The Mets spent the off-season disappointing Mets fans. They signed players who can lovingly be described as old, bad and fat. They signed young players who haven't been very good in a few years. And worse yet, as the majority of fans see it, is what they haven't done. Ike Davis and Lucas Duda remain our first basemen. Stephen Drew is unemployed. Bronson Arroyo is a Diamondback. Shin-Soo Choo is a Ranger. Nelson Cruz is an Oriole and Johnny Peralta is a Cardinal. This, combined with the Mets cellar dwelling $87 million payroll, has irked many a Met fan. They have begun doubting the structure being built. They are turning on Sandy Alderson and doubting his wisdom. They fear inaction.
I have one question for these Mets fans.
Do you need directions to the Bronx?
You see, Mr. Alderson is living in the real world. In this world, the Mets don't have Yankee money. They cannot afford to make "action" mistakes. You know what happens when you make "action" mistakes? You pay Johan to rehab his shoulder, Pedro to age, Bay to suck and eventually play elsewhere, and you have to wait for those "actions" to deactivate before you can do anything else. You know who does this? The Yankees. You know why? THEY HAVE UNLIMITED FUNDS.
You know what the Yankees do when they make an "action" mistake? They buy a new toy. THE METS CANNOT DO THAT.
This is why I am a fan of Sandly Alderson. He is patient. He is steady. He is a thinking man's general manager. He realizes that fixing "inaction" mistakes takes less time, effort and money than does fixing "action" mistakes.
Let's suppose Stephen Drew plays this year. And let's suppose he plays well above what he has done in the past, which he would need to do in order to be worth what he is asking. You know what you can then do? Look elsewhere and sign someone else. Make a trade to acquire a worthy short-stop. You CAN do other things.
Let's suppose the Mets gave Drew the years and money he is looking for. Now let's suppose he gets hurt (which he regularly does) or under performs. What can you do? You're stuck. Now you have an oft-injured short stop being over paid who wasn't all that good in the first place that you cannot get rid of for two or three years during a time when you are supposed to be competing.
Why would you put yourself in that position? He wasn't going to "save" our season. Stephen Drew is not the difference between 74 wins and 90 wins...hell, he's not the difference between 74 wins and 78 wins. Nobody on the market this off-season was.
Building an organization to win when you do not have unlimited funds comes down to two things: timing and value. You have to accumulate and maximize value until you hit the right moment to spring your trap. Alderson spent the first few years accumulating value. We had Mejia and Harvey. He used old pieces to bring in Wheeler and Syndergaard and d'Arnaud.
He locked up David Wright for what will likely be the rest of his career. He spent this offseason building infrastructure.
Chris Young isn't a savior...but he is a good young player with a high ceiling at a reasonable price. This is the kind of signing that winning teams need.
He signed Bartolo Colon and we all had a good laugh. But the man has been effective and he doesn't need to be the ace he was with the A's last year. Next year, he will likely be our fifth starter. Think about that for a second. The guy who will likely be our fifth starter next year finished last year, in the American league, with an 18-6 record, a 2.65 ERA and -17 walks. This doesn't even take into account that our top three starters will be some of the most coveted and feared young arms in baseball.
The media and Met fans have created this linear equation for success. Alderson had to first strip the team of its bad parts. Then he had to replenish the farm. The following year he would lock up Wright. Then we would start to see dividends on the farm. Then QUICK....SPEND....WIN!
This isn't how it works. It is not linear. The other teams and players are not in line waiting for the Mets to flick the spend switch. You accumulate value. You put yourself in the best position possible. You strike while the iron is hot.
The Mets are doing that. Sandy is doing that. The iron is not hot right now. There were no good deals out there. There was nothing to strike. You cannot spend just for the sake of spending. Be patient my Metsy brethren. What good does 90 wins do us if we don't win a World Series? If you grow impatient and just spend...you end up with Stephen Drew, 81 wins and a potential anchor at shortstop.
I believe Sandy, and the Mets organization, are on right track. I think they are as committed to winning as anyone. They are just doing it in a realistic way. Ya just gotta believe (or do the math).