It’s really hard to believe, but the Mets have gotten worse this off-season. They haven’t done anything to improve on their 2012 season. In fact, they lost a couple of players that helped them to their mediocre performance in 2012.
There was a reason why the Mets waited until the Winter Meetings to sign David Wright to his extension, and have him stroll into that press conference in the awesome new uniform. All of a sudden, the fan base was focused on David Wright and the cool new uniforms, and not the fact that the Mets did nothing to improve this entire off-season.
This winter has been nothing but a diversion. Sandy Alderson was trapped in a corner surrounded by Mets fans asking for “significant changes,” and he pointed to the sky and said “look, what’s that?” We all looked, and he snuck away. It was a very clever move by Alderson to sign Wright and make a spectacle of it at the Winter Meetings.
He knew from day one that Wright was re-signing. But if they signed him before the Winter Meeting, everyone would have been questioning what the Mets accomplished during the meetings in order to improve the team. Everyone gave them a free pass after Wright was signed.
Locking up David did nothing to improve the Mets in the short-term. It probably didn’t do anything to improve the team in the long-term. It was all just an illusion. Sure, David will probably retire as the greatest Mets player to ever wear the blue and orange. That makes some people happy. But most fans would be happier with progress. What we are seeing is not progress.
R.A. Dickey was great in 2012, but trading him was one of the few opportunities the Mets had to improve this off-season. Unfortunately, the Mets blew it by forgetting he is 38-years old. There is still too much risk for teams to take on a 38-year old pitcher, regardless if he won the Cy Young award or is a knuckleballer.
Being a knuckleballer doesn’t help sell his age, it simply clouds his success as teams wonder if a knuckleballer can maintain that level of success year after year. So while the Mets would have been able to sell high on Dickey coming off his great year, they were never in the driver’s seat. The fact that the Mets are holding strong at two years for $20M, and are hesistant to give Dickey the extra $6M he is requesting says it all.
If all the Mets accomplish this off-season is signing two players that were already under contract for 2013, then how can we say it was a successful winter? We can’t. In fact, we have gone backwards.
The issues in the outfield have not been addressed, and with the potential loss of Hairston, have gotten worse. The bullpen is still a giant question mark – an even bigger question mark is why Bobby Parnell was labeled “untouchable.” The catching situation is as nauseating as ever. It begs me to ask, what is the direction of this team?
Are the Mets rebuilding? It sure doesn’t seem so. Do they have a win now mentality? Absolutely not. What’s the deal?
If the Mets re-sign Hairston, that means the Mets who were supposed to undergo “significant changes” would have done nothing more than sign three players from the 2012 team that only won 71 games. That isn’t very promising.
At least in 2012 we had the excitement of the first no-hitter in Mets history and the magical season of R.A. Dickey to help the fan base get through the season.
What do we have to look forward to in 2013? Oh yeah…those awesome new uniforms.