Yesterday, David Wright spoke with ESPN New York about this winter, the upcoming season and gave a general sense of where he thinks the Mets are at this point:
"I'm sure Sandy is still trying to make the team better. In what capacity
I'm not sure, but I do think when we take the field
Opening Day this year we will substantially be better than when we took
the field last year. I'm not sure how many wins that correlates into.
Only going out there and playing the game will tell. But there's no
question in my mind that I love the moves we've made."
Wright has certainly attended the Sandy Alderson school of saying a lot, but not actually saying anything of value. Fans may pick apart Wright's assessment of the current roster. Although I believe the Mets have a higher potential in 2014 than they did in 2013, its not often a team reaches their potential. As its constructed right now, I don't foresee the team being substantially better where it counts: the win column. But its not Wright's job as team captain and "face of the franchise" it pick apart what the Mets have or haven't done, although he did elaborate on the latter:
"As far as I'm concerned, and I'm sure a lot of fans think the same
way, you want to go out there and sign everybody, because it's not our
money, but when you have a budget, when you have a
general manager that is as meticulous as Sandy is as far as evaluating
players -- setting a price tag on a player and saying, 'Hey, this is our
ceiling' -- then you can't go with what you think is overspending.
That's how you don't gain that payroll flexibility. And I'm not saying there's a right way or a wrong way. I'm just
saying that I think that's Sandy's thought process. Once you set that
ceiling, you have to let him walk, or where do you draw the line on
other players? I experienced that negotiating with Sandy."
AKA... "I was hoping for a bigger winter, but I still believe in the plan long-term." I for one think that the Mets are in a better place than they've been in recent years. I do believe that Alderson has laid the framework for payroll flexibility moving forward, but there is still work to be done. The franchise can't take the next step forward without addition spending, whether that's this winter or beyond. They simply do not have the in-house options to form a playoff roster.
Alderson can be meticulous all his wants, but the clock is ticking. Of all the things Wright said, there were no mention of the playoffs or championships. Alderson sold Wright on a plan last winter when he signed the third baseman to an 8-year extension. Whether or not the Mets are currently on pace with that plan is something only Wright knows, but its clear to me from what has been said here that he's still subtly imploring the front office to do more.