With the news that Theo Epstein has departed Bean-Town for Chi-Town to go and run the Cubs, I can’t help thinking that this move will impact the Mets in many adverse ways.
For one, in the short term, Sandy Alderson will now be competing with Theo in scouring the free agent rolls looking for under-valued players that they can add to bolster their over-budget and under-performing rosters.
Both teams are both in dire straits – finding themseleves in similar rebuild-type modes, but not in a position to shout it from the rooftops, lest they tick off the few fans that are still willing to come to their parks and watch the games.
Epstein is also no stranger to pulling the trigger to acquire top-shelf talent like he did with Adrian Gonzalez, which may not concern these current Mets, but could certainly impede them or thwart their efforts in future seasons, when they finally get back into spending mode and need a player or two to put them over the top.
Like Alderson, Theo is a saber-warrior too, except for the glaring fact that he has won two World Series in the last seven years and is light-years ahead of the competition when it comes to building a winner via any means necessary. That includes investing heavily in the Draft and keeping a keen eye on the international front as well, and not just going after the best free agents which he does with the best of them.
In the long-term, while the Mets bicker over whether they will someday compete and spend like their big-market brethren again, you can count on Epstein to spend whatever it takes to field a winner and do for the Cubs what he did for the Red Sox – breaking a dry spell that has lasted far too many decades and hoisting a World Series flag in Wrigley Field like the two in Fenway Park.
Winning is a word that is very prominent in Epstein’s vocabulary.