October 9, 2013

The Mets Will Have To Overpay

Pretend for a minute that you are fortunate enough to be a professional baseball player.  Better yet, pretend you are a free agent this winter.  Theoretically, you control your own destiny.  You can negotiate your contract and pick your situation.  Certainly you are looking to get paid, but you will also be looking for the best opportunity to for you.  Perhaps that just means the best opportunity to win a World Series, or maybe just the best opportunity for you to see playing time, but you are without question looking for the team that suits your needs best.

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.


  1. Sandy is famous for waiting the market out so that means by the time Sandy
    gets done waiting for the prices to come down there won't be anybody left to
    sign? Time and time again In past years Sandy has said he doesn't want to
    get into a bidding war so good luck with FA's and Abreu will be a pure bidding war so you can forget that! Sandy has always been cheap and having money
    to spend won't change that because even though its not his money its hard to teach old dogs new tricks and Sandy is set in his ways!! He will sign a few cheaper FA's but that's about it! I look for him to try to resign Byrd although
    he won't cost $750.000 he will still be a lot cheaper than Choo and Abreu
    and for one or two years rather than six and he will invite Dice K and Harang
    to spring training and maybe resign Santana for half the price of Arroyo for
    one year!

  2. I think the difference between this offseason and those past is that there is a definable sum of money available to be spent. In winters past its always been, how much.. This winter at a minimum your talking $25-$30 million. I'm not sure that'll change Alderson's approach, like you mentioned, but it will make him more blamable if he doesn't take action.

    Side Note: I don't expect the Mets to be really in on Abreu because 1B isn't their biggest concern. Bigger first to try this winter.

  3. I don't see the Mets spending a lot of money on a one player in this year's free agent class, especially there are few legitimate stars available and also they need more than just one or two of the 'best' players. I could see them signing a few minor stars and maybe a number of reclamation products like those they signed last year (Byrd, Hawkings, Marcum). They might strike lightning with some, while others might be busts but then I;d rather see cheap busts than expeive ones.