the postseason race in October. While teams like the Reds, Cardinals, and Pirates are battling it out for the NL Central divisional crown and teams including the Yankees, Rays, Indians, Orioles, and even Royals are playing to claim the second AL Wild Card and punch their ticket into October, their is a different race occurring on the opposite side of the standings. With only 17 games left in the Metropolitan's 2013 season and recently being mathematically eliminated from playoffs, the only race occurring in Queens is the chase for a top-10 worst record in baseball.
Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) if an MLB team is interested in re-signing a player when he becomes a free agent, they can offer him a qualifying offer. If the player accepts this qualifying offer, which is the average salary of the top 125 players from the previous year, he remains on the team for one more year. But in the case where it is declined, the qualifying offer is a way for the team whom he walks on to get compensation for losing this particular player. The reason the Mets are in the hunt for top-10 worst record in the MLB is because those 10 teams have their first round pick protected and can sign a player who has declined a qualifying offer and still keep their top-10 pick.
Last off-season, the Mets showed high interest in free agent Michael Bourn but were too stubborn to lose their first round pick (11th overall) and chose to pass on the speedy outfielder. Bourn went on to sign a 4 year, $48 million dollar contract with the Indians and certainly has not played to his paycheck as he has a slash line of .260/.312/.344 with only 22 stolen bases.
Currently, the Mets own the 7th worst record in baseball with only 17 games remaining. And yes we all know about an epic collapse with 17 games left although if the Mets complete the year on a high note and don't have the protected first round pick these 17 games most likely wouldn't go down in history. But should the Mets give up on the season to guarantee that top-10 pick? The rest of the season is not only important towards evaluating the rookies and young players such as den Dekker, Eric Young, Tejada, Satin, Flores, Duda but it is also key for Terry's future as Mets manager.
With millions of dollars coming off the books this off-season and all the holes in the Mets roster (corner outfields, shortstop, first base) to go along with Sandy willingness to spend money, I think regardless if the first round pick is protected the Mets must go after players such as Choo, Ellsbury, Pence, Cano, Lincecum because that would not only fortify our roster and put us in a position to make a run at the playoffs but it would send a message to the fans that the year's of losing must come to an end and to do that this front office is going to have to roll the dice one way or another. (And by the way, Cano looks great in blue and orange!)