Can’t Fix A Mess Overnight

An article by posted on July 24, 2012

Let’s talk realistically here for a second. Let’s stop the whole “buyer” or “seller” talk. To me, you’re only a “buyer”, if you’re a shoe-in for the playoffs or are a team with legitimate expectations of making a run. You’re only a “seller”, if things are just so bad, you need to get some prospects or dump some money.

With regard to the Mets you’re talking about a team that every single person here respectfully thought they were playing over their heads a bit. The Mets were being carried by David Wright offensively, and RA Dickey on the mound.

With exception of probably Johan through May and Tejada or Murphy, there is absolutely nobody on this team you could count on. That doesn’t mean players didn’t have good performances here or there, but you cannot be a serious playoff team if you are being carried by 5 players at most.

Anybody who wanted or wants to trade any significant prospects for a player with an expiring a contract is lost, I’m sorry. This isn’t 2006, let’s not fix the problems of the past by making the same mistakes of the past.

I do hope the Mets are active during the trading deadline, but I’m not in desperate need for it.

What I am desperate for is an understanding of what to expect, and when to expect it. This past November, I said “After this season, I’d like for Sandy Alderson along with the Wilpon’s to stand at a podium and tell us all what the plan is. I am a patient guy, but I need to know what I’m waiting for and for how long. How bad are things really? I don’t BLAME Alderson like others do.”

I will stick to that. I am not ready to blame Alderson for the problems this franchise is facing. I am however, about 12 months from expecting more than I have most recently.

I believe the problems of this roster exceed 1 or 2 bullpen arms. I stand by my point, that this team has more problems than Jon Rauch. I am not suggesting the bullpen is good, or isn’t an issue. I’m merely suggesting their other problems to me, outweigh the need for 1 or 2 more bullpen arms.

Getting bullpen help is fine, so long as you pay a fair price for it. However, I’m suggesting that shouldn’t be the end of their dealings if they make any moves. A bullpen arm will help the immediate, and maybe keep the fan base from jumping off the Whitestone, but it won’t fix any other problems.

The Outfield – At some point, this outfield needs to have a blueprint rather than just unpredictable chaos. This team has Jason Bay, Lucas Duda, Scott Hairston, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Andres Torres, Mike Baxter, Jordany Valdespin, and maybe one day Matt Den Dekker.

The Centerfield position needs to be figured out soon. You cannot have a contender and have 3 different players in CF (assuming Valdespin is a future CF).

At this point, with the direction this season is headed, if the Mets feel Valdespin can one day be a CF then put him out there and let he and Kirk fight for the job. The odd man out needs to go though. There’s no sense in keeping them both, because neither of them likely bring the bat needed in a corner OF spot.

I’ve said I love the idea of Josh Willingham in LF, but to do that, you need to cut your losses with Jason Bay first. You cannot tie up that much $ in 1 spot.

For me personally, I do not think Nieuwenhuis is an everyday CF. So if Valdespin cannot hack it there, then they need to be creative with finding somebody who can.

That creativity could lead to unloading Murphy, in hopes Valdespin can slide into 2B. I love Daniel Murphy, because nobody gets more out of less than him, but his value to the future of this franchise is on the trade market.

To me, the only active roster players untouchable right now would be Wright, Tejada and Harvey when he gets here. The Mets have too many players with holes in their game. I do not see them trading Dickey, but if he were to give you more than 1 useful piece for the immediate future, you need to consider it.

Again, I’m not suggesting they tear it down and trade everybody. I’m suggesting they get creative and find a way maybe with 1 or 2 deals to get the most value for a player in hopes of helping 2013 and 2014.

You cannot deny the fact that realistically the Mets should look for upgrades in LF, CF, C, SP, RP, and maybe even RF with 1B being up in the air. 1 or 2 bullpen arms won’t change that.

There’s a difference to me between being a seller and just unloading players. I do not want to see that. I want to see the Mets evaluate what they really have for the next 2 years, and find ways to improve on 2013 and 2014, while not ignoring the need for competitive 2012 baseball.

If you’re looking ahead at the free agent market, there won’t be a ton out there to help. There isn’t much allure to coming here, except money. So maybe you look at guys like A.J. Pierzynski, Melky Cabrera, or Michael Bourn, but are they worth the price tag they may demand?

When you look at the 2012 Mets and think about the future, you know you can cross off 3B and SS, and then everything else is in doubt. That’s why you don’t buy rentals at this stage because you do not have the luxury of giving youth away right now. It has nothing to do with moneyball, sabermetrics, or Sandy Alderson.

It has everything to do with evaluating your talent, and realizing the New York Mets cannot be fixed overnight.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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