Jon Heyman of SI.com has a new post up in which he ranks eight teams that he believes struck out this offseason by not spending enough. Topping his list is the New York Mets.
Even Mets great Darryl Strawberry chimed in with an assessment of the Mets’ offseason Tuesday night, diplomatically summing it up by saying it “could have been better.”
While the Mets signed the big hitter they sought in Jason Bay on a reasonable $66-million price (at least compared to Matt Holliday’s $120-million deal), they mostly imported a collection of backup catchers like Henry Blanco and Chris Coste, comfortable old friends like Alex Cora and Fernando Tatis and question marks like Kelvim Escobar. The result is that they will take a paper-thin rotation into spring along with a slew of unproven catchers and tons of other questions.
They could have had Joel Pineiro for $18 million over two years and surely Bengie Molina for $10 million over two (Molina was the bigger loss in my estimation, since he’s a catcher with power and a rep for handling a young staff), but they played hardball with each and are left lacking at both key positions.
They were also stuck with Luis Castillo at second after spending weeks trying to trade him so they could make a run at Orlando Hudson. But the topper to a soap-operatic offseason has to be their public fight with star center fielder Carlos Beltran for having a knee surgery all sides agreed was a good idea. Now that’s not a good idea.
Jon Heyman mentions Darryl Strawberry who was a guest at last night’s Thurman Munson Dinner in New York. Strawberry was asked to comment on the Mets offseason to which he replied,
“Oh, man, you’re putting me on the spot, huh? I’ll put it like this: It could’ve been better. You could’ve put a couple more pieces into that puzzle for them. I know they signed Jason Bay, but the big loss was the (Carlos) Beltran (injury) situation.”
Obviously, both Heyman and Strawberry are right in my opinion. The Mets themselves made catching and starting pitching a big priority this offseason, but did little if nothing to address those areas. It now appears that they will have Omir Santos as their everyday catcher (despite the objections of both Dan Warthen and Jerry Manuel back in November), and the rotation will remain exactly the way it was configured last opening day.
The only thing keeping this offseason from being a complete disaster was the fact that no other team competed with the Mets for the services of Jason Bay, Had there been a second team involved, they may have lost him just as they did John Lackey, Jason Marquis, Joel Pineiro, Randy Wolf, Jon Garland and Bengie Molina.
I’ll support the team and players no matter what, but suffice it to say that I’m not very happy with Omar Minaya and the Wilpons right now.