No offense, Mike Nickeas and Anthony Recker.
The most popular theory is the Mets will jump into the free-agent market when, 1) the Wilpons sell the team, 2) when they resolve their financial problems, or 3) when hell freezes over.
For the sake of the argument, let’s assume No. 2.
We know Sandy Alderson is here at the request of the commissioner to help the Mets get their financial house in order.
But, when will that be, and what will things look like when they do?
It’s an oversimplification to assume after next year when Johan Santana’s contract is off the books. Jason Bay is gone, but reports say the buyout is deferred, so that is money still owed.
It’s wrong to assume the Mets will suddenly have flexibility, snap their fingers and start writing checks. Let’s figure three years from now they might be able, or is it willing?
Why would anybody want to come here?
Think about it, what’s the attraction?
* David Wright and R.A. Dickey could be gone, and if Wright stays he’ll be three years older and perhaps on the downside of his career.
* The assumption is the Mets will undergo more losing, thereby taking away the part of the market that wants to go to a contender.
* We don’t know how the Mets’ top pitching prospects will pan out.
* Ike Davis could leave as a free-agent.
* Most teams build around their farm system and use free agents to complement. But, what core do you see with the Mets, especially if they trade some of their young pitching?
* There’s always the money, but do they really want to sign a Jayson Werth type?
Thoughts from Joe D.
Two years in and on the their third offseason, and it’s still difficult to see any real plan here. So much so that the team’s top two players requested to see evidence of one before deciding whether they would sign an extension to stay on. Both remain unsigned.
The last two years were supposed to be about polishing the Mets brand in addition to getting their financial house in order. That hasn’t happened. When the Mets are ready to spend again in free agency, assuming that time comes at all, what players would view the Mets as an attractive option?
I still see this team as one that will need to grossly overpay a quality player to come to Flushing rather than play for Beirut. Nothing on that front has really changed and if they do have some money to spend this offseason, we might see that play out before our very eyes.
I expect the Mets to have plenty of names on their radar this Winter, and that the rumor mill will be churning out stuff by the hour. But when all is said and done, the Mets will find themselves shopping in the same aisles they’ve been browsing in for the last three years.