Spending Wildly Versus Getting Value

An article by posted on February 18, 2011

 

I will be the first to admit that I am giving the new front office every single benefit of the doubt. I mean why not? They’ve only been in charge a little over four months – hardly enough time to pass judgment on the new guys.

Patrick Flood who writes for SNY, had me re-thinking my whole attitude on the matter after reading his excellent post which I suggest you all do.

Oftentimes, fans who are sabermetrically inclined are accused of being un-objective and relying solely on stats, and of course there is no logic or truth to that and it’s all unfounded.

Flood’s post proves that we can be as objective as all of you old schoolers who like to scoff at the idea of finding new and improved ways of evaluating players and thus making better decisions. He takes a very un-objective look at all the Mets offseason activity and asks himself, would I be defending this offseason with as much vigor if it was Omar Minaya making these moves instead. A wonderful question and one that should be asked – and answered.

Like myself, Flood is pleased with what the Mets have done this offseason. Basically, under the most difficult of circumstances and without a penny to spare, they made some decent moves and brought in a bunch of useful players on the cheap. Many of those players have the kind of upside that can pay of big this season in the same manner as R.A. Dickey did last season. Were there some head-scratchers in the lot? Of course there were and that was to be expected.

But getting back to Flood’s post, he writes:

Here’s the thing: Now I’m even starting to doubt myself. I think I like the players the Mets have brought in, I think I like what the team did this winter, but I’m wondering why. Not just because of what someone over at ESPN thinks; I’ve been wondering this for a while. Every minor signing the Mets have made this offseason – and they’ve all been minor signings — I’ve liked. I see the upside. But do I like new guys because I think they’re good . . . or do I like them because the new front office brought them in, and I’m just happily drinking the sabermetric Kool-Aid?

The sabermetric Kool-Aid, Ahh how refreshing – Shall I pour you some? Flood delves even deeper into his question and then brings an old friend into it – Omar Minaya.

See, at this point last year, I was ragging on the Mets for bringing Mike Jacobs and Gary Matthews Jr., among others, to the team. Part of that was because Jacobs and Matthews were . . . let’s just say they probably shouldn’t have been playing major league baseball. But it was also based on the assumption that, if Omar Minaya was doing something, it was probably a bad idea… Now I’m worried that, because I’m so excited about the team being run by the SABR Stonecutters, I can’t see any of their mistakes. I think I’m rooting extra hard for Alderson players to do well, looking for their positives, as if it’d be some sort of victory for facts if they did well. I’d love to have goggles that could let me see what I’d be writing if Omar Minaya were running the team and signing the exact same players. Would I be hating on everything?

I have felt the same exact way. In fact I would bet that thousands upon thousands of Mets fans who were thirsting for change, have felt this same way too. Furthermore I would add that because we are so focused on stats and performance, we couldn’t ignore some of the horrifying metrics of players that were signed this offseason, even if we tried.

But one important thing that many are forgetting and must be considered is this:

None of the players that were signed will have a guaranteed salary of over $1.5 million dollars.

None of the new players will get overpaid the way Fernando Tatis, Julio Franco, Jose Valentin, Luis Castillo, Jeff Francoeur and countless others were overpaid by the Minaya regime.

Therein lies the biggest difference between Sandy Alderson and Omar Minaya:

Spending Wildly versus Getting Value.

Unfortunately, we are seeing Alderson and Co. operating without the tens of millions of dollars that Omar was given each offseason to fund his insane and exorbitant spending sprees.

Imagine how much better off we will be next offseason when we use this new philosophy and couple it with the money needed to upgrade the team in a more substantive way?

Omar Minaya used to take great joy in being the highest bidder, while Alderson on the other hand takes great joy in finding value and giving the Mets the most bang for the buck.

Why would anyone disagree with an approach like that?

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