“It doesn’t necessarily get better next year.” — That’s how Adam Rubin starts the second part of his “Meet The Mess” series for ESPN New York.
He believes that the Mets may have to bide their time until 2012 before “resuming relevance” mostly because by then they could potentially have cleared $51.5 million in salary off the books from four players alone.
He believes that the 2011 season will be mostly a “budget-induced youth movement” and will be at the mercy of whether current rookies Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Jenrry Mejia and Ruben Tejada thrive as sophomores — a big if.
For those of you hanging onto the hope that the Mets will go after Cliff Lee in the offseason, forget it. According to Rubin, a team official already acknowledged to ESPNNewYork.com that there will be no run at a pitcher the caliber of free-agent-to-be Cliff Lee. The Mets will not have a pair of $20 million-plus pitchers in their rotation.
That stance not only ensures that Santana will be the only top of the rotation starter the Mets have in 2011, but also for the next three seasons beyond that. At which point Santana will simply walk as a free agent and the Mets probably would have won nothing during his time with the team. Absolutely wonderful.
Maybe even more surprising is the possibility that the Mets could trade Jose Reyes in the offseason in an attempt to really shake things to the foundation.
A team official said, “I don’t think anything will not be explored.” The organization may even consider the possibility of a trade involving shortstop Jose Reyes.
Can you imagine Jose Reyes reaching his peak and finally cashing in on his enormous talent and potential for another team?
Rubin reminds us that because of bloated contracts awarded by GM Omar Minaya in recent years, the amount the Mets already have committed to the 2011 payroll before spending a dime this upcoming offseason is staggering. I worry that the Mets won’t be able to do anything this offseason and that we are land-locked at place we most certainly don’t want to be in.
I just don’t see any room for flexibility. The outfield is locked in, as is the infield, and Thole seems set behind the plate. The entire rotation from one through four will all be back, and most of the bullpen too. There may be a battle for the number five spot in the rotation next spring and a few pitchers will fight it out for a setup job that has been vacant since J.J. Putz hit the disabled list over a year ago.
I agree with Rubin that the Mets may shop Carlos Beltran, who when healthy is their best player, but someone is going to have to convince me how that improves the team.
I don’t see how moving Beltran and Reyes will cure anything… Even with their popularity, attendance is falling fast and is already down 14.9% from last season.
While last night’s comeback win was some welcomed relief from a very troubling season, it does little to convince me that the Mets are anywhere close to being out of the woods.