The Proof Is In The Pudding… Or Lack Of It

An article by posted on August 31, 2009

The Mets have released a statement that the fall instructional league has not been canceled, but only shifted to the the Dominican Republic. Still, it’s a cost cutting maneuver no matter how they wish to present it. They can do all the damage control they want and deny every instance of their obvious cost cutting moves, but it doesn’t change the facts.

1. Traded Billy Wagner for low level AA prospects…………………………………………….Savings $3,400,000.00

2. Announce decision to keep Omar Minaya……………………………………………………Savings $3,500,000.00

3. Announce decision to keep manager and coaches…………………………………………..Savings $7,000,000.00

4. Cancel fall instructional league…………………………………………………………………….Savings $300,000.00

5. Average team spent $26 million in June Draft, Mets spent 18MM (Ranked last)………….Savings $8,000,000.00

This list doesn’t include some of the other transparent cost-cutting measures whose values cannot be determined and only approximated, but you get a good glimpse of the overall picture and it’s not pretty.

1. They pulled Gary Sheffield off waivers and didn’t trade him because they only owed him $125,000.00 and it would have cost more to replace him on the roster. This kept the team from acquiring potential prospects for their depleted farm system.

2. In January, Omar said he had $5-6 million in payroll flexibility to spend at the trade deadline and he opted to sit on his hands and let the team sink instead. What makes this more strange was that Omar was under intense pressure to do something after getting so much scrutiny from last years deadline when he failed to add an arm for the bullpen which ultimately broke down and imploded for the second straight season. I guess lightning does strike twice in the same place.

3. The Mets had no problem handing about $2 million dollars each to utility infielders Alex Cora and Fernando Tatis before the Madoff scandal news broke, but afterward they scoffed at the idea of getting a proven all star second baseman in Orlando Hudson for just $3 million dollars. This happened at a time when no Mets fan wanted to see Luis Castillo return in 2009. It turned out okay for the Mets, but back in January this decision was puzzling to say the least.

4. A proven lefthanded starter in Randy Wolf for just $5 million dollars, was passed over for Nationals refugees Tim Redding ($2.25 MM) and Livan Hernandez ($2 MM). Quantity over quality, which in the end proved costly. The Mets could have hedged their bets after signing Ollie for $36 million, and instead they compounded their problems. Livan has now been cut while Redding toils in and out of the bullpen with a 5.94 ERA. In 28 starts, Wolf has a 3.,25 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.

There’s probably more one can add to this short list, but the point is made. Since the Bernie Madoff scandal broke, the Mets have been operating with a different set of rules. Whereas before the focus was on what moves would make the team better, the new focus is now on how can they cut costs further.

The Mets can deny it all they want, but actions speak louder than words.

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