I would like to preface this with the following: Yes I know the Mets are typically near the basement as far as draft spending goes among MLB. No argument there. No argument that needs to change. But for the people who e-mail or tweet or IM me talking about how the Mets are going to over-draft a kid at #13 just because he’ll sign for cheap to me is a bit crazy.
Sure they have the hovering Madoff stuff, but one question I ask fans is at what point has Sandy Alderson and co lied? They are upfront about everything, and they have all said the Mets will be active in spending in the draft as well as international free agency. Yes we’ve heard the same song and dance from the last regime, but I am with Nick Faleris (whom I did a Q+A with that you can read HERE) that I will believe what the front office says until I am given reason not to.
Also history suggests when the Mets have a high pick they likely will spend on it. Since 2002 when the Mets had first round picks they have paid them pretty well. Almost every time they paid above slot. Here’s a rundown:
2010: #7 RHP Matt Harvey – $2.525M
2009: No 1st Round Pick (Steven Matz was first pick)
2008: #18 1B Ike Davis – $1.575M, #22 SS Reese Havens – $1.419M
2007: No 1st Round Pick (Eddie Kunz was first pick)
2006: No 1st Round Pick (Kevin Mulvey was first pick)
2005: #9 RHP Mike Pelfrey – $3.55M
2004: #3 RHP Philip Humber – $3.7M
2003: #12 OF Lastings Milledge – $2.2M
2002: #15 LHP Scott Kazmir – $2.15M (at the time biggest bonus in team history)
Mind you that Pelfrey, Kazmir and Milledge were all expected to be top 5 picks that fell for one reason or another and the Mets paid them. The Mets have shown the propensity to draft best player available in round 1 and make sure that player is signed. There is no reason to believe 2011 will be any different. Who the best player available remains to be seen, but I expect the Mets to pick the best player available on their board. Does that mean that player will be #1 on Jim Callis’s best available flashing on the bottom of the screen draft day? Not necessarily, but I would not expect them to take some late first round talent at 13 because he’s willing to sign for x dollars. That bears the question: What do they do at #44 and beyond?