Now that I’ve established what Turnaround Consultants like CRG actually do, and that barely less than 10% of the businesses that contract them file for bankruptcy, here is what you can expect to see in the next 12 months.
Like all the top turnaround consultants out there, CRG will do an exhaustive analysis on all aspects of the Mets business for the purpose turning around all the debts and losses and putting the Mets back into profitability and stability. That is their mission and as impossible as that may sound to the outside observer, it’s not. They will present the Wilpons with a full report including action steps that will turn this mess on it’s head and right the ship.
Now none of this should be a surprise if you are a regular reader of MMO. I warned that there would be a big announcement immediately after the holidays that I could not discuss at the time. I warned about the cutbacks, I said payroll would be be $85M in 2012 and $70M in 2013 back in October among a laundry list of other things.
Here are a few things you can expect to see from this CRG partnership, some of which has already happened and many others that will be familiar to MMO readers.
1. Consolidate The Operation – We’ve already seen this consolidation when the Mets eliminated their Gulf Coast League team based in Port St. Lucie for 2012. The will lead to a $1 million dollar savings each year in operational costs.
2. Sublease Some Assets – The Mets are already in the process of subleasing parts of their Baseball Academy in the Dominican Republic to other MLB teams according to one report on ESPN last month. This will create a revenue stream that should be enough to pay for the Mets remaining portion of their academy.
3. Downsize The Workforce – The Mets made big news in November when it was announced that they cut 10% of their non-player workforce. The baseball-operations jobs that were cut were a combination of scouting and administrative positions. Additionally, I would expect to see a dozen or so middle management jobs eliminated by the middle of this season and expect to see a few departments merged.
4. Don’t Re-Sign Jose Reyes – Last year we saw the Mets move a couple of high-priced players in Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez. That was just Alderson doing what he does and had nothing to do with CRG. However, as I maintained all offseason – re-signing Jose Reyes was never a top priority – getting rid of Reyes was. You can take the naive approach and believe the Mets had good faith conceptual negotiations that were very substantial if it makes you feel good, but that never happened. It couldn’t happen – because Reyes was never in the plan. Hell…It wasn’t even Alderson’s call. Never.
Now we get to some of the things yet to occur:
5. Trade David Wright – He’s as good as gone. As I’ve said time and time again, there’s no chance he’s in a Mets uniform come August 1st, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s traded months before then. Any turnaround consultant will look at Wright’s $15 million dollar salary and view it as an unnecessary expense and a primary target. The longer they hang onto him, the more the team is on the hook for those millions. A spring training or April injury would prove disastrous. This is not about building up his trade value, this is only about stopping the bleeding and believe me, $15 million dollars buys a lot of bandages. If Johan Santana and Jason Bay have any type of return to form, they’ll be gone too.
6. New 5-Year Payroll Budget – No more looking at payroll budgets on a year to year basis. That’s not how most good businesses do it anyway. The Mets will have a 5-year payroll budget that will settle in at about $60 million dollars when all is said and done. I’ve done this before so let me just show you what you can expect:
2012 – $85 Million, 2013 – $70 Million, 2014 – $65 Million, 2015 – $60 Million, 2016 – $60 Million
7. Re-Branding – Remember those corny slogans the Mets were so enamored with back in the 70’s and early-80’s… The Magic Is Back – Take Your Kids Out To See Our Kids… While they learn to live life under very tight payroll constraints, expect the Mets to start emphasizing a renewed dedication to scouting and player development. Expect more news on minor leaguers who are having great seasons, expect lots of up-selling on draft picks, and expect prospects to be hyped like you will never believe. I’ve seen this before and it ain’t pretty. In fact it’s very Royals/Pirates-esque. The Mets will contract an ad agency who will buff up the Mets image and somehow they will make it all work.
8. Family Friendly/Group Events – Ah remember the picnic area at Shea? (I loved it!) Remember Family Night? Remember Banner Day? Remember Businessman Specials? As part of the re-branding I mentioned, expect a shift in ticket selling philosophy. Take your family to the game and have a Nathan’s hot dog and enjoy the day. Life is good. Group Ticket Sales Dept. is going to be very busy for the next five years. This might actually be a good thing and more fun for us fans.
So there you have it… These are some of the things I fully expect to see moving forward. Implementing these moves could save the Mets $100 million or more in expenses and add new revenue streams they never had before.
Let me know your thoughts…