November 27, 2013

Nelson Cruz Seeks 4yrs/$75 Million, Mets Pretend They're Still Interested

Welp..this winter has spiraled out of control rather quickly.  The Mets remain in "sticker shock" over free agent prices that Jeff Wilpon described as "scary".  They declined to overpay on Jhonny Peralta who managed an absurd 4yrs/$53 million.  Hell, the Mets wouldn't even give LaTroy Hawkins a paltry sum of $2.5 million next season.  Meanwhile, according to Jon Heyman the Mets remain interested Nelson Cruz despite the fact that he's seeking a contract of 4yrs/$75 million.

You'll have to excuse me if you expect me to believe that Sandy Alderson is going to drop nearly all of his remaining budget on an outfielder who will turn 34 next season.  An outfielder who not only lost 50 games to the Biogenisis scandal last season, but one who will also cost him a second round pick in next seasons amateur draft.

Ultimately, Cruz is shooting high as he should.  I suspect it will take something in the neighborhood of 4yrs/$64 million to retain the slugger's services.  Jhonny Peralta's deal proves there is little hesitation in the market to bring on a potential PEDs issue, but the outfield market is much deeper than that of shortstop.  As a result Cruz's offense will bring him a few more millions, but he'll fall short of the amount he's publicly seeking.

The Mets too will fall short.  They'll fall short of their fans' expectations.  They'll also fall short on their own plans to improve the roster, because I highly doubt their interest in Cruz is genuine.  Its not in line with everything they've said this winter, and this will be the most recent market they're priced out of.

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