March 6, 2014

Mets Are Not Committed To Winning

As I'm sure you've heard, the Mets brass believes that the 2014 New York Mets can reasonably expect to win 90 games this upcoming season.  To date, exactly no one agrees with that declaration.  Why is that you might ask?  Because the Mets are set to return nearly an identical roster to the one which could muster only 74 wins last year.

Why then would there be reason for optimism?  The Mets shuffled some money around this offseason.  They've dealt out nearly $90 million dollars in new contracts, replacing their corner outfielders and bringing in a variety of starting pitching options.  The team is also a year closer to realizing the maturation of their young arms.  The farms system is stronger than ever.  Sure, the Mets organization is in a better place than they've been in recent years, but still no closer to winning.

The Mets appear poised to enter 2014 with a glaring deficiency at shortstop, which could get even worse if Ruben Tejada doesn't find his way back into the lineup in short order.  Mind you, Tejada returns to the position despite what many argue to be a clear upgrade still on the free agent market.  There is also the notion that the Mets could trade.  Unfortunately, the Mets refuse to part with the almighty dollar and won't deal from the abundance of prospects they've spent years stockpiling.

They've also managed to let the future of first base be decided by two guys who can't seem to get out of their own way.  Both Davis and Duda appear to have plenty of power for the big league level, but can't put the bat on the ball often enough to really justify their inclusion in the lineup.  The Mets spent the winter trying to trade one of them, as opposed to just working to upgrade the position.

You see, what holes exists are irrelevant in this discussion.  Its the fact that they do exist.  These aren't holes that were created by injury.  Those instances are often unavoidable and somewhat excusable.  No, these voids in the everyday lineup remain because of inaction.  The Mets may want to win 90 games this season, but they didn't spent the winter acting like a team who realistically wants to make it happen.

Until wins become the currency of the day in Queens, the Mets may never return to form.  Baseball remains about the bottom line in these parts.  Until you're prepared to function like a franchise with a commitment to putting the best product on the field, talks about some fictional win count are pointless.  If the Mets win 90 games in 2014, it will be because this current crop of ball players overachieved, not because the roster was designed for greatness.