MMO Fair or Foul: Which Teams Got Better In The NL East

An article by posted on February 9, 2012

This edition of Fair or Foul features Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog who looks at the NL East and doesn’t buy into the “every other team got better except the Mets” argument. See what you think?

The Braves and Phillies did very little to improve their teams, as well. They either traded guys away, signed fill-in role players or re-signed their own guys. The Mets scored more runs than other team in the NL East last year, in a year when many guys struggled, so it can be argued that no major upgrades were needed to the lineup (though, obviously, to replace Jose Reyes, guys like Jason Bay and David Wright will need to get their acts together, and Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy will need to keep hitting and stay healthy). I still think the Mets needed to do more to improve the rotation.

Yes, the Nationals added Edwin Jackson, Brad Lidge and Rick Ankiel, among others, but it’s not like they succeeded in snagging Prince Fielder or CJ Wilson. (Update: As ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin pointed out on Twitter, the Nationals also added Gio Gonzalez, which is a significant acquisition). Still, much of Washington’s potential is in their young players coming up and staying healthy and from guys already on the roster.

And so, I just can’t buy the misleading talking point that every other team got better and the Mets did nothing. I like the additions the Mets made to the bullpen, which are on par with additions made by the Nationals, both of which are more than what the Phillies and Braves did to their rosters. The Marlins clearly went above and beyond every one else, spending close to $50 million more dollars on this year’s roster adding Heath Bell, Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, among others. They should be better, no doubt about it.

Look, I get what he’s trying to say and do here, but the Mets lost one of the top 20 players in the game in Jose Reyes this offseason. None of the other teams lost what the Mets did, and compounding that is that they did nothing to replace that loss. Nothing. They just absorbed it – the money and the production value.

They kept the rotation the same as last season – not even adding any quality depth. What happens if we lose Dickey, God forbid, to the DL? Or Niese? Who you gonna call?

They swapped some names in the bullpen, but didn’t sign a bona fide closer – only two relievers who failed as closers in the past. Their strategy in the bullpen all hinges on hope and Isringhausen won’t be around to save them this time.

The only other additions were bench players like Cedeno and Quintanilla. Hairston, Turner and Nickeas will be back. Strike up the band?

You can sugarcoat this all you want, but make no mistake the Mets are considerably worse than last year at this time, and while other teams made net gains, the Mets are certainly at a net loss.

I remember Matt used to frequently say that hope is not a strategy, and I’ve embraced that as well… But did he just change his tune?

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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