Wow, how time flies…
In just one week from tomorrow, the 2011 MLB Winter Meetings will kick off in Dallas, Texas. The four day event will run from December 5-8 and it’s expected to draw over 3,000 people including the GM and key front office people from all 30 Major League Baseball organizations. Also in attendance will be countless free agent players and player agents – not to mention hundreds of sports journalists and beat writers trolling the lobbies and tweeting everything from what they had for lunch and to who’s talking to who. The rumor mill will churn around-the-clock mostly with fanciful fabrications and wild speculations. However, every now and then a real deal or signing actually goes down, and as always we’ll try to separate the wheat from the chaff for you on MMO.
For Sandy Alderson and company, this was supposed to be the offseason where things were going to happen. You may remember that before the last Winter Meetings, we were forewarned not to expect anything significant because there was “too little flexibility to do anything substantial.” Once the Mets divested themselves of over $65 million dollars in contracts after the 2011 season, “the Mets would be in a position to add the types of players that will improve the team and make them more competitive.”
Well, here we are – one year later and I can’t wait to see what significant changes we will see in the next two weeks… How exciting… Right?
Those words of comfort we got last year from Mr. Alderson were solely intended to keep most of us sedated for at least a year before the true magnitude of the Mets’ dire circumstances became well known. However, don’t blame Sandy. He’s only doing his job which is to put a happy and positive spin on all things no matter how bleak. Sometimes that means stretching the truth or telling the masses whatever it takes to keep them at bay. The last thing the Mets want is an Occupy Citi Field protest at that $750 million dollar ballpark largely financed by the full backing of “pie-in-the-sky”, fictitious earnings from dear old Uncle Bernie’s investment funds.
The truth is that this offseason will most likely have even less flexibility than the last one.
Sure, Sandy Alderson confirmed that the payroll budget will be $110 million bucks for the 2012 season, but how much do you want to bet that the payroll number will be closer to $85 million? Any takers out there?
When the Mets get back on that plane from Dallas to La Guardia Airport in ten days, they will return much in the same way as they did last year – with a haul that will include two players from the Rule 5 Draft and not much else. In fact they already pared the 40 man roster down to 38 just to make room for them.
These two players will soon become the talk of the town. Words like “genius”, “jackpot” and “phenom” will be tossed around and fuel the Mets blogosphere with countless posts for about two-weeks or longer. Some sites will even re-do their Top 10 Prospect Lists to include one or both of these players just like they did with Brad Emaus last year. Remember him? Fun times.
We may also get another memorable quote from Sandy telling us that while the Mets weren’t able to complete any trades at the Winter Meetings, they did “engage in some conversations to discuss the potential framework and parameters of some deals.” That line was borrowed from last December. It turned out the framework was for the deal that eventually brought Chin-Lung Hu to the Mets two weeks later. <fist pump>
Face it Mets fans, it’s going to be another lackluster Winter Meetings for the Mets this year – and don’t be surprised if this is when we’ll all find out the lucky team that Jose Reyes will sign his $100 million dollar deal with…
I can already see Jose flashing his big white smile and standing on a podium flanked by a few front office executives. I can see him slipping on his brand new jersey for the very first time over his $4000 dollar Italian suit in front of a mob of reporters waving their recorders as a sea of photographers are flashing away. I can see Matt Cerrone writing about how “this really, really, really hurts”. I can see Mets fans being tormented at work by Yankee fans at the water cooler.
We’ll bring it all to you right here on MMO.