October 9, 2013
The Mets Will Have To Overpay
No imagine you're contacted by the New York Mets. A franchise mired in a five year tailspin, whose payroll has been continually slashed and whose fan base is as fickle as ever. Imaging going to play for the New York Yankees little brother, amidst a very similar if not worse media circus. How appealing does that sound?
While I realize that is a glass half empty look at the team we love, each of those notions should ring in the ear of any free agent entertaining the idea of signing a free agent contract in Queens. Yes, David Wright is still around. Yes, there is a plethora of young pitching. However, the Mets are not a player, or two..or even three away from contending for a championship. So, what could get you past all of that? Bingo...money!!
If the Mets intend on acquiring free agents this summer who have more than one suitor, they had better be prepared to cut some checks. Simply put, the Mets don't provide a very attractive package. On the field, they are a team in disarray with many more questions than answers. Off the field, you're money just doesn't go as far. Unless you are a marketable player (which are few and far between), deciding to live in New York City is an expensive proposition. That doesn't take into account places like Florida and Texas where players don't have to pay state income tax.
As it seems is always the case, the deck is stacked against a team like the Mets. Compound those issues with the fact that Sandy Alderson's front office will do just about everything in its power to avoid overpaying for talent and we could be in for a very disappointing offseason.
While I realize the Mets will be better next year, because they will find players with their sights set on the Big Apple, I can't help but think that these circumstances will impact this winter's potential. I fully respect the notion of not dishing out bad contracts, but at some point the franchise is going to have a bite the bullet. What was the point in handing out a nine figure deal to David Wright, if your not going to at least attempt to build around him. As Wright proceeds into his early thirties, the proverbial clock is ticking.
The Mets are provided an opportunity this winter, as they have what amounts to half their payroll to spend. I don't advocate them spending it frivolously, but I really hope they do what's necessary to improve the team and don't shy away from the notion of being the highest bidder. They're going to have to find a way to bring the best players here, and as is the case with most professional athletes, the quick way to their heart will be through their wallet.