There is nothing I hate more than reading “The Yankees sign Player A”, “how will the Red Sox respond?” “Do they go and sign Player B in response?” If there is any way to avoid running a team it is reactionary. You need to be inventive and forward thinkers. The failed Omar Minaya regime purely acted out of reaction, whether from the fan base or just simply plugging a weakness from the previous year while ignoring everything else.
I know there are unhappy fans with the way this offseason is going for the Mets. I can only imagine the outrage from Mets fans that will appear on WFAN today while Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts discuss Cliff Lee’s new 5 year $120M deal with the Phillies. This atleast on paper makes the Phillies even more of a favorite than they already were to take the NL, and possibly the World Series in 2011, which is pretty clearly a transition year anyway for the Mets.
Sure Sandy Alderson has to say the right things to try to bring fans to the park in 2011. But it’s not like he’s incorrect in saying that if things do break right the Mets could contend for a playoff spot (even if wildcard) in 2011. The likelihood of these things breaking right? Well based on how the baseball gods have been treating the Mets and their fans lately, have to think the odds are very low.
But look at it this way, after 2011 the Mets should theoretically have between $50-60M coming off the books with a very bright GM in Alderson with a great supporting cast that includes Paul DePodesta, JP Ricciardi, John Ricco and Wayne Krivsky among others. They also have great young prospects coming along such as Jenrry Mejia, Matt Harvey, Wilmer Flores and Kirk Nieuwenhuis among others, as well as the ability and apparent willingness to spend more in the draft and international free agency to boost the farm system even more.
Alderson has been pretty much straight up honest since taking the job unlike ownership and the past regime. Just one week before the Mets hired Alderson, Jeff Wilpon was on WFAN and said if asked he could afford to pay Cliff Lee this offseason. At Alderson’s initial press conference he stated the complete opposite, does anyone actually believe Alderson was lying and not Wilpon? I know I don’t.
All fans have wanted was the front office to be honest with you, and when Alderson is honest fans are going wild. You can’t have it both ways Mets fans. You either trust Alderson or you don’t. I trust him, and I trust his long term vision not only because of his intelligence, but the intelligence that he has surrounding him to help him make sound decisions.
Alderson wants to build the Mets up to be like the Boston Red Sox where the team is pumping the big league team with homegrown talent and supplementing it with big ticket items from trade and free agency, not the other way around. That is the proper way to build a team, and I am confident in the direction of the team regardless of what moves the Phillies make. Championships are not won in December or even February. It is a long season and anything can happen. Obviously 2011 seems unlikely, even the most optimistic person can see that.
All I ask for is Alderson to have a plan which he seems to, and execute it regardless of what happens around you. You cannot make moves based on the Yankees grabbing the back of the Post, or based on the Phillies grabbing a very good player. The moves Alderson has to make have to be directly to improve the New York Mets, and not to make reactionary moves based on other team’s actions. Keep doing what you’re doing Sandy, it’ll only be a matter of time before the Phillies are in the Mets shoes hoping to catch the Mets at the top of the division.